by Leigh Beadon

Filed Under:
history, look back

This Week In Techdirt History: December 10th - 16th

from the the-waning-year dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2012, more and more people were coming out against the efforts of the ITU's WCIT, including both Tim Berners-Lee joining the already-active Vint Cerf and Mozilla expressing its concerns. Though the White House denied that it was prepared to dump the ITU, it was firm in refusing to support a bad treaty. The ITU itself was doing a really bad job of pretending to respond to people's complaints, and even though a whole bunch of countries ended up refusing to sign the treaty, the boss decided to go ahead and declare victory anyway.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2007, people were digging in to the recently introduced PRO-IP bill, with the DOJ coming out against the legislation, even as Hollywood's favorite lawmaker complained it wasn't strong enough, and the inimitable William Patry explaining the many problems with the bill. North of the border, Canada was stalling out in its efforts to introduce its own version of the DMCA as public opposition continued to grow rapidly. And, in a piece of news that is especially amusing given recent events, people were just realizing that you could pretty much submit anything to the FCC's public comment system, including fake comedy entries claiming to be from Leon Trotsky, George W. Bush and... Donald Trump.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2002, there was a lot of uncertainty in the world of internet distribution and media distribution in general. We believed predictions that the DVD would be the last physical format, perhaps underestimating Hollywood's aggression on that front — like the fact that device makers appeared poised to give in to demands to put copy protection in everything. The Balkanization of the web into many walled gardens was becoming really concerning (though of course it was still silly for folks like the New York Times to be predicting "the end of free content"), but some folks like Tim O'Reilly were at least able to see the bigger picture on issues like piracy. And while it's easy to forget today that it wasn't always that easy or cheap to get yourself a web host for your small business (let alone personal) needs, in 2002 it was a big deal that a major player like Yahoo announced it would be getting into the small business hosting game.

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  • icon
    charliebrown (profile), 16 Dec 2017 @ 1:41pm

    Media Storage

    In the link to the 2002 article on DVD's, I've noticed the last comment left was about sticking a chip in your device to play your media. I can't help but notice, nobody (including myself, at the time, to be honest) thought about the device having enough storage to hold a lot of your media as well as play it. And that's where we are now: A smart "phone" is a media holder that also plays the media for you, records it as well, plus everything else it does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      charliebrown (profile), 16 Dec 2017 @ 1:44pm

      Re: Media Storage

      After I submitted this, I thought of a better way of phrasing it: Back then we were all still very much in the mindset of physical media. Sure, we might download music or video instead of purchasing a physical CD or DVD, but what did we do with the data? We burned it to a CD or DVD to play it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Dec 2017 @ 6:25pm

        Re: Back then we were all still very much in the mindset of physical media.

        Is the storage we use nowadays not “physical”, then?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Leigh Beadon (profile), 17 Dec 2017 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: Media Storage

        While I understand what you're getting at, the end of 2002 is a little past that point - the iPod had already been out for over a year. And really Napster had already ingrained the new idea in people's heads: for a few years in 99-00, we weren't downloading and burning, we were ripping and sharing! And obsessed with getting our whole collections off their individual CDs and into a big beautiful Winamp library!

        Admittedly there were still lots of CD players around - portable ones, and hi-fi systems in the average home - so there was lots of reason to still burn CDs. But between Napster and the early MP3 players starting to come out and teasing us with their high price tags for storage space juuuuuuust big enough to be tantalizing but always a bit disappointing, it was pretty clear what direction things would be going.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 18 Dec 2017 @ 1:14am

      Re: Media Storage

      Flash drives technically ARE sticking a chip in the device. Most of their bulk consists of the interface port.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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