This Week In Techdirt History: October 17th – 23rd

from the 'twas-ever-thus dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, we followed up on the previous Friday’s ridiculous arrest of Amy Goodman for covering the North Dakota oil pipeline protests, with prosecutors changing their charges from trespassing to the even more ridiculous charge of rioting, only to have them rejected by a judge. An appeals court ruling confirmed what everyone knew about NSA surveillance — that it could be used to investigate domestic suspects — while a tribunal in the UK determined that intelligence agencies there had been illegally collecting data in bulk for more than a decade. Comcast was sued for misleading feeds that it claimed were about “transparency”, T-Mobile was fined by the FCC for abusing the definition of “unlimited” data, and the FTC was warning that AT&T’s court victory on throttling could screw over consumers for decades to come. Meanwhile, Team Prenda suffered yet another huge loss with an order to pay over $650,000 for a bogus defamation lawsuit.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, copyright troll lawyer Evan Stone was appealing a judicial slapdown and sanctions, another mass infringement lawyer was complaining about the number of people fighting back, and Righthaven was still trying to avoid paying legal fees (though the court wasn’t having it) while also facing an imminent dismissal in yet another lawsuit. Ron Wyden was continuing to point out the problems with PROTECT IP while we took a look at the connection between that bill and Wikileaks censorship. This was also the week that we first wrote about the birth of CreativeAmerica, the latest astroturf organization from the entertainment industry.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, Belgian newspapers were doubling down on their “victory” in getting delisted by Google with demands to be removed from MSN as well, while a editor was using the fight as a springboard for a ridiculous column about how Google is “immoral”. Mostly, though, things were shaking out regarding Google’s YouTube acquisition: it was causing turbulence for Google’s existing advertising deals, there was a revelation that YouTube had given equity to record labels on the morning of the deal, and we noted that attacks from politicians might be an even bigger deal than attacks from the entertainment industry (and Universal Music chose this week to sue a bunch of other video sites instead). Meanwhile, the Authors Guild lawsuit over Google’s book scanning was getting off to a very, very slow start.

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