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

from the total-recall dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, everyone was abuzz about the infamous Trump Access Hollywood recording that had dropped the previous Friday, and we learned about how NBC had delayed a story about it for fear of getting sued — after all, Trump was tossing around the legal threats to newspapers with wild abandon. At the same time, Charles Harder said he was no longer monitoring Gawker (though he was still sending takedown demands), but he was sending out a threat letter on behalf of Melania Trump. We also got some more details on the recent spate of bogus defamation lawsuits being used to block negative reviews.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, German collection society GEMA was demanding fees for music it didn't hold the rights to while the Pirate Party was continuing to build support, taking 9% of the vote nationwide in Germany. A Belgian court ordered the blocking of the wrong PirateBay domain, the UK government was admitting it had no evidence for its plans for draconian copyright law, and we wondered why PROTECT IP supporters couldn't just admit the bill was about censorship (while Yahoo was quietly dumping the US Chamber of Commerce over its extremist position on PROTECT IP).

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, the big rumors of the previous week became official when Google acquired YouTube for $1.65-billion in Google stock, which of course led to all kinds of varied opinions on the news and a renewed interest from entertainment companies in threatening to sue... and/or negotiate. Anti-video-game crusader Jack Thompson somehow convinced a judge that he should get to see the entirety of the game Bully before it was released, only to have his hopes of declaring it a public nuisance quickly dashed. We were shocked to see a Disney executive actually admit that piracy is competition, baffled to hear a Sony Pictures UK executive claim that getting rid of release windows was "not technically possible", and amused to see the Christian music industry start making a fuss about piracy as a moral issue.

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Filed Under: history, look back


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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 16 Oct 2021 @ 12:44pm

    Hilarious in hindsight

    a Sony Pictures UK executive claim[s] that getting rid of release windows was "not technically possible"

    I guess it took a COVID-19 pandemic to prove that wrong, eh?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2021 @ 5:27pm

      Re: Hilarious in hindsight

      Don't be ludicrous that is a magical special one-time condition that can't possibly last. Nobody can nerd that hard!

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2021 @ 2:19am

      Re: Hilarious in hindsight

      With that being specifically a UK executive I wouldn't be surprised if he was referring to the way that cinema windows used to be staggered, so they were scared of interrupting that.

      What used to happen is that physical prints are expensive to produce and distribute, so studios produced a smaller number than were required for each territory or language, then they'd distribute as needed. So, for example, it used to be that the UK release was set a few months after the US release, and they'd ship over the prints that were no longer used. Then, sometimes, a movie would open in London first, then roll out to the rest of the country. In the 80s I remember it wasn't unusual to see some print damage on opening night.

      A lot of this has already been changed by the shift to digital projection in the intervening years, but I suspect that at the time they were still dealing with physical prints enough that they imagined closer home media releases interfering with the savings they made by printing less than needed for a global release.

      So, this is likely a combination of things - tech having improved to do a great deal of what the industry requires, then a major event that pushes them to actually use it. He was wrong 15 years ago as well (the problem was business fears and economies of scale, not tech), but it has taken slightly more than just COVID to get things to where they are today.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2021 @ 6:02pm

    Ten years ago out_of_the_blue promised that he would leave if Mike didn't stop posting stories he disagreed with. Well... we all know how that turned out. He'll still defend GEMA claiming copyrights on shit they're not entitled to.

    Keep up the good work, Techdirt, and expose copyright supporters for the scumsucking, bottom-feeding hypocrites they truly are.

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


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