from the as-it-was dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2017, Comcast sued Vermont to try to get out of having to expand its broadband network, while it was also continuing to insist its sneaky, misleading fees were a form of transparency. Charles Harder lost a defamation lawsuit against The Deal, while the infamous Monkey Selfie case reached a settlement and yet wasn’t quite over. Multiple groups were fighting against the terrible ideas in the EU Copyright Directive, while the music industry was ramping up its attacks on YouTube ripping sites. And in a moment of utter moral cowardice, Harvard caved in to the CIA and rescinded Chelsea Manning’s fellowship.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2012, the VP of the EU Commission was actually doing a good job explaining why copyright law is broken in the digital age. We looked at how major labels use jurisdiction and venue to screw artists, while the MPAA was sending propaganda points to politicians, and an unsurprising but unfortunate court ruling found the insane fines against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to be reasonable. The house moved forward with voting on the FISA Amendments Act despite not even knowing how it was being interpreted, and the bill was approved by a wide margin. And then the week closed out with a leak of the White House’s draft executive order on cybersecurity.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2007, a judge tossed out a RIAA lawsuit for being based on nothing more than speculation, the Copyright Alliance was deploying some twisted logic in its demands for strong copyright and weak fair use, and Prince was suing YouTube, eBay, and the Pirate Bay. While some people were blaming MP3s and iPods for ruining music, the recording industry was showing its ability to innovate with… poorly designed and highly restrictive subscription services, and the “ringle” (a music single sold as a ringtone).
In The Beginning…
Another edition of the Up To Date newsletter that would become Techdirt went out 25 years ago this week on September 13th, 1997, covering a wide variety of events including the sale of CompuServe, the world’s first big commercial ISP.