Five Years Ago
This week in 2014, former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden was getting pathetically aggressive, calling Dianne Feinstein too emotional to judge the CIA torture report (which we were only learning about via piecemeal leaks), and calling congressional staffers "sissies" while accusing Ron Wyden of not acting like a man. At the same time, Mike Rogers was still pushing his "Ed Snowden is a russian spy" angle, while Snowden himself was saying the NSA lied in its claim that he didn't raise concerns through proper channels, and telling the Council of Europe about how the agency spied on Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Meanwhile, Hollywood was piling on to the already-dead Megaupload with a far-reaching lawsuit that packed in multiple attacks on the internet in general, and was quickly followed by the RIAA filing a virtually identical suit of its own.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2009, Amanda Palmer was sharing insights into how her fans support her work while Trent Reznor was taking his business model experiments into the mobile space, and a new service was announced that would let musicians pre-fund their releases (and it's not around anymore — but two weeks later, Kickstarter would launch).
The Associated Press announced its plans to sue news aggregators, Fox fired a movie columnist for reviewing a leaked copy of Wolverine, old-industry guard like U2's manager and Andrew Lloyd Weber were out trashing the internet, and Hollywood's favorite lawmakers were preparing for the next big copyright expansion push.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2004, we saw the first court ruling to state that online content aggregation was legal, setting the stage for later tantrums like the AP's, and the outrage of some publishers today. Gmail was the new kid on the internet block and people weren't sure how they felt about it (or whether it violated EU data privacy laws), just as mathematicians weren't quite sure how they felt about proofs that rely on computer calculations — while some clueless analysts were very sure about how much they hated the "fad" of camera phones. Google and Yahoo both stopped accepting ads for online casinos, seemingly out of the blue until we learned of some nasty letters recently sent out by the DOJ.
This was also the week that we saw the beginnings of a terrible idea that simply refuses to die, and rises like a zombie every now and then to this day: the WIPO broadcast treaty.
Filed Under: history, look back