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This Week In Techdirt History: November 17th - 23rd

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Five Years AgoThis week in 2014, the incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee was... Devin Nunes, talking about how surveillance reform is unnecessary — though former CIA/NSA Director Michael Hayden was saying that only ISIS would benefit from the proposed USA Freedom Act, and a defense official was telling the intelligence community to grow up and stop blaming Ed Snowden, and a former NSA executive was claiming he challenged bulk phone records collection but was rebuffed. The USA Freedom Act did fail to pass the Senate this week, but for stupid reasons.Ten Years AgoThis week in 2009, old-school journalists were busy getting mad about the internet, while clinging to things like optimistic studies where people say they'd pay for online news. The MPAA and Sony Pictures were backing down after shutting down a town's wifi over a single movie download the previous week, but the MPAA was still waging war on DVRs and being joined by the cable industry, while Sony Pictures announced its best box office year ever only a month after the CEO was moaning about piracy killing the movie business. Really, what holds back online entertainment business models was mainly legacy entertainment companies making it impossible for them to survive. But the copyright maximalists were pleased about how things were going in the UK, with Peter Mandelson proposing sweeping powers in the much-anticipated Digital Economy Bill aka copyright industry wish-list.Fifteen Years AgoThis week in 2004, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy emerged as an early example of a musician who understood the internet, and we took a bigger look at why user generated content should change how we view copyright. The MPAA officially moved ahead with its plan to follow in the RIAA's footsteps by suing a bunch of John Doe file-sharers, and Hollywood was just getting started on the anti-DVR war that would continue for years by trying to have commercial skipping deemed illegal (and of all people, it was John McCain who recognized just how ridiculous this was). Meanwhile, Steve Ballmer made some FUD waves with his claim that anyone who uses Linux will be sued for patent infringement — which was quickly rebuffed by the author of the study he said the idea was based on.

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