from the time-passes dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2011, the MPAA got hilariously and incoherently angry about a GigaOm post pointing out that file sharing continues to grow. After we criticized their response, they came back yet again with a string of empty "sharing is theft" arguments — and TorrentFreak couldn't help but notice that some of the criticisms applied to similar things the MPAA itself had said not long before.
Meanwhile, police were busy hating photographers — both those that film the police themselves and those that take snapshots of things with, uh, no aesthetic value... apparently. Some people were defending the UK's attempts to fight riots by shutting down social media, as UK cops got in on the act by shutting down a social-media-organized... water gun fight. All the while, new research showed that trying to stop protests with internet censorship just creates more protests.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2006, the RIAA was oh-so-friendly when it decided to delay one of its lawsuits by 60 days. Why? The target of the lawsuit died, and the agency wanted his family to have some time to grieve before they were deposed. After this got a bunch of (negative) attention, they actually had the gall to use the phrase "abundance of sensitivity" when they caved and dropped the lawsuit outright. Hollywood was continuing to drive file sharing further underground, there was a copyright fight over copy protection on VHS tapes, and Jack Thompson was demanding a pre-release copy of the new game Bully so he could pre-emptively freak out about it (even more than he already had).
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2001, a group of judges who recently objected to monitoring software on their computers were rebuffed, a group of Mac-loving students rebelled against their school's choice to go PC, and a Thai newspaper started flipping out about the generalized (and mostly made-up) dangers of computers in general. Though pop-ups were already a target of general hatred, the notion of full-length TV-style video ads on websites was a novel and questionable one (with the hatred already clearly visible on the horizon). And one company was out there bizarrely trying to help people copyright their DNA to protect against unwanted cloning.
One-Hundred And Thirty-One Years Ago
When we talk about patent history here on Techdirt, we're usually pretty focused on the US, but this week we can mark an important date for Japan's system. On August 14th, 1885, Japan granted its first seven official patents under the well-named Patent Monopoly Act. Number 1 was for anticorrosive paint, and numbers 2-4 were for tea processing machines.