This Week In Techdirt History: July 1st – 7th

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, we kicked things off with the latest Snowden leaks revealing that the US had used bugs for surveillance on its allies, and that the PRISM program was huge and complex. George W. Bush stepped up to defend the NSA while President Obama tried to smooth things over with Europe, FISA court judges were upset about the scrutiny, and the Washington Post published a sad editorial calling for the leaks to stop. Then James Clapper shockingly admitted to lying to congress, but was apparently off the hook with nothing more than a staged apology.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, while Sony was further fragmenting the movie download market and NBC was once again failing to offer compelling Olympic coverage online, EMI was showing off its promised “new approach” to the internet by suing more platforms over piracy. Bono joined his manager in blaming ISPs for the destruction of music, while we wondered if the recording industry would play by its own proposed three-strikes rule but for faulty DMCA notices. Meanwhile, the RIAA argued in the Jammie Thomas case that evidence of actual distribution shouldn’t be necessary to sue for infringement, while Viacom convinced the court that YouTube should hand over logs of the IP addresses and usernames of people who watched videos.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, the FCC launched its national do-not-call list, which was so popular that the website to sign up quickly went down. Some people quickly started calling for a similar plan for spam, while others questioned how well it would really even work for calls. Speaking of spam, one spammer won in court this week since spamming is not “trespassing”, but another submitted a guilty plea in his case because it certainly can be fraud. Spam was, overall, getting worse and costing money, while the world braced for the expected onslaught of text messaging spam.

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