This Week In Techdirt History: August 4th - 10th

from the back-in-the-day dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, while President Obama was defending the CIA's increasingly exposed use of torture on the basis that they had a "tough job", James Clapper was defending the redactions in the torture report and calling them "minimal" — but Senators were calling it "incomprehensible", because even 15% redaction can hide all the critical details.

Meanwhile, comic artist Randy Queen was giving a crash course in DMCA abuse, using takedowns to censor blogs that were critical of his work, then claiming that posts criticizing this were defamatory, then doubling down yet again by trying to DMCA the posts about his DMCA abuse.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, a Washington Post writer started an online journalism dust-up when he complained about Gawker "ripping off" his reporting with a blog post discussing and heavily linking to one of his articles. Other bloggers quickly pointed out that, in fact, the mainstream press "rips off" bloggers constantly, spurring more people to dig in and illustrate the entitlement mentality driving big media's complaints about blogs, and finally the suggestion that perhaps they should run their own blogs about their own reporting if they are so upset. Amidst this, the Associated Press was still digging in on their plan to DRM the news, with their text licensing calculator that would gladly charge you for any text whether it came from the AP or not, and ironically leveraging Creative Commons licensing language for their ill-fated DRM tech. We suggested the agency would be better off finding other services to offer newspapers, while competitor Reuters stepped up defended linking, excerpting and sharing.

Also this week in 2009, we published a long rebuttal to the RIAA's factually-challenged boasts about the Joel Tenenbaum verdict.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, long before Joel Tenenbaum, we were wondering why the RIAA gets to hold parents responsible for their kids' downloading. The US was using trade negotiations to export the DMCA and software patents to Australia, as it likes to do, Hollywood succeeded in driving a DVD backup software company out of business, and for no particular reason the FCC happily voted that VoIP systems should be required to have wiretap backdoors for law enforcement — a fitting week for Tim Wu to write a post exploring how different regulatory schemes create a "copyright gap" that impacts the telephony and content industries in vastly different ways. We also got an important appeals court ruling that found websites devoted to criticizing companies are not commercial speech and thus do not constitute trademark infringement.

Filed Under: history, look back


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2019 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Moderation != Censorship

    I suppose because I am an eternal optimist, and I cherish and value free speech, open discussion and transparency. For example, I never admired the KKK, because they were comprised primarily of social misfits and idiots who wanted to hide behind their white sheets and cone head hoods in an effort to look formidable and to overcome their own obvious sense of weakness. I suppose I am hopeful that even the Techdirt regulars might one day embrace the idea of honest debate without feeling the need to hide comments that they cannot respond to. Maybe there are some legitimate ideas that could be learned from the people who frequent here if they would just get over the emotional bullshit and engage in a serious way with other adults about adult ideas.

    I guess I have some ideals about what is and what is not acceptable, and I am doing my best to share my ideals with others. I have beliefs, I have heroes, I have convictions, and sometimes I am openly curious about how some of the people here came to their conclusions. I'm interested. I'm game.

    Ok, maybe I'm bored sometimes and a little Techdirt therapy makes me happy. IT COULD HAPPEN! REASONABLE VOICES COULD BE HEARD AND RESPECTED HERE! THE CHILDISH NONSENSE COULD BE CALLED OUT FOR WHAT IT IS.

    Maybe. Could be. You never know until you try!


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