This Week In Techdirt History
from the randomly-accessing-memory-lane dept
Time for another look back at Techdirt history:
Five Years Ago...
In 2009, the infamous Joel Tenenbaum filesharing case was in progress, and Charles Nesson had just revealed plans to attempt a fair use defense which, as many noted at the time, was destined to fail — but oh how different today would look if downloading had been deemed fair use five years ago. Of course, five years ago the record labels were also trying to bring down the Pirate Bay, an equally unachievable goal that they continue to struggle futilely with today.
This week in 2009, we were still examining the recent decision that ordered Google to pay $1.6-million in back streaming royalties to ASCAP, based on an arbitrary calculation that highlighted just how much of a mess royalties can be. A more personal music dispute was also unfolding, with Coldplay and Joe Satriani locked in a fight about copying that was heavily influenced by amateur musicologists and fans. There was plenty of fighting happening outside the realm of music, too: attorneys general were grandstanding against Craiglist as they are wont to do, and Blizzard was getting aggressive with trademark C&D letters long before its recent campaign to go after hackers.
Ten Years Ago...
Blizzard provides an interesting transition to 2004. It was in November of that year that World of Warcraft came out and revolutionized the world of MMORPGs — but a few months prior, on this week in 2004, we were wondering if the decline of EverQuest (remember EverQuest?) indicated that such games were hitting a wall because of their lack of appeal to casual gamers.
Meanwhile, you can find early roots of plenty of modern trends ten years ago this week. Not too long after the introduction of .biz and .info, but before the rollout of .mobi, Tim Berners-Lee was arguing against new TLDs. He lost the .mobi battle and then, if I recall correctly, was proven wrong when .mobi became the most popular TLD in the world, which we all continue to use and love to this day. Er, right? At the same time, we were discussing the huge success of online pizza ordering (and though I don't think it came to Canada for a couple more years, it's a convenience I confess to using far too frequently) and the return of internet grocery stores (which were still struggling but beginning to find their legs, long before the days of Amazon Fresh). It wasn't just a week of internet trends either: we also noted the growth of often-pointless motorization to make everything from razors to pot scrubbers vibrate and oscillate.
Fifteen Years Ago...
This week in 1999, long-since-forgotten The Mining Company changed its name to About.com, and an internet fixture was born. SETI released its distributed computing screensaver in an early example of crowdsourcing long before that term was in use, and the world learned that Microsoft had a 10-man team dedicated to learning about Linux.
In the device world, the Palm VII was launching, but perhaps more interestingly, so was an early device we described as "a PDA that doubles as a portable MP3 player". To quote Mike at the time: "now, they just need to add in a phone."
200 Years Ago...
Around this time in 1814, German glassblower and physicist Heinrich Geißler was born, and would go on to develop some of the earliest glass vacuum tubes. His designs and techniques evolved into neon lighting, the tubes used to first discover the electron, and the vacuum tube technology that paved the way for the entire world of electronics, broadcast and computing.