It’s the Wild West out here on the Internet. While individual social media companies face lawsuits over copyrights, privacy and antitrust violations, Washington debates bills like SOPA and PIPA to help redefine the law for the Digital Age. This infographic from the Socially Aware blog examines the key moments that led us to what can only be described as a hot, electrically-charged mess.
The timeline begins appropriately in 1984 with Sony v. Universal Studios, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the VCR manufacturer was not liable for consumers using the Betamax video recorder to gleefully infringe Universal’s copyrights so long as the device could be used for other things. Notice that in 1998, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act similarly protected sites relying on user-generated content.
More than a decade later, the Internet is still a place where information flows freely and openly to users in most parts of the world. Let’s keep it that way by remembering its history and staying informed:
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