This Week In Techdirt History: November 7th - 13th

from the living-memory dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, well... perhaps you remember what happened? On Monday we were criticizing Trump's hypocrisy on the First Amendment and James Comey's sudden reversal of his equally sudden renewal of the Clinton email investigation — plus covering other stuff like the illegal bulk data collection by Canada's spy agency and the absolutely stupid legal threats over podcast apps by Canada's public broadcaster. And then, on Tuesday night, Trump won the election. We wrote about what the unexpected result meant for Techdirt-related issues, and criticized the immediate move by many to blame the whole fiasco on Facebook and the unfortunate calls for clamping down on free speech online. Trump's first tweet as president was yet another attack on the First Amendment, and his opponents weren't necessarily doing much better on that front. And though everyone knew things were going to get even crazier, I don't think anyone fully envisioned just how ridiculous the next four years would be.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, there was some other news that is memorable to Techdirt readers: what had once been the PROTECT IP Act, and then became the E-PARASITES Act, was finally renamed to... the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. The fight over the bill only heated up from there, with the RIAA offering a bizarre interpretation while admitting it wants a DMCA overhaul, more research showing how the bill would harm investment in key innovations, lawmakers like Reps. Lofgren and Issa stepping up in opposition, and even mainstream press like Time Magazine explaining how it's a terrible idea. Opposition came from groups as diverse as librarians and sports bloggers — while the House Judiciary Committee refused to hear concerns from the wider tech industry. We wrote about how it's the exact wrong approach, and there were early plans for something similar to the blackout day that would come the following year. All in all, the fight was just getting started...

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, we had an early post about how ISPs should be demanding warrants before handing over customer info, and about how nascent services offering to delete embarrassing stuff about you from the internet weren't going to be able to live up to their promises. More and more lawsuits were piling up from people attempting to get a cut out of online video, while Microsoft was taking it upon itself to give the entertainment industry a cut of every Zune device it sold (add that to the list of dumb things about the Zune). Some people were betting a little too heavily on the idea that an open WiFi network would protect them from RIAA lawsuits, while a court agreed to examine the constitutionality of the RIAA's huge fines. Meanwhile, two years after the release of the infamous (and excellent) Grey Album mashup of Jay-Z and The Beatles, EMI admitted it didn't harm them at all (while still insisting it was good to fight so hard against it).

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Filed Under: history, look back


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