Five Years Ago
This week in 2012, we saw the folks who had recently been defeated by the internet try to sneakily get their way. In Europe, that took the form of resurrecting the all-but-dead ACTA inside the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (and writing clueless columns, of course). In the US, it was Lamar Smith trying to sneak SOPA through in bits and pieces in other bills, seemingly having learned nothing from the experience. The public wasn't oblivious though, and soon a backlash led to some of the problems of CETA being fixed and Smith's new bill falling apart.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2007, webcasters lost their fight to delay a big royalty hike when the court denied the requested stay, but then SoundExchange surprised us all by actually being just a little bit decent and holding off on actually enforcing the royalties. Sony BMG tried to redirect some of the blame for its rootkit fiasco by suing a company that supplied one of the pieces of copy protection software, while the silly DRM game of AACS was serving only to annoy legitimate customers. And surprise, surprise: a study found ripped DVDs weren't even a big source of piracy compared to file sharing.
Fifteen Years Ago
The battle over webcasting had already begun five years earlier in 2002, when it was clear that the labels wanted internet radio stations to go away. Meanwhile, after much concern about various pieces of bad internet legislation, it looked like Congress wasn't going to be moving on any of it anytime soon — but that didn't mean we could ignore a new bad bill that would basically eliminate people's fair use rights, which was unsurprising at a time when it looked like only one person in all of Congress really understood or cared about user rights.
Also this week in 2002, in a move that would further cement them both as tentpole internet platforms for years to come, eBay bought PayPal.