This Week In Techdirt History: March 27th - April 2nd

from the copying-the-past dept

Five Years Ago

After all the DMCA talk this week, it's interesting to see all the related battles that were happening back in 2011. We saw a court reject the idea that the DMCA requires service providers to proactively block infringement; we debunked the idea that the public domain is a bad thing and showed examples of how just letting people use your content is often a better choice than struggling with licensing. In general it was clear that greater IP enforcement simply doesn't work and copyright doesn't even make sense in cognitive science terms — but that didn't stop broadcasters from trying to block time-shifting options or ISPs from trying to throttle infringement but hurting World Of Warcraft players instead, or Boston College from telling students that a wireless router is a sign of copyright infringement. In the world of revolving doors, former Senator and fresh new lobbyist Chris Dodd was practicing his MPAA talking points, while a judge who was okay with lumping together a bunch of unrelated filesharing lawsuits turned out to be a former RIAA lobbyist, and the EU hired a former IFPI lobbyist to take the lead on copyright regulations.

Ten Years Ago

The saga continues as we move back to 2006, when Germany was seeking hefty jail sentences for file-sharers, TorrentSpy was trying to stop the MPAA from re-interpreting the Supreme Court in its favor, and experts were already pointing out that copy protection doesn't work and it was clear that nobody liked it (like the new DRM from Accenture that was too confusing for anyone to understand). This was underlined by the Korean music industry successfully selling DRM-free music at a higher price-point. An ISP that had formerly claimed filesharing was a huge burden admitted it wasn't, while YouTube was instituting its (now much more flexible) ten-minute time limit on videos as a scattershot way of reducing piracy and trying to avoid comparisons to Napster by courting official distribution deals.

And, given what's happening in America right now, it's fun to look back at our coverage of a silly Donald Trump business idea and remember how inconceivable today's circus once seemed.

Fifteen Years Ago

In 2001, copy-protected CDs were just getting ready to enter the US (and the problems were already becoming apparent). Despite all the doom and gloom, digital entertainment providers were doing just fine, though the same couldn't yet be said about mobile content: people just didn't seem to care despite all the hype, and the revenue had yet to materialize. Some were pointing out that internet companies still need to be innovative, though perhaps examples like MLB charging money for its online baseball audio broadcasts wasn't the best approach.

This was also the week that Google slightly surprised everyone by naming Eric Schmidt as chairman.

Eighty-Six Years Ago

Considering how awful the MPAA is these days, it's easy to forget that the group's current role was originally intended to be a solution to a different problem: the incredibly restrictive and censorious Motion Picture Production Code that clamped down on the free expression of American filmmakers. It was on March 31st, 1930 that the industry's MPAA-prototype first adopted the code (though it wouldn't be enforced strongly for four more years).

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: history, look back


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.