This Week In Techdirt History: August 18th – 24th

from the yesterdays dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, all eyes were on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri where police were threatening and arresting reporters even after, it turned out, they signed a court agreement promising not to. It was a stark example of the broader problem of police militarization, a trend promoted by defense contractors thanks to which police in the suburbs sometimes have more powerful weapons than Marines in Afghanistan, and of course the routine use of tear gas which is a banned chemical weapon except for domestic use thanks to… an exception lobbied for by the US.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, we wondered if there could be any such thing as a fair trial about file sharing given the proliferation and normalization of biased language about “piracy” and “property”. Courts were busy insanely slicing and dicing the Superman copyright, the IFPI was insisting that the Pirate Party shouldn’t be allowed to hold the positions it does, music publishers were waging their war against lyrics websites, the Associated Press was still utterly failing to explain its plan to DRM the news, and we saw the kickoff of a new copyright maximalist push in the UK after Lord Peter Mandelson spent the weekend with David Geffen. We also took a look at a murky and possibly-apocryphal, but nevertheless interesting, story about what might have been the first-ever copyright trial in 6th century Ireland.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, after all the hype, the Google IPO… was delayed by the SEC. Then the company admitted it had been a bit overly optimistic by lowering the IPO range and cutting the number of shares, before finally actually going public and only hitting the bottom price of the reduced range.

Also this week in 2004: music labels were continuing to bet the farm on ringtones being more than a trend, Real was hoping its battle with Apple would spark some good customer responses but apparently forgot it still wasn’t a super-popular company, and an appeals court upheld the all-important Grokster decision.

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