This Week In Techdirt History: October 13th – 19th

from the still-not-in-space dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, while Edward Snowden was telling a reporter that he probably wouldn’t have revealed as much as reporters did from his documents (which was part of the point of passing the decision on people not immersed in the NSA), new releases from said documents gave us a look at the NSA’s infiltration of foreign tech companies with undercover agents. The agency also finally released Keith Alexander’s financial disclosure documents (with none of the ensuing security breaches they were so insistent this would cause). And we looked at some numbers painting a picture of just how aggressive the Obama administration was with leakers.

Meanwhile, we also got a look at a big leaked chunk of the in-progress TPP agreement. Most of it was the IP chapter that read like a pharma company wish list that would be a disaster for public health, and included plenty of surveillance gifts for Hollywood, plus a tidy little measure allowing the criminilization of corporate whistleblowers.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, while the IOC was complaining about Flickr photos because a photographer used a CC license, a Dutch collection society was backing down slightly on its attacks on video embeds — but highlighting the difficult question of when a small blog becomes “commercial”. This question came up in an entirely different context in New York this week as well, when someone lost their unemployment benefits because their blog ads paid around a dollar a day.

Also this week in 2009: the AP and News Corp were demanding to be paid for content (and the latter was launching a news aggregator while complaining about news aggregators), ASCAP and BMI were looking for even more onerous royalties, DRM was contributing to a disastrous launch for the PSO Go, EMI signed a deal with Grooveshark thanks to negotiation through lawsuit, and yet amidst all this… the Nobel Prize in economics went for a second time to work that highlights the power of infinite goods.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, people were starting to realize (and argue about) how mobile phones extend people’s capabilities while changing their skillsets. Amidst the hype about mobile TV, few companies seemed to realize that the real future of mobile video was communication and user-created content, much like how the real challenge and opportunity for news online was how much people want to share it. Interest in downloadable music stores was fading as the launch promotions dried up, the DOJ was practically begging to become Hollywood’s private police force, and the Supreme Court passed on considering the RIAA’s attempts to get the names of file sharers from ISPs at the same time as a UK court was ordering ISPs to hand them over. Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the Virgin Galactic announcement the previous week, potential amateur astronauts were showing up with the ticket price in hand and, at the time, it looked like private space tourism might only be a few years away.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: October 13th – 19th”

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John Snape (profile) says:

Editorial vs commercial

This week in 2009, while the IOC was complaining about Flickr photos because a photographer used a CC license…

The link here ( ) has a fundamental misunderstanding of commercial vs editorial use.

You are correct. Someone is making money off the use of the image. It doesn’t matter if it is the photographer or someone else. By putting images on Flickr, you are putting them into a commercial domain, even if you don’t profit from them.

Remember, it wouldn’t be any different from publishing them in a magazine or selling them on the street corner. There isn’t a magic amount of money that makes something commercial, just intent.

Commercial use is when you use a photo in an advertisement to sell something. Editorial use is use that is news-related or used to showcase an item, but not directly sell it (like a photo spread in Vogue).

If the photographer posts it online as just an image from, in this case, the Olympics, it’s an editorial use. If he had taken one of the photos and turned it into an advertisement for the company making the clothing, it would be a commercial use.

Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves ever since I had an argument with a guy who insisted people walking in public in the background of a video in a training course I had created was commercial use.

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