Five Years Ago
This week in 2012 the USTR, as it does every year, released its ridiculous Special 301 list of naughty countries, right around the same time that Chris Dodd was rewriting Hollywood history to thank IP laws for all of it. The UK was doing its part to stay off the list, apparently, with the High Court ordering The Pirate Bay to be blocked (and, of course, driving record traffic to the site). Techdirt friend Dan Bull — an artist whose single had just hit the charts with the help of piracy — shared his thoughts on the block with a guest post.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2007 started the same way: with a silly Special 301 “watch list”. The Pirate Bay was just beginning its growth as a political movement, and the author of a major UK copyright report was admitting that the evidence supports shortening copyright terms. The folks behind AACS, the new copyright protection scheme for DVDs, were learning all about the Streisand Effect in their attempt to suppress information about the technology — and also giving the Digg community a chance to demonstrate its control over the site. Meanwhile, the Google/Viacom lawsuit was moving slowly forward, and the UK’s Premier League was getting in on the action.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2002, record labels were still excitedly announcing lacklustre digital music services, online radio stations were protesting onerous fees, and the new Eminem album was gearing up to be the largest copy-protected release to date. Deep linking reared its head again as a legal issue, online scams were going strong (and working as decent retirement plans for some, it seemed) and the crazy new idea of phones with WiFi was just on the horizon.
Eight-Hundred And Two Years Ago
Today we look back on the Magna Carta as a pivotal moment in the history of law (or just as an archetypal piece of general knowledge trivia), but at the time it was a stopgap solution in the midst of a political dispute between King John of England and some rebellious Barons. An important milestone in that dispute came on May 3rd, 1215 when the rebels officially declared against the King and issued their legal demands.