from the looking-back dept
ESPN suspended Bill Simmons (from Twitter) for calling someone deceitful. Huh. That sounds familiar. ACS:Law, which was the UK version of Prenda before Prenda existed was just ramping up. Spam King Alan Ralsky was sent to jail. Microsoft was trying to shut someone up after they revealed some "flaws" in Microsoft's plan to bribe users to use Bing instead of Google. Speaking of Bing, Rupert Murdoch was toying with the idea of taking News Corp. sites out of Google's search results if Microsoft paid him enough. And Hulu was furious that people were actually embedding its videos, despite the fact that Hulu provided tools to embed.
We looked at how Hollywood was really at fault for a significant part of movie piracy, by not giving users what they wanted. Similarly, we looked at how the recording industry spent so much on payola to get people to hear their music for free -- and yet were so angry about piracy, which got people to hear their music for free. Speaking of Hollywood, the heads of the big studios had pretty much all settled on a new talking point: that they were really concerned about the independent filmmaker, rather than big studios when ti came to piracy. Of course, more indie films were being made than ever before, and those indie filmmakers now have many more ways to get supported than ever before, so that rang pretty hollow. And, a record label exec was arrested for not using Twitter to ask Justin Bieber fans to disperse.
We were celebrating Wil Wheaton saying people should "get excited and make things" rather than griping about how business models and such were changing online. Meanwhile, we highlighted some research about how copying and imitation are actually quite good for society, even if people think they're bad.
Ten Years Ago:
We were talking about how there were over 400 companies selling "VoIP" offerings, and wondering how they could possibly survive (spoilers: they didn't). The first case we'd heard of where scammers were trying to sneak malware through banner ads on popular sites. Unfortunately, this remains an issue today. People were starting to realize that stores like Best Buy were really showrooms for Amazon. And a court told the MPAA that it couldn't lump a bunch of unrelated file sharing lawsuits into the same case.
Also, ten years ago, Perfect 10 sued Google for showing thumbnails of some of its porn images hosted on other sites. That case would result in one of Perfect 10's many courtroom losses, and also set a good precedent concerning fair use. Also, ten years ago Congress started pushing for a new job in the White House, the IP Enforcement Coordinator -- a role they finally pushed through as part of the ProIP Act in 2008 (with the job coming into existence in 2009).
Fifteen Years Ago:
Ah, such a quaint time. We were excited about the possibility of paying bills online (seriously). This was the era of the "free ISP," though the catch was that if you used them, you had to deal with ads from them. So we found it interesting that a new one was launching, and its main selling point was that it was a free ISP with no ads. Instead, they hoped you'd buy stuff from their e-commerce store. Media merger potential is always in the news, so fifteen years ago, Time Warner as looking to buy NBC. Oh, and remember when AOL was so powerful that it could be evil without consequence? In order to ramp up its business of spamming its own users, AOL claimed that all of the opt-outs from spam had "expired" and users had to re-opt-out to avoid being spammed by AOL partners in the future. How nice. No wonder people started leaving in droves soon after.
Forty two years ago:
Atari released Pong, the first "commercially successful video game" kicking off the start of the video game revolution. Two years ago, on the 40th anniversary, Buzzfeed published an astoundingly wonderful history of Atari and Pong. Go read it.