from the times-a-changing dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2017, the push was on for encryption backdoors, with the DOJ rolling out some new and even worse arguments at the hands of the new Deputy Attorney General, while the White House’s cybersecurity boss was employing the tactic of calling for backdoors while refusing to actually use the word. Big ISPs were lobbying to prevent the creation of more accurate broadband maps, while the GAO announced an investigation into the FCC’s dubious claims about a DDoS attack. Copyright trolls were continuing to refine their tactics, Trump’s lawyers were doing their best to defend against the First Amendment lawsuit over his Twitter blocking practices, and we took a look at the chilling effects caused by Gawker’s destruction.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2012, we looked at some pretty crazy figures about the state of the patent system, like the fact that patent trolling operations represented 40% of all patent lawsuits, and how the smartphone patent thicket consisted of over 250,000 patents or one in six of all active patents. The infamous dancing baby case was going back to court, and we looked at why it’s almost impossible to get punished for bogus DMCA takedowns. Charles Carreon was still dishing out threats and intimidation, South Park was hit with a copyright lawsuit over an animated lollipop, and a textbook publisher took down 1.5 million teacher and student blogs with a single DMCA notice.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2007, the circuit court tossed out a ruling on the Roommates.com case that would eventually make it through, and stands today as a notable limit on Section 230, while Jammie Thomas appealed her recent loss against the RIAA on the grounds that the extremely high fines were unconstitutional (meanwhile, the RIAA was going after Usenet.com). A very weird and concerning court ruling said skipping commercials is copyright infringement, another court told a software firm to stop selling a tool for beating Ticketmaster’s ticket queue, and yet another court told Major League Baseball once again that it does not own facts. We also saw the early phases of two pretty huge changes to major tech platforms: YouTube began implementing the problematic system we now know as ContentID, and Apple announced that it would soon begin allowing third-party developers into the App Store.
In The Beginning…
This week is another double-hitter for the Up To Date newsletter that would eventually become Techdirt, with one edition going out on October 16th, 1997 and another just a couple of days later on October 18th.
Filed Under: history, look back