Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, while many sites were going to war with ad blockers, we unveiled the ability to turn off ads on Techdirt in your user settings. Various emerging info revealed sketchy behavior by the Secret Service, the State Department’s success in planting anti-Wikileaks questions in the 60 Minutes interview with Julian Assange, and the surveillance failures of the Postal Service. Rightscorp was telling its copyright-trolling targets that they need to hand their computers over to police, PETA was defending its supposed right to represent the selfie-taking monkey, and — though it seems minor compared to what’s going on right now — we talked about the increasing number of attacks on Section 230.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2010, Citibank was abusing the DMCA to try to hide its comments on Obama’s bank reform policy, a city council was claiming copyright infringement over one councilor posting meeting clips to YouTube, and the EFF was countersuing Righthaven. Meanwhile, Congress was pushing the COICA anti-infringement bill, and we took a look at all the technologies it would have blocked in the past, then all the current technology it was likely to interfere with, while Tim Berners-Lee stepped up as an opponent to the bill (and the RIAA, of course, stepped up as a hysterical supporter) — and by the end of the week, the bill was shelved.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, the ever-changing world of mobile phone etiquette was grappling with Bluetooth headsets while some restaurants were splitting into phone and no-phone sections. The pessimism about cameraphones was faltering as a new music video was shot entirely with a phone, and some early battles over transit map apps were popping up, while Motorola’s CEO was whining about the iPod Nano and Seagate’s CEO was making the case for hard drives over flash memory — while SanDisk made a much-anticipated announcement about flash storage that turned out to be… new copy protection technology. Professors were following in the shoes of doctors and freaking out about online reviews, Warner Music was foolishly overestimating its power in negotiations with Apple, and Sony was repeating its past ways by trying to block developers from hacking the PSP.