This Week In Techdirt History: May 12th - 18th

from the how-many-roads dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, we took a look at how the administration's terrible track record on transparency had made lawsuits a default part of the FOIA process, and got an example of how FOIA requests were resulting in agencies sharing less information than they would otherwise. Congress was busy pretending SOPA was actually the law even though it wasn't, the DOJ was trying to downplay its lies to the Supreme Court while also arguing that Americans have no fourth amendment protections for communication with foreigners. Meanwhile, a dangerous court ruling affirmed Europe's right to be forgotten and, predictably, opened the floodgates for abuse. We were also fresh off the Google/Oracle ruling declaring APIs to be copyrightable, which spurred Automattic to pledge that it will not claim such copyright.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, we learned that the recently-discovered fake medial journal published by Elsevier to boost Merck products was not at all an isolated incident. We also saw the beginning of an incredibly important lawsuit that would eventually invalidate the patenting of isolated genes, as the ACLU teamed up with cancer patients to sue Myriad Genetics. It was a question that should have been addressed much earlier.

Meanwhile, Sony's CEO was admitting the company should have taken a more "open" approach to digital music, but they comments were pretty similar to what he'd said years earlier, and the CEO of Sony Pictures was almost simultaneously out saying he thinks no good has come from the internet, at all, period. Universal and YouTube were working on their collaboration to create Vevo, Jammie Thomas refused to settle with the RIAA, and France finally approved its three strikes system for copyright infringement — an approach with problems well illustrated by Ed Felten's modest proposal about applying it to print media as well.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, phone networks were still being stupidly hesitant about selling phones with WiFi because they viewed it as a threat instead of an opportunity, much like newspapers did with text messaging. TiVo was fighting to regain some dominance in the DVR market, IBM was making an early foray into web-based office software suites, and an enterprising scammer bilked several people who should have known better out of millions of dollars by telling gibberish lies about moneymaking opportunities tied to a Google IPO. The press was still misreporting fines for distributing music online as fines for downloading, while the creator of a Japanese file sharing system was worryingly arrested for abetting copyright infringement. And, with the school year nearing its end, we got a handful of stories about students getting in serious trouble, and even arrested, for trying to hack their grades.

Filed Under: history, look back

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  1. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 May 2019 @ 9:52am

    Shiva Ayyadurai failed to prove Techdirt defamed him. A judge said his lawsuit had little chance of prevailing in court. He failed to bankrupt Techdirt (and Mike Masnick personally), he failed to remove Techdirt from the Internet, and he failed to have the substance of the articles he sued over changed in any way. His one concession from Techdirt was a link to a self-serving article full of the same bullshit he has been saying for years — the same bullshit, in fact, that Techdirt debunked and mocked in the still-untouched articles over which Ayyadurai sued. And whatever his reputation was before the lawsuit, it is arguably worse now thanks to the lawsuit, your vigorous and ludicrous (and possibly sexually driven) defenses of him, and his 57 point loss to Elizabeth Warren in a Senate race he had no realistic chance of ever winning.

    Talking of a “victory” and a “new era”† assumes Shiva won. He did not. In the tiniest bit of fairness to him, neither did Techdirt. But they did not lose nearly as badly as the guy who failed to prove he was defamed by someone calling him a liar.

    † — Next time you do one of your diatribes, try not to sound like Kronika from Mortal Kombat 11. You are nowhere near as good a fictional character as her.

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