from the as-it-ever-was dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2017, we wrote about Ajit Pai’s big lie about net neutrality. His FCC had lots of little lies too, which was why the NY Attorney General was investigating how dead people submitted comments supporting the repeal. Comcast was also lying, of course, and promising that even though it spent millions opposing net neutrality, it wouldn’t abuse the lack of rules, even as its promise to avoid “paid prioritization” suddenly disappeared as the repeal neared, while other ISPs were already using the planned repeal to harm consumers. And the whole thing was based on lies from lobbyists in the form of garbage data. But Pai was busy avoiding the need for facts by attacking Hollywood folks and internet companies on Twitter.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2012, copyright maximalists were attempting to smooth over the waves made by a recent RSC report on problems with the copyright system, a team of porn copyright trolls were trying to get Verizon held in contempt of court for trying to protect its users, MPAA boss Chris Dodd was citing those bogus “declarations” that people occasionally post on Facebook as evidence that everyone loves copyright, and TVshack operator Richard O’Dwyer cut a deal to avoid extradition to the US. Yet another study showed the well-established fact that pirates buy more, while another more specific study suggested that the Megaupload shutdown hurt box office returns for smaller movies. ICE engaged in its annual Cyber Monday takedown blitz, which further exposed how many claims about the necessity of SOPA were exaggerated at best. This was also the week that the Supreme Court agreed to hear an all-important case about gene patents.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2007, the MPAA was doing some shifty stuff in its push to make universities stop file sharing, Universal Music was alienating its biggest stars, and sample troll Bridgeport Music lost a lawsuit over a sample of a sample. We took a look at Harry Potter, fan fiction, and fair use, and also at the history of how even the earliest copyright pirates didn’t do much harm. The RIAA was ordered to turn over data on what a download really costs, the MLB was told yet again that it doesn’t own facts, and an attempt to sue Creative Commons by someone who misunderstood the license mercifully failed.