This Week In Techdirt History: June 14th – 20th
from the and-so-on dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, we saw some hall-of-fame FUD about Edward Snowden from the Sunday Times in the UK. The piece was rapidly trashed by Glenn Greenwald, leading News Corp. to abuse the DMCA in an attempt to hide the criticism. Facing ongoing scrutiny, the reporter who wrote the piece eventually admitted that he just wrote down whatever the government told him, and the editor doubled down on this suggesting that any questions about the story should be directed to the government. Meanwhile, Bruce Schneier was making a much more reasonable point about the same core issue: that Russia and China probably have the Snowden docs, but not because of Snowden.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2010, we looked at yet another example of how ludicrous it is to expect YouTube to magically know which videos are infringing, while Rapidshare was countersuing Perfect 10 over copyright trolling, and music publishers were trying to pile on the already-dead Limewire. The Hurt Locker producers were deep in their copyright shakedown scheme, while at the same time touting their free speech rights against the soldier who claimed they used his life story. One ISP tried to get very creative and charge users to block file sharing to avoid copyright strikes — and ended up installing malware that broadcast their private information. Meanwhile, long before today’s ongoing dust-up that is drawing everyone in, we covered an earlier conversation about “fixing” Section 230.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, we saw the latest in a long string of reports urging the recording industry to embrace file sharing, while some people were working on yet another pipe-dream of universal DRM, and libraries were developing their systems for limiting the use of digital materials as though they were physical. Amazon was trying to patent more basics of e-commerce, while a patent troll reared its head with a 1998 patent that appeared to cover transmitting any information over a network, at all. And we saw the clearest death-knell for the VCR when Wal-Mart announced it would stop selling VHS movies.