This Week In Techdirt History: May 19th – 25th

from the so-that's-what-happened dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, we watched as the proposed NSA reform bill — the USA Freedom Act — got watered down by the House to the point that every civil liberties organization pulled its support for the law, and it started to look like Reps. Rogers and Ruppersberger had pulled a fast one on us all. The House inevitably passed the now-useless bill (even without the votes of half of its original co-sponsors), so attention had to turn to the Senate and other ways of fighting back against the NSA, like a small victory in freeing the NIST from collaborating with the agency on encryption standards.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, various Attorneys General were still on the warpath against Craigslist (even those who had successfully busted criminals on the site) after it gave in to pressure the previous week. While some tried to draw odd conclusions from Craigslist’s cooperation, the company was also fighting back and suing for declaratory relief against one AG. And we had to wonder as they did: why Craigslist, not newspapers or other websites?

Meanwhile, Perfect 10 was shot down yet again in an attempt to hold search engines liable for image thumbnails, while Joel Tenenbaum’s lawyer was gearing up for a likely defeat with plans to defend downloading as fair use. And we read one pro-copyright book that surprised us by relying heavily on… Techdirt comments to make its case about how bad the pirates are.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, Jack Valenti was feuding with Quentin Tarantino over the latter’s failure to condemn movie piracy, Italy was getting ready to put people in jail for file sharing, and California was considering doing the same. Google was making waves on two fronts: then-brand-new Gmail’s unprecedented offering of 1GB of storage was spurring the competition to at least pretend to do the same (while a typo on Gmail itself led some people to think they might be getting a terabyte), and the Google IPO was leading absolutely everyone to try to find a way to benefit from the hype (not least the list of underwriters, which was basically all of Wall Street). But, the guy who had been selling fake “pre-IPO shares” to Wall Street insiders was one of two scammers facing jailtime, too.

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