This Week In Techdirt History: October 24th – 30th

from the in-the-past dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, the American Bar Association prepared a report on Trump’s libel bully behavior, but was scared out of publishing it… for fear of being sued by Trump. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign was trying to deny the authenticity of the emails released by Wikileaks. The ACLU was taking the government to court over unreleased FISA opinions, new documents revealed how AT&T hoped to profit by helping law enforcement spy on the public, and Yahoo was trying to get permission to talk about the email scanning it did for the government. Via a FOIA request from the EFF, we learned more about why the copyright office misrepresented copyright law to the FCC — unsurprisingly, it was at the behest of the MPAA, which began trying to mock EFF over the story. Also, this was the week that Oracle officially appealed Google’s fair use win over API copyright.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, Apple was continuing its trademark war against anyone using an apple in a logo, Universal was using copyright to go after parodies, and we learned that ICE seized 20 domain names for the NFL over the weekend. The House of Representatives was rushing out its version of PROTECT IP, which emerged with the even more ridiculous name of the E-PARASITES Act — and it was really, really bad and required some interesting flip-flopping on behalf of its sponsors. Amidst this, we published a three-part series on the many historical “killers” of the movie industry (part one, part two, part three).

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, we looked at how the DMCA takedown process was working for the now-Google-owned YouTube, and at the way many of the weak lawsuits against Google (and not just for YouTube) were strengthening the company’s position by giving it easy wins. We also looked at how copy protection and walled gardens were making music annoying for consumers while, amidst lots of fearmongering about the internet hurting music sales, Weird Al was crediting it with his album’s success. We saw another way to rebuff the RIAA’s lawsuits — by hiring a lawyer that has beaten them before — while the association also failed in its attempts to legally scour the hard drives of its lawsuit targets. Meanwhile, a newspaper was called out by a lawyer for thinking it could unilaterally tell people that “fair use is not applicable” to uses of its content, leading the publication to change the language on its site — but when the lawyer who called them out sent a thank you note, they threatened to sue him for defamation.

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