This Week In Techdirt History: December 15th – 21st

from the remember? dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, the world was reeling from a major hack of Sony and a trove of documents it exposed. While the company was trying to put the genie back in the bottle (even being accused of engaging in DDoS attacks), the documents were revealing the MPAA’s relationwhip with Attorneys General, especially Mississippi’s Jim Hood in his investigations Google — soon followed by more evidence, then even more, prompting Google to file a challenge against Hood’s subpoenas. We also learned more about the MPAA’s ongoing desire for SOPA-style site blocking and its secret plan to break the internet by reinterpreting the DMCA. By the end of the week, the FBI had formally accused North Korea of being responsible for the hack.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, Microsoft made one of the most infuriating DRM screw-ups when Office 2003 started locking people out of their own documents, Blu-Ray was trying to implement a silly managed copy DRM, and Apple and various other companies were making it almost impossible to publish an audiobook without DRM. A woman who was arrested for filming snippets of New Moon was considering suing the theater, ASCAP was demanding licenses from venues that let people play Guitar Hero, and the FBI did its duty as Hollywood’s police force and arrested the person who leaked Wolverine online. Meanwhile, Joe Biden convened a “piracy summit” that was completely one-sided, full of copyright maximalists complaining about theft, where reporters were kicked out so everyone could schmooze in peace. Congress also earmarked another $30-million to fight piracy, but we were at least somewhat pleasantly surprised when the White House actually came out in favor of copyright exemptions for the visually impaired.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, TiVo was still king of the DVR world, and started lashing out to protect its trademark in some questionable ways, while Blockbuster was trying to forestall its death at the hands of Netflix by doing away with late fees. A lawsuit was filed with the argument that software should not be copyrightable, the MPAA decided to start going after BitTorrent trackers, and SonyBMG was once again celebrating new DRM for CDs. And in Canada, a court overturned the country’s tax on MP3 players, though we suspected that would just set the stage for new and even worse legislative changes.

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