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

from the those-were-the-days dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2017, Ajit Pai unveiled his plan to replace net neutrality rules with fluff, while Canada was trying to defend net neutrality. Congress was trying (and then succeeding) to strip oversight from the Copyright Office, while a Texas lawamaker was looking for the power to decide who counts as a journalist, and Paul Hansmeier was trying to avoid being convicted of fraud. Meanwhile, the European court was asked to overturn a ruling saying that linking to defamatory content is defamatory, while the UK’s crime agency was pushing a ridiculous moral panic: that modding videogames might turn kids into hackers.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2012, Dropbox added the link-to-download feature that was supposedly what made Megaupload illegal, while TV networks were personally targeting Barry Diller for having invested in Aereo. The RIAA was trying to paint Hadopi’s failure as a success, copyright maximalists were pushing for new performance rights through a sneaky treaty agreement, and the Australian government was planning to continue holding secret anti-piracy meetings with no consumer advocates allowed. We also covered a great article about how the Oracle/Google fight demonstrated the pointlessness of software patents.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2007, a file sharing startup was trying the very silly idea of songs with ads in them. The antitrust drumbeat against Google was growing louder, Viacom was promising to be more mindful of fair use on YouTube, and Yahoo licensed the lyrics to 400,000 songs, signalling there would likely be more attacks on unofficial lyric sites. Meanwhile, in 2007 it was the Verizon/Vonage fight that was demonstrating problems with the patent system, especially as people kept turning up more prior art against Verizon’s VoIP patents.

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