This Week In Techdirt History: April 28th – May 4th
from the insert-star-wars-joke dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2014, while Senators Feinstein and Chambliss were taking yet another shot at a new, concerning cybersecurity bill, they were also backing down on attempts to require transparency from the administration regarding drone strikes. The German government blocked Ed Snowden from testifying before parliament to mollify the US, we learned that the UK’S GCHQ had hidden its access to the NSA’s PRISM database from its parliamentary overseers, and we were wondering why Verizon’s pushback against bulk records requests was so much weaker than it could have been. This was also the week that John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight debuted, with its first episode featuring an interview with Keith Alexander that we couldn’t help but notice might be the toughest interview he’d yet faced, even with all the jokes.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2009, dumb tweets about swine flu led to an early preview of concerns about disinformation on social media. The BBC was happily promoting MPAA propaganda about movie piracy while claiming it was being balanced, German publishers were demanding ISPs block file sharing sites, France was still trying to adopt a three strikes law even as Nicolas Sarkozy was paying up for his own copyright infringement, and in general legacy industries were showing a real sense of entitlement with regards to the internet (not that piracy freak-outs regarding technology were anything new). The USTR finally got Canada bumped up to its Priority Watchlist for intellectual property (for some reason), Warner Music made the very foolish decision to issue a DMCA takedown of a presentation by Larry Lessig, and we learned just how bad the revolving door is with the revelation that former RIAA lawyers now working for the government only had to stay away from issues impacting their former employees for one year.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2004, we took a look at the one-sided file sharing propaganda being foisted on school students by the entertainment industry — and boy did it ever seem like brainwashing. The Senate was looking at four different intellectual property bills including one that would let the FBI start filing civil suits for its entertainment industry buddies, and one that would expand California’s ban on video cameras inside movie theaters. TiVo was pushing advertiser dollars onto the web, an attempt to force cable companies to offer a la carte channels fell through, self-publishing was shedding some of its stigma as it got easier, and the first federal charges were brought under the recent CAN SPAM laws. This was also the week that, after much anticipation, Google officially filed for its IPO — which of course everyone had to weigh in on, including us.