This Week In Techdirt History: December 22nd – 28th

from the then-and-now dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, NSA mega-defender Mike Rigers took a moment on his way out of congress to attack Obama for not launching a pre-emptive cyberwar with North Korea, while a retired official launched a bizarre lawsuit against Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras “on behalf of the American people”. We were also unsurprised to learn that a CIA-appointed panel determined there was nothing wrong with the CIA spying on the Senate.

Meanwhile, Sony was still lashing out against people sharing the documents leaked in the big hack, first demanding a Twitter user remove posts then stepping it up and threatening to sue Twitter itself. While this was going on, more digging through the documents confirmed that the MPAA’s $80-million settlement with Hotfile was about appearances, not money.

Ten Years Ago

A brief world tour of this week in 2009: China was raising the Great Firewall even higher with claims about fighting piracy, the Australian Domain authority was shutting down sites critical of internet filters, Argentina was extending its copyright terms, a Hungarian copyright maximalist called those who oppose anti-circumvention laws “hate-driven” and “Maoist”, Italian courts were continuing to attack YouTube at every opportunity, the Vancouver Olympics in Canada was making even-more-insane-than-usual intellectual property demands, and the Vatican created a special new copyright-like right on everything related to the Pope. On the more positive side, Chile rejected an attempt to force ISPs to filter and block copyrighted works, and at least one Lord in the UK was fighting to include something good in the Digital Economy Bill.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, the recording industry was getting creatively evil in attempting to freeze money donated to the Red Cross because it came from the company that operated Kazaa. The CEO of India’s eBay affiliate was arrested because people sold pornographic material on the site, ComScore was trying to invent a new category of “researchware” to avoid its tools being called spyware, the Washington Post bought Slate, and some courts that installed WiFi networks were suddenly shocked by the fact that people were using them. Blockbuster was continuing to try to prop itself up, following its recent elimination of late fees with a big price drop for its subscription service. And at a time when it was popular to panic about kids using “text speak” and forgetting how to write properly, one study showed that they are perfectly capable of doing both.

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