This Week In Techdirt History: October 31st – November 6th

from the at-the-time dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, people were grappling with James Comey’s surprise last-minute announcement that the Clinton email investigation was ongoing (and noting that it seemed to fly in the face of the FBI’s ban on investigation disclosures), followed by the agency suddenly leaking like a sieve and opening an internal investigation into one of its own Twitter accounts. AT&T was making things up in an attempt to get its Time Warner acquisition approved, and Senator Wyden warned that the merger posed a massive threat to net neutrality. Meanwhile, the copyright office screwed over thousands of sites by changing its DMCA registration policies, YouTube finally buried the hatchet with Germany’s GEMA, and the DOJ sued DirecTV over collusion on regional sports programming.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, the fight was on over the ridiculously named E-PARASITE Act. We were disappointed to see GoDaddy support the bill despite being a site dedicated to theft under its definitions, and we were not at all surprised to see the US Chamber of Commerce make ridiculous arguments in favor. Many in the content industries were insisting that the bill wouldn’t require rewriting the DMCA, even though its author admitted that’s the plan. Then the campaign for support got really desperate: an astroturf group inflated the number of letters supposedly sent to Congress, Warner Bros. (which had just announced record profits) started pleading poverty and asking people to support the bill (part of a pattern with successful rightsholding companies), and somehow the MPAA even dredged up meaningless support from firefighters. Meanwhile, we highlighted the single best article explaining why the bill was bad.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, Universal embarrassed itself when its lawyers didn’t know about its marketing plans and sent cease-and-desist letters to fans participating in a guerilla campaign. It was also a big week for abusing the DMCA, and we took a look at how takedowns were used to silence critics and any content someone doesn’t like. Following the big deal between record labels and YouTube, we learned how the deal was structured such that they didn’t have to share any of the money with musicians, while a lot of other creators were starting to ask questions about what they would get out of industry deals with YouTube. Meanwhile, Google was getting an early start on making deals to pay viral video creators.

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