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.