from the it-was-written dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2017, the assault on the ability of states to protect broadband privacy and net neutrality continued with the wireless industry jumping into the fray, while the FCC was moving to gut rules protecting DSL users. The DOJ was still demanding the identity of Twitter users in an insane crusade, while also defending civil asset forfeiture and coming up with new metaphors to attack encryption. Meanwhile, congressional leaders continued blocking serious Section 702 reform, so only a tepid bill moved forward, most of the Senate Intelligence Committee made it clear that it was fine with NSA domestic surveillance, and Dianne Feinstein was looking to revive an anti-encryption bill. And, in the fiasco that seemingly refused to end, the monkey selfie photographer announced that he was going to sue Wikipedia.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2012, an IBM patent lawyer was insisting that the patent system works just fine (though we also saw a definitive article on why it doesn’t), while Toshiba was invoking copyright in its refusal to share repair manuals. Harry Reid wasn’t giving up on his efforts to force a cybersecurity bill through congress (but congress wasn’t having it) while President Obama signed a “secret directive” on cybersecurity. Google was making a fair use case as the Authors Guild appealed the book scanning ruling, while an Australian court ordered Google to pay $200k over image search results. And musicians were weaving an elaborate conspiracy theory in an attempt to get BitTorrent banned.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2007, we were not-so-shocked to see politicians playing politics with antitrust law, or to see a telco-friendly FCC chair suddenly becoming pro-regulation when the subject was cable. Nathan Myhrvold was upping the ante in his patent hoarding game, while 131 companies were sued by a patent troll over global text messaging. The fallout over Comcast’s traffic blocking continued with a lawsuit against the company, just as it was discovered that Cox was doing the same thing. And the Writers Guild strike was exposing Viacom’s hypocrisy about online video, while congress was moving forward with a plan to force universities to fight against file sharing.
In The Beginning…
This week’s edition of the Up To Date newsletter that would become Techdirt went out on November 15th, 1997, featuring some early entries into the world of web-enabled devices that we now call Smart TVs.