This Week In Techdirt History: November 1st – 7th
from the from-the-archives dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, the UK government released its “Snooper’s Charter” surveillance bill after pretending it had backed down on the worst provisions — when in fact the bill mandated backdoors to encryption and aimed to legalize over a decade of illegal mass surveillance. In the US, documents from the DOJ confirmed the extensive powers of Stingray devices, while legislators were moving to turn the agency’s “guidance” on the devices into law. The think-tank behind SOPA was now pushing for the US to encourage other countries to block the Pirate Bay, while attacks on Section 230 were still mainly the realm of some law professors. And then the biggest release of the week came on Friday: the full, very bad text of the TPP.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2010, we were surprised to see the DOJ weigh in against gene patents, and the USPTO was not happy about it. The Jammie Thomas trial got its third jury verdict with another huge award of damages that highlighted how the framing of the jury instructions changes everything in such a case. A YouTube star was being threatened by music publishers claiming parody isn’t fair use, a reality show was sued for copying an idea, and a pizza shop sued a former employee for “stealing” their recipe — while librarians in Brazil were forcefully speaking out against copyright, calling it a fear-based reaction to open access to knowledge. Also, this is the week that the proposal of a Right To Be Forgotten started making the rounds in Europe.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, the FCC okayed the big telco mergers of SBC/AT&T and Verizon/MCI, while SBC was making demands of Google, and Sprint was launching its mobile broadband network. The movie industry was trying to plug the “analog hole” and Congress appeared to be going through the motions to appease them without much enthusiasm. But the most memorable development of the week was the discovery that Sony’s new copy protection on CDs was a dangerous rootkit, and that other malware could piggyback on it, and that the same DRM was on CDs from other companies… all of which forced Sony to scramble to release a “patch” which didn’t really fix the problem, and which itself turned out to come with a bunch of highly questionable baggage.