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

from the stuff-that-happened dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, the FBI was seriously dragging its heels on a FOIA request we filed, while we were looking at a recent terrorist bust by the agency that didn’t seem to be very hampered by people “going dark”, and Apple was in court fighting against demands that it unlock a phone. We took a look at how cable television is the exception to a pattern of decreasing prices for tech hardware and services, while the cable industry was still trying to explain how cord-cutting wasn’t a real problem. And Tim Berners-Lee was speaking out about Facebook’s plan to bastardize the internet with a limited free offering.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2010, there were a lot of shots fired in the legal war over commenters, with Google being ordered to turn over the IP addresses of YouTube commenters in one case just as a Canadian cop was filing another case with a similar demand, and a Broadway actor was also suing Twitter to unmask an anonymous tweeter — though perhaps the most fiery anger towards anonymity was from Gene Simmons who… wanted the nebulous online group Anonymous thrown in jail. Blizzard was employing a dubious copyright theory to go after cheat creators, an English heritage organization was making a beyond-dubious claim that it holds effective copyright on any and all photos of Stonehenge, and Joe DiMaggio’s estate was trying to block the use of a photo of DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe with a threat that seemed like it might turn into a battle over questionable publicity rights — something we generally expected to fuel a growing category of IP trolling. There were developments in a few major copyright lawsuits too, with Righthaven losing to fair use in the first ruling to come down on its operation, the Golan case being appealed to the Supreme Court, and Viacom busting out the big guns for its YouTube appeal by hiring former solicitor general Ted Olson.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, the booming world of blogs was facing its first big spam crisis, while traditional news publishers were beginning to come to terms with how deeply they needed to rethink their operations for the internet. India joined the list of countries getting scared about Google Earth, though a tragedy in Pakistan was demonstrating how satellite images can be a good thing. Viral video makers JibJab were being awfully hypocritical about fair use and apparently failing to properly understand what it’s for, while Craigslist was disappointingly fighting against scrapers and aggregators. And two of the biggest and most controversial internet names of the era were teaming up as Michael Robertson hired DVD Jon to hack for him.

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