This Week In Techdirt History: May 9th – 15th

from the back-then dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, the copyright fight over the Star Trek fan film Axanar was allowed to move forward — though without the too-soon attempt to raise the silly question of copyright on the Klingon language. The UK government was pushing for ten-year jail sentences for copyright infringement, HBO was abusing the DMCA process to stop Game of Thrones spoilers, and we took a look at Minnesota’s insanely broad publicity rights law. It was also the week of the opening statements in the Oracle v. Google case that would carry on for years.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, two important DMCA cases (IsoHunt and Veoh) were being heard by the 9th Circuit, while Limewire settled its own case, the US Copyright Group was allowed to move forward with a massive shakedown operation, and BMI was arguing that a single person listening to their own music via the cloud was a public performance under copyright law. Copyright maximalists were also opposing new TLDs for some reason and trying to get domain censorship capabilities included in the .net TLD. This was also the week that we first saw the PROTECT IP act and its extremely bad text that could gut parts of the DMCA and make linking a felony.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, Apple (the tech company) won its trademark battle against Apple (the record label) with help from the now-famous “moron in a hurry” defense. Movie studios were tepidly trying to embrace BitTorrent while failing to understand it, due in large part to the industry’s obsession with DRM (though at the same time, the recording industry magnanimously decided it would allow people to rip their own CDs, and Sony was admitting that its DRM-laden proprietary music format was a strategic error). We took a bigger look at why the argument for the necessity of copy protection doesn’t make sense, in stark contrast to the analyst who was arguing that a lack of mobile DRM will lead to billions in losses.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: May 9th – 15th”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Ah, IsoHunt. The case where copyright enforcement had to exaggerate the damages done by the site, exaggerate the "profits" the site was bringing in, admitted in court they had exaggerated their own data on hand for effect… and ended up getting awarded damages they knew, and admitted, that IsoHunt would never be capable of affording or even producing.

At some point you’d think that the failure of monetary deterrence as a tactic should have really clued these idiots in but no, instead they’re letting porn trolls serve as their attack dogs these days. Absolutely shameful.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

The reason I use BMI

There’s a reason I use BMI, but not because I think they’re the good guys. It’s just that ASCAP went after creative commons and that infuriated me (I wasn’t much of an artist then, but it just proved that ASCAP didn’t care about what the songwriter wanted for their own music). Lawrence Lessig asked to debate the president of ASCAP (but I doubt in the trollish way as an opportunity to berate that Ben Shapiro or Marjorie Taylor Green would and do). The president of ASCAP responded that Creative Commons was trying to "silence" him. After that clownish behavior, I decided to go with BMI seeing as they were the lesser of two evils. I mean, I had no doubt that BMI was doing sketchy stuff, but I don’t recall a single time that they assailed their own clientele’s interests in the same way that ASCAP had.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: The reason I use BMI

Lawrence Lessig asked to debate the president of ASCAP (but I doubt in the trollish way as an opportunity to berate that Ben Shapiro or Marjorie Taylor Green would and do). The president of ASCAP responded that Creative Commons was trying to "silence" him.

… what. The only way I can see asking someone to defend their position could even possibly ‘silence’ someone is if both you and they know they can’t do it and the goal is to get them to shut up rather than find themselves in a position where they have to publicly admit it, which would make for a rather telling response there.

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