This Week In Techdirt History: October 11th – 17th

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, while one judge was calling everyone’s bluffs about encryption, James Comey was insisting that “dozens” of terrorists have eluded the FBI because of it and Chuck Grassley was telling the DOJ to get back to the fight, and some were noting how just because the administration had said it wouldn’t pursue backdoors didn’t mean the next one wouldn’t change course. Plus, we noted that the lack of fervor from the NSA on the issue simply suggested that they already had a way into people’s phones. Meanwhile, the appeals court handed a clear fair use win to Google over book scanning, while the battle over the Happy Birthday copyright was gearing up for its next phase.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2010, we looked at the rapid rise of copyright shakedown operations in the US — in fact, there were so many that they were starting to fight with each other over trademarks on their very similar names and copy ceach others’ websites. Meanwhile, more countries were reacting to ACTA and Ron Wyden was seeking answers on whether it would impact US law (which independent analysis suggested it absolutely would) — but though all this was leading to some growing reluctance among US officials, we doubted that they would ever really decide not to sign the agreement.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, the instant messaging wars were in full swing and Microsoft and Yahoo were finally managing to provide some basic interoperability. RealNetworks and Microsoft settled their antitrust fight, more and more people were speaking up about patent trolls, and we looked at how it was the recording industry’s obsession with DRM that helped make Apple so powerful, to the industry’s chagrin.