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This Week In Techdirt History: January 2nd - 8th

Furnished content.

Five Years AgoThis week in 2017, we were still two years away from any new works actually entering the public domain in the US (be sure to check out our public domain game jam now that this situation has changed!) so we took our usual look at the works that should have. Meanwhile, the Trump presidency was looming and we discussed how he demonstrated that much of the political system is based on traditions and custom, not rules. Malcolm Gladwell published a ridiculous attack on Edward Snowden for not being a "real" whistleblower, even as oversight of the Defense Department found more evidence of retaliation against those who use the "proper channels". And while we looked at the worrying comments from a potential incoming FCC boss, we also watched as AT&T was quick to start backing off of the promises it made to get its merger with Time Warner approved.Ten Years AgoThis week in 2012, some bad reporting led many to falsely believe that EA, Sony, and Nintendo had withdrawn support for SOPA (they had not, and EA was quick to insist it had no position either way). And indeed this was a big week for SOPA in the video game industry: some companies were speaking out against the ESA's presumed support, which soon became official, explicit support, which in turn led Capcom to get on board then quickly try to tapdance out of its position following the backlash. At the same time, the PC Gaming Alliance insisted it was "cautiously optimistic" about the bill. Meanwhile, we took a look at how SOPA would be a disaster for scientific publishing (and for everyone) while MPAA boss Chris Dodd was insisting that copyright has never created any free speech issues and Rep. Lamar Smith was sticking to a strategy of lying about the bill and dismissing opposition.Fifteen Years AgoThis week in 2007, ten years before AT&T's failure to live up to its Time Warner merger promises, it was making an earlier set of promises about its merger with BellSouth — bbut the FCC was effectively admitting that they were meaningless and non-binding, and the company was touting its bundle-heavy plans for post-merger "innovation". Many companies were still trying to hop on the social media bandwagon and emulate MySpace, with Disney's attempt looking far too limited and, uh, Toyota's attempt looking just plain silly. We looked at an example of copyright being used to stifle free speech (that thing that, five years later during the SOPA fight, Chris Dodd would insist had never happened). And we watched the first day of Congress for the year, which turned out to be a mixed bag when it came to internet issues.

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posted at: 12:00am on 09-Jan-2022
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