This Week In Techdirt History: August 22nd – 28th

from the and-so-it-came-to-pass dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, we watched as telcos tapdanced around net neutrality requirements, and also took a look yet again at the clear evidence that net neutrality didn’t hurt broadband investment. The think tank that originally proposed SOPA claimed to have “proof” that it would have been great, Obama was pushing to ratify the TPP, and India made it a criminal act to merely visit a site that was “blocked” for copyright infringement. On the podcast, we had an interview with Kim Dotcom’s lawyer, while it also came out that the FBI had let its seized Megaupload domains lapse and they were now enhanced darkweb child porn sites in its efforts to combat them). This was also the week that we launched our Copying Is Not Theft t-shirt (which was much later taken down by Teespring with no explanation, so you can now get it on Threadless.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, the chorus of mainstream press talking about how the patent system is broken was getting louder, with even the Wall Street Journal getting in on the action. The RIAA filed a predictable appeal over the judge’s decision to decrease the jury award in the Jammie Thomas trial, the ruling in the MP3Tunes lawsuit thankfully protected DMCA safe harbors, and we looked at an important but often overlooked aspect of the fair use ruling over South Park’s What What (In The Butt)? parody. Meanwhile, the fight was on over PROTECT IP, with Don Henley supporting it due to his irrational hatred of YouTube and the Washington Post promoting it with an editorial full of questionable claims, while Paul Vixie issued a thorough explanation of how it would break the internet. And we also had one of our first posts about what, at the time, was a “side show” in the Oracle/Google patent fight: API copyrights.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, we took a look at how takedown notices were challenging the internet’s usual ability to route around censorship, and discussed the failures of the RIAA’s automated lawsuit threat strategy (as well as looking at a way to stupidly lose such a lawsuit, and another way to get one dismissed). Heads were rolling inside AOL over its search data leak, while researchers were conflicted about making use of the potentially very useful data. This was also the week that Amazon rolled out something that would become a central component of so many modern internet services, by offering processing power at utility rates for people to use in building products.

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