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This Week In Techdirt History: August 27th – September 2nd

Five Years Ago

This week in 2012 started out with us catching up on something that happened late on the previous Friday: the jury in the Apple/Samsung patent trial released a surprise snap verdict that Samsung had infringed. Worryingly, they pretty much admitted that they ignored prior art and other key factors to do so — and the foreman’s explanation in interviews showed he didn’t really understand prior art to begin with. Of course, the whole thing seemed to be simply demonstrating the viability of Samsung products as an alternative to iPhones and iPads — and as you likely know, just last December, SCOTUS overturned this verdict.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2007, the RIAA managed to score a victory in one of its attempts to get a judge to say that “making available” counts as distribution, and immediately began pushing to spread that ruling to other courts. Viacom got meta in its habit of awful YouTube takedowns by taking down someone’s video of a Viacom-owned show airing one of his YouTube videos without permission. Congress was trying to get ISPs to be copyright cops and introduce the nightmare of copyright to the fashion industry. And the first iPhone was successfully unlocked, leading AT&T to predictably and pointlessly lash out.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2002 there were lots of new and emerging things that people were grappling with (though it was not the first freak-out about ultra-violent video games nor would it be the last). There was the realization that becoming suddenly internet famous comes with a cost that not everyone enjoys; there was the attempt to figure out online diploma mills. All those things are pretty pervasive today and no longer new, but here’s one that fifteen years later is still an “emerging” trend like it was then: artificial intelligence and its implications. Excitement over AI has crested and dipped for a long time, much like another piece of tech that was in the same post-overhype torpor in 2002 that it appears it might be headed for today: virtual reality.

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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