Five Years Ago
This week in 2012, the jury in the Oracle/Google patent trial ruled that there was no infringement, while Judge Alsup revealed his coding knowledge on the copyright side. MPAA boss Chris Dodd was saying they should stop calling infringement “theft” despite the MPAA’s own website doing exactly that many times, Congress proposed giving ICE another ten million dollars to fight intellectual property infringement, and TV networks were suing DISH with the insane argument that skipping commercials is copyright infringement. Meanwhile, five years before its recent successful reusable rocket tests, SpaceX was making its first successful cargo run to the ISS, marking a significant milestone in private space travel.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2007, the proprietary video services launched by various companies were continuing to struggle and die off, with CNN dropping its paid online video service while Time Warner struggled with its own, and Budweiser got ready to kill the ill-fated Bud.TV. The RIAA was trying to close the “radio loophole” by convincing Congress to force radio stations to pay royalties for playing music (leading some to notice that the industry was similarly worried about the “jukebox loophole” nearly half a century earlier), even while it was carefully backing down on new webcasting royalty rates that would have killed smaller webcasters.
Fifteen Years Ago
The webcasting battle was not new — five years earlier this week in 2007, an equally disastrous attempt to enact webcasting royalties fell through. Meanwhile, a virus that aimed to stop the trading of infringing material was spreading on the Kazaa network, Hollywood was trying to get copy protection built into all analog-to-digital converters, and you could cut the tension between Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a knife. Google launched its now-defunct Labs page, authoritarian regimes were wielding the power of the internet in frightening new ways, and the still-DVD-based Netflix went public, joining the ranks of stocks-you-really-wish-you’d-bought.
One-Hundred And Seventy-One Years Ago
They’ve done good reporting and bad, they’ve struggled to adapt to the digital world, and we’ve often criticized them here on Techdirt — but nevertheless the Associated Press is an old and proud fixture of the journalistic world, and it was on May 22nd, 1846 that it was founded by five New York City dailies to share the cost of covering the Mexican-American War.