Five Years Ago
This week in 2014, James Clapper was busy giving speeches to students to try to prevent any admiration of Ed Snowden, and working hard to stop members of the intelligence community from talking to pretty much anyone. Homeland Security was warning parents that typical teenage behavior might be a sign of terrorist radicalization, while a court was telling the DOJ it must release the memo that described the justificiation for a drone strike on a US citizen.
Meanwhile, we were wondering why the US government was getting involved in the Aereo case (on the broadcast industry’s side of course), though at least it appeared at the time that the SCOTUS justices understood the gravity of the case, even as so many people persisted in describing Aereo’s compliance with copyright law as circumvention of copyright law.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2009, while the entertainment industry was doing its best to celebrate the recent verdict against the Pirate Bay, some folks in Sweden noticed that the judge in the case appeared to have ties to the copyright lobby, while journalists were beginning to realize that Google can do anything The Pirate Bay could. Meanwhile in the UK, British Telecom was voluntarily blocking the site as an act of unnecessary self-regulation.
We also took a look back at ten (failed) years of the V-Chip, and witnessed the end of an era when Yahoo announced it was killing off Geocities.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2004, we witnessed both slightly good and worryingly bad omens regarding the future of patent reform — but we also saw the birth of the EFF’s excellent patent-busting program. A lawsuit over liability for Napster’s investors was headed to court, while the RIAA was ditching its absurd amnesty program for file sharers, various groups were trying to automate the booting and blocking of file sharers — though there were early signs of a shift in piracy from file sharing to stream ripping. We also saw the first person ever charged under a seven-year-old internet stalking law.
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