from the back-in-the-day dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2017, the Senate was moving ever closer to passing SESTA, as it held a hearing that showcased the issues with the bill. We wrote about the many reasons it was so terrible, and noted that it put just about every single online service at risk, but Senator Blumenthal seemed perfectly happy for it to kill small internet companies. Meanwhile, the EFF resigned from the W3C over the secret vote that approved DRM in the HTML standard, the FCC was sued for ignoring a FOIA request about fraudulent net neutrality comments, and UK PM Theresa May made the insane demand that internet platforms remove “extremist content” within two hours.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2012, we looked at a curious line in the original Copyright Act that appeared to explicitly outlaw disruptive innovation, while the Internet Archive took a stand based on another line in the Copyright Act and said it can archive and show every TV news program. The MPAA and RIAA were freaking out over the sale of foreign-purchased content, the woman who rose to infamy by repainting a fresco of Jesus was trying to claim copyright and demand money, and we looked at a strange anomaly by which a letter written in 1755 was somehow still covered by US copyright law.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2007, the Canadian recording industry was suddenly coming out against the private copying levy it had fought so hard for, while the US copyright czar was praising the DMCA, the MPAA was continuing to try to convince ISPs to act as its private copyright police, and a Harvard bookstore was trying to claim copyright on book prices. A case involving an evangelical ministry raised the question of whether you can issue DMCA takedowns over content you’ve broadly declared to be in the public domain, while the Pirate Bay was preparing to sue entertainment companies for their constant attacks on it.
In The Beginning…
This week in 1997, another edition of the Up To Date newsletter that would become Techdirt went out on September 20th. It contained a huge number of items, including a fun little prediction about the possible emergence of an “appliance web” (I guess this was before someone coined the term “internet of things”).