from the history-of-histories dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2011, amid lots of IP chaos, we offered up a two-part history of the many "killers" of the music industry, first in the analog era and now in the digital one. Undeterred, Universal Music was in the midst of going to war with popular hip-hop blogs and websites for posting tracks (most if not all of which the artists wanted posted). If you doubt that last bit, consider that one of the targets was 50 Cent's own official website. There was also a lot of buzz about the awesome new social music service turntable.fm, and we wondered how long it would take for the RIAA to kill it (it's gone now, by the way).
While a new filing in the Rojadirecta case elaborated on how ICE's domain seizures violate the first amendment even as Senatory Patrick Leahy was celebrating them, rightsholders in the UK were seeking their own web censorship powers. Hollywood was busy too, with the MPAA lobbying to get law enforcement to behave as its own private police force and trying to convince ISPs to become copyright cops, too.
Ten Years Ago
Five years earlier in 2006, there was a very similar history lesson for the people thinking about entertainment industry legislation: Gary Shapiro of the CEA took out a full page advertisement in the Capitol Hill newspaper highlighting, once again, all the past freakouts about new technology destroying music and movies. This was important considering big legal questions like deep linking of MP3s, and mean lawsuits like Paramount suing an amateur filmmaker for making his own 12 minute version of an Oliver Stone movie. Not to mention the creepy prevalence of the MPAA hiring people to stalk and/or hack potential legal targets, and the agency's generally high levels of bullshit.
Fifteen Years Ago
It was a different time in 2001, when we could be surprised by the fact that teenagers were adopting the internet en masse or that Amazon wasn't dead yet. Doctors were still fairly resistant to using technology like email and the first IBM PC was a mere 20 years old. The hot new TLDs on the block were .biz and .info, and buyers were competing over popular picks like show.biz and sex.info, while Network Solutions was busy trying to sabotage the whole .biz enterprise. "Cyber Rage" was a new notion that would evolve into today's doxxing, swatting and other nastiness, and one group was so miffed by digital smut that it sought to send Yahoo execs to jail as pornographers.
Eight-Two Years Ago
The FCC is a big and complex regulatory body that has a massive impact on all modern communication innovation in America — and it was on June 19th, 1934 that it came into existence after the passage of the Communications Act of 1934.