By Leigh Beadon
Five Years Ago
This week in 2015, legislators were working to take money from the DEA to buy bodycams for cops and calling for mandatory data collection on police shootings, while we took a look at the way (even with cameras) cops and the media cooperate to disparage victims of police violence and paint every kill as a “good” kill, and how law enforcement stretches the definition of “reasonable suspicion” to cover just about everything and make the 4th Amendment useless in lots of cases. Meanwhile, there were efforts to shut down bulk phone record collection during the transition to the new USA Freedom Act, but the DOJ had different ideas and the House Intelligence Committee was working to block the Privacy & Civil Liberties Board from doing its job. Canada, in the mean time, passed its own “anti-terror” bill to take away civil liberties.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2010, we saw a terrible court ruling that said forwarding a link can be considered defamation, while the UK was considering a new libel law that was a mixed bag at best, and Andrew Cuomo kicked off his recently-announced campaign for Governor of New York by threatening to sue a social network for its users’ actions. Meanwhile, many targets of the US Copyright Group’s shakedown scheme were claiming their innocence while another law firm that tried to get in on the racket was suing WordPress over critical blogs. We debunked the ludicrous idea that pirated handheld games have cost the economy $41.6-billion, and the idea that the RIAA is a success, and also pointed out how Hollywood’s constant copyright lawsuits were at odds with its celebration of rampant copyright infringement in the show Glee — nearly as hilariously ironic as the New York Times getting confused about its own RSS feed and ordering takedown of an iPad RSS reader.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2005, we saw an early case of an artist being shut down for offering torrents of their own content, while the UK’s new Creative Minister was fighting to expand copyright to stop Elvis Presley songs from hitting the public domain, Sweden’s private recording industry police got a wrist-slap for breaking the rules, and the press was patting itself on the back for parroting the recording industry’s misleading statements and studies. And always-on-the-ball Sony was repeating its mistakes with the Aibo robotic dog when it came to the PSP, by doing everything possible to block hackers and modders from making the device more useful.