This Week In Techdirt History: July 4th - 10th

from the what-was dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2016, transparency was under attack on many fronts. A North Carolina legislator who was a former police chief pushed through legislation to keep body camera footage out of the public's hands, while in the course of two days we got two examples of cops making recordings disappear, and the Philadelphia police department responded to an open records request by releasing one document: the journalist's own request email. An Ohio court sanctioned a lawyer for sharing publicly-available court documents with journalists, while another court secured a grand jury indictment against a newspaper publisher for filing open records requests. The details about Hillary Clinton's email server showed several emails withheld from FOIA availability (as an appeals court said email stored on private servers is still subject to FOIA requests). And the FBI was vacuuming up local law enforcement documents about the Orlando shooting to block open records requests. President Obama did sign a FOIA reform bill... just in time for it to have no impact on his administration.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2011, a group of law professors came out against the PROTECT IP bill, while Hollywood was ramping up a smear campaign against opponents of the bill, and one Senator removed himself as a co-sponsor (though the reasons were unclear). PROTECT IP wasn't the only bad piece of copyright legislation either: an anti-streaming, anti-embedding bill caught the attention of video game streamers who realized how it could impact them, and a bunch of YouTubers started putting up videos to protest it.

But perhaps most memorably, this was the week that the infamous Monkey Selfie fiasco kicked off.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2006, the recording industry was wasting its time suing international sites while the Associated Press was taking a look at piracy around the world and largely missing the point. Attempts to get college students onto special music download platform swere a total flop, record labels were turning to elaborate deluxe CDs to compete with piracy, and Australia was seeking to regulate YouTube.

But, once again most memorably, this was the week that Senator Ted Stevens delivered the infamous "series of tubes" line about the internet.

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Filed Under: history, look back

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