This Week In Techdirt History: March 28th – April 3rd

from the what-'twas dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, while forensic experts were exploring the DOJ’s recently announced ability to get into Sayed Farook’s iPhone, the DOJ was saying that it only applies to that specific model and sticking by its request for Apple to help it with other devices — all while refusing to tell Apple how it did it. Meanwhile, the Copyright Office was seeking comments on the DMCA notice and takedown provisions, and given the huge problems and spate of automated takedowns, we obviously had some thoughts to submit.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, we were debunking the claim that bad things happen when works fall into the public domain, writing about how greater IP enforcement doesn’t work, and pointing out how sometimes it’s best to just let people copy. Another judge rejected the idea that the DMCA requires a proactive approach from service providers, while it turned out that a judge who gave approval to the lumping together of multiple unrelated copyright claims was a former RIAA lobbyist. This was also the week that we saw a very worrying ruling on fair use (which would later be overturned in an important appeals court decision that has recently become very relevant again) when a judge said Richard Prince’s appropriation art is infringing.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, a new German law was set to give casual file sharers significant jailtime, while TorrentSpy was fighting the MPAA’s attempts to reinterpret the Supreme Court’s opinions on file sharing. The DRM makers were getting ever more elaborate even as more and more people were pointing out that copy protection doesn’t work. YouTube was seeking to shake its reputation as a piracy haven with legit partnerships, and a ten-minute video limit that is hard to imagine today. This was also the week that Apple’s lawyers, in their trademark fight with the record company of the same name, brought out the now-famous “moron in a hurry” test.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: March 28th – April 3rd”

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

The "bad things happen when © expires" story

Mike Masnick concluded his post with this:

Of course, will this evidence actually be used to prevent further copyright extensions and further limits on the public domain? That seems doubtful.

And © has been expiring in the US since 2019, so that’s something for which we should all be extremely grateful. The terms are far too long and © is in an "opt-out" instead of a far freer "opt-in" one, sure (among other problems), but at least there are new works entering the public domain!

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