This Week In Techdirt History: January 10th – 16th

from the new-years dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, the world was responding to the death of David Bowie, and we looked back on his innovation in music business models, and then noted how copyright limited the ability to pay tribute to Bowie on the radio. Obama used his final state of the union address to both praise and complain about the open internet, while New York’s District Attorney was calling for a ban on the sale of encrypted smartphones. The movie industry was once again reporting record box office numbers despite their complaints about piracy, with even leaked films raking in record-breaking cash, and Netflix was still in its don’t-try-to-stop-password-sharing phase while NBC was still in its Netflix is not a threat phase. Plus, lest we forget battles over content moderation have been going on for a long time and can touch all kinds of industries, Lego backed down after blocking people from buying blocks for political projects.

Ten Years Ago

Five years before that in 2011, other content moderation and liability debates were raging — especially in the lawsuit against Backpage. We also saw the beginning of a major fight between Sony and George Hotz, who jailbroke PS3s to restore their ability to run different operating systems. Meanwhile, we were learning more about the government’s attempts to get info from Twitter for the Wikileaks investigation (and were pleased to see the social network fighting back, while wondering who else the government might have targeted). Customs officers were trying to intimidate Wikileaks volunteers, Rep. Peter King tried to have Wikileaks put on the Treasury Department’s terrorist list (the Treasury thankfully refused), and the EFF debunked the myth that the leaked cables weren’t important. Meanwhile, Congress was continuing its annual traditions of promising patent reform that would never come and promising a Patriot Act renewal that very much would.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006 we saw the appearance of the first Apple computers with Intel chips, and the launch of the much-hyped Google Video offering that turned out to be completely underwhelming (and not just because of its embrace of copy protection). Sony was still trying to downplay its rootkit scandal while we talked about whether DRM will always introduce security problems, and while the use of copy protection continued to screw over actual creators.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: January 10th – 16th”

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PaulT (profile) says:

"This week in 2006 we saw the appearance of the first Apple computers with Intel chips"

That is somewhat interesting given that Apple have ditched them now to concentrate on its own production. It’s definitely been available move that helped grow faster than they would have done without the Intel move.

"even leaked films raking in record-breaking cash"

Which should be something the industry takes comfort for when we get to the end of the pandemic. While movie distribution has likely been heavily and maybe irreparably damaged by this whole thing, the evidence is still that people will pay for the additional experience even if they can get the thing at home for free. The question is simply whether or not the studios damage the experience beyond that point while panicking about a fundamental change they can’t blame on piracy.

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