Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon




This Week In Techdirt History: June 17th - 23rd

from the it-happened dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the NSA was seeking blanket immunity for companies that aided its surveillance programs, congressional staffers were being told to pretend leaked documents don't exist, and more than half the Senate skipped a briefing on the NSA's programs. The agency was claiming its surveillance prevented lots of attacks, but these claims tended to fall apart under scrutiny. New leaks revealed how the NSA uses data without a warrant and how the UK was sharing info with the US, and then on Friday the US government brought espionage charges against Edward Snowden.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, the Associated Press stirred up a ridiculous drama following its legal threats against a blogger. First, it proposed that it would create its own rules for quoting AP reporting (as opposed to, y'know, fair use) and then released a price list for quotes based on word length, demanding money for any quote longer than four words. Thus, it was a bit embarrassing when people pointed out that the AP uses substantial quotes from bloggers, often over 100 words in its own reporting. It even did so in its own article about this very issue. Not a good look.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, Senator Orrin Hatch worryingly endorsed the use of technology that would destroy the computers of music downloaders, even in a country where most people saw downloading as an infraction on par with jaywalking. Meanwhile, the RIAA was unsurprisingly preparing to use the names of music traders obtained through the Verizon lawsuit to send out cease-and-desist letters. And on another front entirely, the copyright questions surrounding fan fiction were being put in the spotlight by Harry Potter, and J. K. Rowling's approach to such use of her work.


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  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 23 Jun 2018 @ 7:35pm

    So if I wrote a story, using my real name, about how I was teaching magic tricks to new students at a school named Dog-Warts hidden away in the hills, I could be sued?

    I am a technical trainer, by the way, so it's not totally outside of possibility!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2018 @ 7:57pm

    Five years ago we watched the likes of average_joe and out_of_the_blue scramble to perform damage control on behalf of the NSA.

    One wonders why the sanctity of a national, universal spying program worries them so much, not that they ever backed up their assertions with anything stronger than name-calling. To hazard a guess, vacuuming private information would certainly be very useful for copyright enforcement, and they got angry that the secrecy was broken.

    Or maybe - and more likely - they just can't stand it when due process is enforced. Or Masnick being right. On a website they claim nobody takes seriously anyway...

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 25 Jun 2018 @ 8:07am

    "...and then released a price list for quotes based on word length, demanding money for any quote longer than four words."

    Sorry for the nitpick, but shouldn't that be "word count"?

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


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