This Week In Techdirt History: April 12th – 18th

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, the White House was floating the idea of crypto backdoors while the Senate Intelligence Committee was finally deciding it should maybe keep a real eye on the Intelligence Community, and we learned that the Baltimore Police Department had asked the creators of The Wire to not include details about their cellphone surveillance tools. The lawsuits against the FCC’s net neutrality rules were pouring in from the usual suspects while Republicans were rushing to kill the rules and Verizon was claiming that nobody really wants unlimited data. We also got a look at some emails from MPAA boss Chris Dodd, revealing the organization’s real feelings about fair use (it’s bad!) as well as its feelings about giving money to politicians involved in writing copyright law (it’s good!)

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2010, Apple was exercising its control over the iPhone ecosystem, a book publisher was trying vainly to exercise control over people ordering books from abroad, and a Japanese newspaper was hoping to exercising control over whether people can link to its website. The TSA admitted that body scanners could save images, the RIAA insisted that musicians can’t make money without them, and telcos still maintained that Google was getting a “free ride”. This was also the week that an online publication won a Pulitzer for the first time, and the week that the Library of Congress announced it would begin storing tweets.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, we took a look at how tricky things were getting in the VoIP space because people were forgetting or ignoring the fact that voice is data. We were pleased to see IBM free up a bunch of patents, but wondered why the New York Times felt that this was so baffling it needed exhaustive explanation. A customer sued Comcast for handing their info over to the RIAA, muni broadband was doing better in some places than people thought, and Google quietly launched its pre-YouTube video offering. Meanwhile, we were shocked-not-shocked to learn things like that people prefer buying cars online and mobile carriers won’t make money selling music.