Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, the TPP negotiators pulled an all-nighter to finish the latest draft of the agreement, though of course it still remained secret. An announcement from New Zealand, however, confirmed that it would extend copyright terms and lock-in terrible anti-circumvention rules, leading us to reiterate that it’s not a “free trade” agreement but rather a protectionist one. Then, at the end of the week, Wikileaks released the final intellectual property chapter (and it was basically as bad as expected).
Ten Years Ago
Before the TPP, it was ACTA. This week in 2010, negotiators announced that ACTA was nearly complete and that the final text would be released by the end of the week — yet somehow (shocking!) the MPAA was able to announce that it was in favor of the current text it wasn’t supposed to have seen. Many in the EU Parliament were not at all happy about the agreement, and in Mexico the Senate actually voted unanimously to remove the country from negotiations. When the text was released on Wednesday, it had shed some of the worst aspects of earlier versions but was still full of problems, and for some reason the negotiators were still obsessing about secrecy in their briefings about the now-public text.
Also, just to hammer home how long this thing’s been going on, here’s a 2010 post about some of the early blows in the fight between Oracle and Google.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, the Grokster decision was just one factor in the messy fight over the criminality of writing software, the USPTO was busy producing anti-piracy propaganda, and DRM-makers were espousing the importance of DRM even though, as usual, numbers suggested that file sharing is good for sales. The recording industry was demanding too much in its negotiations with tech companies and setting its sites on satellite radio as its new target, not to mention trying out new arguments against fair use. But we saw one great ruling from Australia, where the Supreme Court found that mod-chipping consoles does not violate anti-circumvention laws.