This Week In Techdirt History: October 27th - November 2nd

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, while the EU Court of Justice was ruling that embedding is not infringing in a decision sure to infuriate copyright maximalists, Europe’s new Digital Commissioner was on the other side of the coin exploring the idea of an EU-wide Google tax, and Spain passed a new copyright law demanding payment for snippets and links. The MPAA was freaking out over the short-lived appearance of Google Glass by banning the technology outright with an announcement hilariously referencing their “long history of welcoming technological advances”, and one pizzeria was pushing trademark insanity to the limits by trying to trademark the signature flavor of its pizza. Meanwhile, Verizon was continuing its fight against net neutrality by launching its own tech blog with an editorial policy banning any mention of the subject, as well as that of government surveillance.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, we were disappointed to see DMCA abuse by NPR and silly trademark bullying by SPARC, while not especially surprised to see Amazon fighting hard for its infamous one-click buying patent after it was rejected in Canada, or to see Warner Bros. shutting down a not-for-profit Harry Potter-themed dinner organized by a fan. The RIAA was on board with net neutrality as long as it exempted ISPs blocking file-sharers, an Italian politician was trying to file charges against nearly 5,000 YouTube commenters, Japanese prosecutors were still going after the developer of a file-sharing program, and an entertainment industry lawyer filed a criminal copyright complaint against Google in Germany. This was also the week that GeoCities officially went offline, and we had one headline that is especially amusing to see today: Netflix Claims Americans Don’t Want Standalone Streaming Movie Service.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, more people were continuing to realize that DRM sucks, while DirecTV was realizing that satellite internet sucks, and a former RIAA boss was suddenly magically realizing that Creative Commons doesn’t actually suck as much as she thought. The recording industry in Australia was going after the operator of a directory of MP3 download sites, a strange effort by a Spanish company to offer supposedly-legal MP3 downloads ended with a settlement with the RIAA, and one court got things right when it said Lexmark was abusing the DMCA with its circumvention lawsuit over competing ink cartridges. We also saw a couple companies get badly confused: Rolex (the up-and-coming favorite brand for spammers) managed to send a cease-and-desist to a mailing list archive because it received fake Rolex spam, and Nintendo had to apologize after it rushed to threaten the SuicideGirls website over a model’s profile that listed some Nintendo titles among her favorite video games.
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