This Week In Techdirt History: May 2nd – 8th

from the what-went-down dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, we were pleasantly surprised when an Australian government commission spoke out about the harms of bad copyright law and bad patent law, while the University of North Dakota was teaching a student all about trademark abuse. The DOJ was issuing new rules on espionage investigations in the apparent hopes of avoiding embarrassment, while at the same time deploying some very questionable legal arguments in defense of the FBI’s hacking warrants, and the National Intelligence Office’s top lawyer was stepping up to defend bulk surveillance and the third-party doctrine. We also took a look at how the proper channels for whistleblowers were still a joke, as was the proper channel for requesting government records.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, Righthaven’s woes continued as unsealed documents in one case had other judges questioning the legitimacy of their lawsuits, while the infamous John Steele also got slammed by a judge for a fishing expedition, and Perfect 10 sued the Usenet provider Giganews. Meanwhile, the White House published its obnoxious annual Special 301 naughty list of countries with IP laws the US doesn’t like, and we took a look at just how dangerous the USTR’s approach to naming-and-shaming could be.

But the biggest news of the week didn’t have much of a Techdirt angle — until we saw the story of the man who unknowingly live-tweeted the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, there was growing buzz about whether software-as-a-service would kill piracy, while evidence continued to show that the war on movie piracy wasn’t working. Epson was engaged in the fight against off-brand ink cartridges and the Supreme Court took a sudden interest in patent cases. The content industries were playing their game of sneaking bad rules into treaties, while we looked at the constitutionality of the RIAA’s per-song fines. And it’s always interesting to see a quiet, simple mention of Section 230 back before it was known to everyone, in this case in a post about all the lawsuits targeting Google.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: May 2nd – 8th”

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Anonymous Coward says:

This week in Ars Technica present, Richard "Dickhead" Bennett finally shows up and signs in on his AT account because Ajit Pai’s dignity was besmirched again. Onlookers were curious to see if Dick would trot out any new arguments beyond his usual playstyle. Instead Dick opted to go for his tried and tested strategy of "consumers are idiots who don’t know how to read the numbers of their Internet bills" and "anyone who wants better Internet service is either running a server farm or a piirate" double play.

In related news, Ajit Pai sold another batch of his bathwater to an unspecified simp.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It gets better. He’s gone on the Internet access pricing increase article to boast that the pro-NN comments were mostly fake – hint: they weren’t. Then when the majority of fake anti-NN comments were pointed out to him, he pulled his usual move of claiming that the "fakeness" didn’t matter anyway, because the poll somehow didn’t count as a poll. You seriously can’t make this shit up.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I almost appreciate his work. If his loud, ignorant, woefully obvious distortions of the facts are the best that anti-NN folk have, then hopefully the rights of American consumers will be restored before too long now that the adults are back in charge. The only question is whether the public remain motivated enough to keep them in charge, rather than go through the usual cycle of low voter turnout handing the reins in smaller races back to the lunatic toddlers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As I understand it Pai was a thing since the days of Obama, which was one of the rebuttals often used in support of anti-NN, aka "You can’t blame the Republicans for Pai". The problem is that opposition representation has to be a thing in the government, and Democrats are frequently blamed by Bennett for the "pro-NN lie", so… goodness knows what point he was trying to make there.

My point being that voting – as far as I can tell – didn’t stop Pai. It’d go some way to making the government less stupid, but Pai has done very well for himself regardless of the administration. I’m not sure how much public votes will help there, especially given that the FCC, Pai and Bennett are all very keen on ignoring poll results when it’s convenient for them to do so.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Pai was appointed to the FCC during Obama’s administration, but it was Mitch McConnell who pushed him for a Republican position on the board and Obama was merely following traditional procedural norms by accepting the recommendation.

It was then Trump who installed him as head, and like so many Trump appointees it was political agreement rather than competence or experience that got him the role. It was pretty clear from the outset that it was his position on net neutrality and his pro-corporate background in the telecoms industry that got him there.

The hope is that once Trump’s incompetent and corrupt friends (who were often installed to weaken the very departments they were assigned to) are removed and replaced with professionals who are willing to work in the best interests of the country, we should start to see many improvements.

Unfortunately, if the mid terms happen and the usual cycle of low voter turnout and higher Republican wins happens again, it’s unlikely that the Democrats will retain enough power to do things without arguing with a new influx of Trump cultists and QAnon weirdos, who are known to have a less than firm grip on reality and put party over country.

"Democrats are frequently blamed by Bennett for the "pro-NN lie", so… goodness knows what point he was trying to make there."

Presumably, he means that Democrats are looking at documented reality, which given that Bennett and his ilk have made up a completely fictional version of what net neutrality is in order to oppose it, would be a problem for him.

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