This Week In Techdirt History: March 21st – 27th

from the back-to-the-past dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, the press was still pretending encryption contributed to the Paris attacks when there was another attack in Brussels and… politicians rushed to blame encryption without waiting for the evidence (which didn’t come). Meanwhile, the DOJ was fighting Apple in court over encryption when a new flaw in iMessage encryption was discovered, leading the DOJ to ask for a postponement in the case — and this all raised some questions about apparent contradictions in the DOJ’s various statements as well as statements by the FBI.

Also, though it happened the previous Friday afternoon, this was the week that we covered Hulk Hogan winning his lawsuit against Gawker.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, a major loss for Righthaven set up the important precedent that copying an entire work can still be fair use. We were dismayed by the loophole-happy lawyers defending the government’s domain seizures, and had a post about how copyright filters were presenting a serious challenge for DJ culture. Meanwhile, the New York Times was getting used to its new soft paywall, and it was a bit of a mess: columnists were telling readers how to get around it, while the paper was trying to shut down a Twitter account that aided people in doing so, and somehow convincing itself that most people would pay — all while we wondered what the DMCA anti-circumvention implications were.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, the Supreme Court was considering some important cases to do with what can be patented. Companies were rushing to build web-based word processors after Google’s purchase of Writely, Microsoft was embarking on an attempt to compete with Craigslist, and credit agencies were fighting against any rules that would force them to protect people’s privacy. One judge tossed out a bizarre lawsuit claiming open source software violates antitrust law, and another shut down the RIAA’s dreams of randomly hunting through everyone’s computers. Meanwhile, the FBI was still trying to figure out email.

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