Five Years Ago
This week in 2012, politicians were still reeling from recent public opposition. Don’t get SOPA’d had become the new mantra in DC, while the European Commission was blaming ACTA’s failure on social media and starting to worry about its upcoming copyright directive. Rep. Lamar Smith was unperturbed though, which is why people were working to fund a “Don’t Mess With The Internet” billboard in his district.
Also this week in 2012: Mojang and Bethesda settled their dispute over the Scrolls trademark, Megaupload was negotiating with the government to let users retrieve their files from the service, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica ended an era by discontinuing its print edition.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2007, Viacom followed up on its mass YouTube takedowns with a now-infamous billion-dollar lawsuit — just as some of those who had their videos taken down were suing Viacom. Meanwhile, Hollywood was trying to export DRM around the globe even as the EU Commissioner was making veiled threats about stopping DRM on music. While one Microsoft executive was admitting the company benefits from piracy, the video game industry was joining the BSA, RIAA, MPAA et al in spreading bogus piracy stats. And we were pleasantly surprised to discover at least one person in congress who understood mixtapes and mashups.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2002, plenty of things were on the horizon. Augmented reality was making early waves (very early, obviously), people were warning about mobile phone viruses, news broadcasters had only just really started using green-screen sets instead of fancy newsrooms, and plagiarism-detection software was just starting to get the attention of universities. While Canada was trying to pass its levy on blank storage media (which still plagues its blank CDs to this day), webcasters and record labels were actually on the same side fighting against high internet radio royalties (if you can believe it). Meanwhile, the legal saga of “sucks” sites played out another chapter in the courts.