This Week In Techdirt History: July 29th – August 4th
from the on-and-on dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2013, between Keith Alexander joking about how he has the number of congressional reps and the Senate being very unimpressed with James Clapper’s evasiveness, it appeared the tide in congress was turning against the NSA — as was public opinion. Of course, the congressional reps who voted in favor of NSA surveillance had one obvious thing in common: they received twice as much money from the defense industry.
Meanwhile, as congress ironically considered declaring national whistleblower day, Bradley Manning was convicted (but acquitted of the aiding the enemy charge) in a verdict that we knew would have massive chilling effects. But of course, cable news only granted this five minutes of coverage on average.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2008, one final ruling confirmed that the RIAA had to pay legal fees in one of its misdirected file sharing lawsuits, while the IFPI was halfheartedly apologizing for taking down a song from a blog that the artist wanted up, and ISPs in the UK were acting as copyright cops. Another of the RIAA’s targets stood up to challenge the constitutionality of the Copyright Act itself in an interesting but ill-fated defense. And the MPAA, while cluelessly claiming that The Dark Knight owed its success to anti-piracy efforts, sued to sites and raised the critical question of whether embedding is infringement.
Fifteen Years Ago
Five years earlier in 2003, one senator was launching an inquiry into the RIAA’s legal practices, while the organization itself was getting a new leader. We took on the myth that copying is theft, and the misguided industry focus on “replacing” CD sales with legal downloads — which wasn’t going to happen, but that wasn’t the point. People did know about legal download services of course — but one study showed they didn’t care, much like how teenagers were losing interest in going to the movies.