This Week In Techdirt History: March 18th – 24th

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, EA/Maxis was dealing with the fallout from its disastrous SimCity launch, which was ruined by always-online DRM (which, it turns out, was also disastrously hackable), by offering up tonedeaf responses while giving away earlier versions of the game as a weak apology. They were drawing ire from other developers, and then things got worse as a security hole was discovered in EA’s Origin platform itself. Meanwhile, we were digging in to copyright boss Maria Pallante’s call for comprehensive, forward-thinking copyright reform, which included some good ideas like not seeing personal downloading as piracy, but was still largely focused on bad ideas.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, the makers of e-voting machines were doing everything they could to avoid scrutiny, so while machines in Ohio were declared a crime scene, Sequoia was trying to keep Ed Felten away from reviewing its machines and succeeded in scaring officials into backing down — all while a new study showed a massive error rate in e-voting.

This was also the week that the world lost Arthur C. Clarke.

Fifteen Years Ago

It was this week in 2003 that the US invaded Iraq. Though the war didn’t dominate our writing on Techdirt, we did take a look at the businesses rapidly moving to explore whether this would help or hurt them, and the discussion around how this was the first true war of the internet era and the implications of that for journalists. And it didn’t take long for “war” to oust “sex” and “Britney Spears” as the top internet search.

Also this week: the RIAA moved into the suing-companies phase of its anti-file sharing crusade; a Texas congressman wanted to throw college students in jail for file-sharing, though surveys of students showed they had a much more modern understanding of the issues at stake; and MIT’s tech review continued sounding the warning bells about America becoming a surveillance nation.

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