This Week In Techdirt History: October 25th – 31st

from the happy-halloween dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, the fight over the CISA cybersecurity bill was on, but it looked like Facebook was secretly on the wrong side of this somewhat-disguised surveillance bill (a true purpose that was occasionally admitted if you looked in the right places). But none of this stopped the Senate from rejecting all the amendments that would have protected privacy and passing CISA with a 74-21 vote. Elsewhere, the EU was working on net neutrality rules that were full of loopholes and other problems. Meanwhile, the DOJ was saying Apple should decrypt customers’ phones because the company still owns their copies of iOS, James Comey was blaming violent crime on citizens with cameras, and the Library of Congress released new DMCA anti-circumvention exemptions that were a complete mess.

Ten Years Ago

Five years earlier in 2010, in the same week, there was a prime example of a DMCA exemption mess when we noted that jailbreaking iPhones was legal, but jailbreaking an Xbox could land you in jail for three years. The Lenz v. Universal case was moving forward as Universal argued that the dancing baby video was not obvious fair use, a judge ordered Limewire to shut down entirely, and Myriad Genetics officially appealed the ruling that invalidated gene patents. The US was basically saying it would just ignore anything in ACTA it didn’t like, while a group of law professors was urging Obama to drop support for the agreement and we were looking at how it could create insanely broad new criminal copyright liabilities. And we had an early mention of the brewing controversy around a little company you might have heard of, at the time still known as UberCab.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, some prominent technology commentators were still missing the point of the rise of amateur content online, while the online world of self-published movies was set to take off and even television networks were, ever so slightly, starting to grasp the need for change. The mobile web was still being hampered by attempts to section it off and pre-decide how it would work, while mobile email was beginning to move beyond the world of BlackBerry (and BlackBerry seemed to have suffered a bit of a glitch in the UK that got the devices temporarily banned by the BBC). MP3 player makers who weren’t Apple were complaining about the Apple-induced shortage of flash memory, and Google abandoned its attempts to appease authors and publishers and went back to scanning books after a temporary pause.

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