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RIAA Plans Cyberwar Effort 669

Richie Z writes "This article at the New York Times talks about new anti-piracy efforts from the music industry, some of questionable legality. One idea simply redirects users to a website with legal downloads. But two other programs freeze the user's system or delete music files determined to be illegal. Another proposed idea is basically a DoS attack against downloaders. I guess the RIAA believes the law only applies to their enemies." They had a solution to illegality planned.
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RIAA Plans Cyberwar Effort

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  • but (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Clockwork Troll ( 655321 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:22PM (#5870573) Journal
    I thought Christina Aguilera's latest offering was the first volley in the RIAA cyberwar.
  • questionable? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feed_me_cereal ( 452042 ) * on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:22PM (#5870577)
    most of those are clearly illegal!
    • Re:questionable? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GimmeFuel ( 589906 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:34PM (#5870655) Homepage
      Illegal for us, the peons? Yes.

      Illegal for them, the multibillion dollar international corporation? No.

      See the "They had a solution to illegality [slashdot.org] planned." link. The courts already look the other way for them all the time. This bill was just them deciding "We can spend $X bribing a bunch of judges, or we can invest in the long-term solution of spending $Y to get a law that makes it legal for us to do all this."

      • Use the law, Luke (Score:5, Interesting)

        by alexo ( 9335 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @07:09PM (#5871478) Journal
        1. Set up a honeypot.
        2. Make sure the content looks "illegal" but, in fact, is not
        (i.e., MP3 files named for popular songs but containing only commentary on them).
        3. Get hit.
        4. Sue for damages.
        5. Profit!

        OK, joking aside, in most countries, even accessing a computer without authorization is illegal.

        The Canadian criminal code forbids it [justice.gc.ca] (look here [justice.gc.ca] for a longer version).
        TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 47, Sec. 1030 [cornell.edu] of the US code also looks applicable (but IANAL so if somebody who IAL reads this, please comment).

        So, with the law on your side, you can also sue them in a small claims court [google.com]. That way, they cannot use their financial advantage to subvert justice.
      • Re:questionable? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Alsee ( 515537 )
        They had a solution to illegality [slashdot.org] planned.

        The good old "right-to-hack" law. I really love their comment about it: "There was such an immediate attack that you couldn't get a rational dialogue going,"

        Yeah, and I indroduced a law that would make it legal to mug RIAA executives and employees for cash restitution if you had a "reasonable belief" that you had been illegally price gouged on previous CD purchases. But the RIAA assholes mounted was such an immediate attack that we couldn't get a
    • Not so (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's clearly illegal to shoot someone on the street.

      It's of questionable legality to shoot someone who's come into your house in the middle of the night.

      Copyright infringement is a crime against someone--a tort. If you can shoot someone who's trying to kill you, beat up someone who attacks you, or respond in kind to someone who's maligning you, why not use a quirk of software to stop someone who's using a quirk of software to "steal" from you?
      • Re:Not so (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:35PM (#5871026) Homepage Journal
        This isn't the equivalent of shooting someone who's breaking into your house. This is more like:
        • Getting your house broken into, then,
        • Breaking into the house of someone else who you think might have been the guy who broke into your house, then,
        • Looking around the place, then,
        • Deciding that some of the stuff in his house looks something like stuff that was taken from yours, and then,
        • Setting the house on fire in retaliation.
        The legality of that sequence of events is not "questionable" at all ...
      • Re:Not so (Score:5, Informative)

        by dogfart ( 601976 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @07:00PM (#5871437) Homepage Journal
        NO! A tort is NOT a crime! A tort is an action for which a court may mandate that the compensate another party, e.g., your lack of property maintenance causes damage to my property in a storm, you have to compensate me.

        You cannot be jailed for a tort. Being sued != being arrested. Being sucessfully sued != criminal conviction.

    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @06:18PM (#5871229) Journal
      Those of us making P2P software are having a great time making it ever more difficult for RIAA/MPAA folks to try to attack the system. We don't have to violate laws to produce systems that are private and resistant to attack, but our corporate adversaries do.

      The problem the RIAA/MPAA folks have is not P2P developers. The problem is that current copyright law is simply not recognized by most P2P users. Users looked at the law and found the things being done with it unacceptable, much like Prohibition. As long as this is the case, music and movies *will* be pirated. The ease of data copying and distribution has monotonically increased for many years now. The only way to stop this is to:

      (a) Provide the users with a significantly better product that is not trivially copyable and improves value a good deal. This would probably take the form of services from the company selling the track.

      (b) Reduce pricing and/or restrictions on music. No one wants to run out and pirate music if they can download, quickly and reliably, and for 20 cents a track, whatever tracks they want. Why *bother* burning CDs or copying files from friends, when for 20 bucks you can have 100 tracks of your choice, available from a vast library with a good interface (cross-linking similar tracks, etc)? (Even better, provide said music at 48 kHz to make burning more annoying.) Sure, you could root around someone's FTP server to try to save a tiny bit of money...but is it worth the time and effort?

      Until then, piracy of music and movies is not stoppable. I will grant that the **AA really doesn't care about *stoppping* piracy; the crucial thing is driving it underground enough to not be a threat. However, I don't think that it can be pushed underground to the extent the **AA requires. The next wave of P2P work is focusing on resiliance to attack (and to a lesser extent, privacy). The elderly (in P2P terms) Freenet is still undefeated -- even child porn is freely and openly available on it, and child porn garners a lot more support for crackdowns than do MP3s. P2P over the next few years will be a hellova tough nut to crack. Still, cheers to my RIAA/MPAA counterparts at Overpeer -- it'll be a good game, no matter what else.
      • by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:33AM (#5872973) Homepage Journal
        Exactly -- why the hell bother chasing a file from hell to breakfast if I can buy it cheaply and reliably??

        Here's what I want:

        Free samples: 64kbit mono is good enough. (But not clips .. clips are just annoying, and have yet to ever get me to buy anything.) That way I won't be afraid to try stuff I've never heard of -- because even at a few cents apiece, trying out unknowns, too many of whom will suck, adds up. But plenty will be desirable enough that I'll want to replace them with something better:

        10 cent cheapies: 128kbit. Good enough for everyday, and cheap enough to keep me coming back even for stuff that's only a temporary thrill. (If the Apple experiment's sales volume at the 99 cent level is any indication, they could sell BILLIONS at a dime apiece.)

        25 cent upgrade: 320kbit. For when I want a GOOD quality MP3, such as for my fave stuff.

        $1 CD quality WAVs (no compression or data loss). For stuff I think is so wonderful that I want it in its fullest glory.

        Put all those back catalogs online -- after all, we can't buy that stuff now even if we want to, so why not be selling it instead of just sitting on it? And for subscribers, let us buy physical albums at a nice discount. Maybe even increment discounts depending on your file consumption for the month.

        And all absolutely unencumbered. I don't care if they watermark each file -- in fact, it should be ID-tagged to make it easy to find more files/CDs from the same artist or distributor -- but I want to be able to do as I damn please with it on my own equipment.

        We all know that what the RIAA really fears is loss of control; if every artist can use P2P or FTP as a distribution channel and still get paid for his work, there goes any need for the RIAA cartel. But if the RIAA had any sense, they'd hop on the bandwagon -- after all, they have the back catalogs to make themselves the biggest file distributors around, if they could only see how much money they could be making that way!!

  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis.gmail@com> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:23PM (#5870581) Homepage
    The RIAA would like nothing more than to bring kids to court, sue them for 98$ Billion dollars and find the next kid.

    But when they start losing, all this "legal" mumbo-jumbo gets tossed out the window and they fight back dirty.

    Hmm, are these the people you really want to pay so you can hear teeny pop stamped music?

  • by Soluxx ( 545237 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:23PM (#5870584)
    It's going to suck for them when they start DoS'ing military bases and navy ships because of troops downloading mp3's. Might be the same with Universities, but they can't launch cruise missiles. :)
  • Virus Scanners (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yeoua ( 86835 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:24PM (#5870585)
    So will virus scanners detect these or will they be paid off as well?

    If not... there really isn't much use in them if they can be paid off to not detect such things (so the gov can do the same and bill gates can do the same etc...).
    • Re:Virus Scanners (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <stnapyffuprm>> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:55PM (#5870790)
      I'd say that the virusscan companies (Symantec, McAffee, etc.) have a vested interest in being impartial; i.e. if one company can pay them off then that means that there is at least one way to circumvent their software through the front door.

      If they refuse to detect the RIAA CompuKiller(TM) then within a week there will be compariable free or paid software to do the same thing. They would lose credibility for caving in to the "legal" virus makers and not ship as many units, compounded with having to compete with free software to kill the RIAA/MPAA worms.
      • by twitter ( 104583 )
        No amount of 3rd party software will make Windoze secure. I don't know if they have managed to make it so program execution can't hide from the system yet, but their EULAs are clear about M$ granting themselves permission to inspect your system and delete files they feel infringe on copyright. M$ will obviously sell this right to the highest bidder if they are not forced, ala Verizon, to do the inspections and deletions at their own expense. Virus scan and firewall software for Windoze is good money spe
  • by OrbNobz ( 2505 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:25PM (#5870592) Homepage
    I hope they don't mind a few counterattacks!
    Opening up this type of warfare could get nasty.
    I will relish the challenge.

    - OrbNobz
    I swear! It's like they're waging a anti-piracy jihad!
  • by Neologic ( 48268 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:26PM (#5870598)
    Hmmm, the RIAA up against real hackers... Personally, I think this war will be much more entertaining than the Iraq war. I think we should encourage the RIAA to do this, it just might be the I-beam to break the back of public opinion.
    • I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FallLine ( 12211 ) <fallline@oper[ ]il.com ['ama' in gap]> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:14PM (#5870915)
      I think you underestimate RIAA and the differences in the "jobs" that each must do. All RIAA needs to do is make it sufficiently hard for the casual downloader to get their files. If RIAA can do things like: corrupt 1/2 the downloads, shut down the fastest of the filesharers (keeping in mind that only 1/10 actually shares--fewer still have the bandwidth to do it effectively), flood the networks with searches so they're ineffective, and so on--they can make it much more time consuming to find and download good files. Although RIAA themselves may lack the technical know-how, they can sure as hell hire it. It's a mistake to assume that just because RIAA is reluctant to, say, allow DRM-free files of their IP, that they're technically incompetent. When the technology itself is not a potential threat to their IP I suspect you'll find them to be much more nimble (or at least their agents will be).

      Please note that there's a lot that they can do short of breaking the law or ethnical guidelines. Many of these suggested technologies will probably never be deployed, but that still leaves quite a few interesting avenues open to RIAA. Furtermore, the mere threat of such viruses or trojan horses being on the network can serve as a detterant for a good number of people.

      The hackers, on the other hand, .... what are they going to do? Hack RIAA.org again? WHo cares! Put up more files? What more does RIAA have to lose. Try to make better P2P networks? They probably will, but the delicious irony is that the hackers/developers are now in a much tougher position because of the decentralization of P2P. How do you penalize a client that methodically sets out to corrupt swarmed downloads (each additional download source increases the risk of corruption--since it only takes a few bytes to throw the whole thing off) of RIAA's music? You really can't in a way that can't be tampered with in the other direction--that would create more problems for downloaders. What's more, if you do attempt to defend the piracy of stuff that is explicitly RIAA's IP, you really lack a defensible case. Even if they do find ways to adapt, the constant upgrading of software, switching of networks, and so on will in and of itself be a large barrier to entry for most piraters.
      • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

        by theLOUDroom ( 556455 )
        Try to make better P2P networks? They probably will, but the delicious irony is that the hackers/developers are now in a much tougher position because of the decentralization of P2P. How do you penalize a client that methodically sets out to corrupt swarmed downloads (each additional download source increases the risk of corruption--since it only takes a few bytes to throw the whole thing off) of RIAA's music?

        Easily. Use SHA1 sums for all files. The gnutella client I use [sourceforge.net] already deals with this. (At le
    • by villoks ( 27306 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @06:04PM (#5871144) Homepage Journal

      Not so surprisingly the other side is already monitoring the RIAA activities and in this case some of results are already in public. For example, Peer-Guardian [methlab.tech.nu] tries to protect the P2P-clients from the hostile IP-addresses. There's a quite nice article [securityfocus.com]about the topic in Security Focus. [securityfocus.com]

  • Bait the trap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Choco-man ( 256940 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:27PM (#5870603)
    Load up a few of your computers which are located at different locations with as much of your legally owned music as possible. Open a hotline server so you can transfer those files from your machine a to your machine b. Make no effort to hide your server, but clearly indicate it is yours. When they wipe your machine, sue for damages.
  • by thadeusPawlickiROX ( 656505 ) * on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:28PM (#5870610)
    Now, I understand the stance that the music industry wants to "frustrate pirates" and get them to stop downloading music. But are they serious with some of these methods? Some of them are blatently illegal:

    A more malicious program, dubbed "freeze," locks up a computer system for a certain duration -- minutes or possibly even hours -- risking the loss of data that was unsaved if the computer is restarted. It also displays a warning about downloading pirated music. Another program under development, called "silence," scans a computer's hard drive for pirated music files and attempts to delete them. One of the executives briefed on the silence program said that it did not work properly and was being reworked because it was deleting legitimate music files, too.

    So now they are above the law, and can cause a computer to become unstable and crash? Or they can scan your hard drive and delete files at will. I mean, there is a problem with their "silence" program in which it deletes legit music. What's to say it doesn't have the power to delete _any_ files it wants? So now the music industry can have free reign to scan hard drives and delete file they find inappropriate? With that idea in mind, would I be allowed to hack a computer and scan the hard drives, deleting any files I don't like? I think not.

    But it's all in the name of stopping pirates, right? It's scary to see such tactics even being considered, and the thoughts of these being used is even worse. Just more steps for Big Brother to have full control. Give them the right to tamper with hard drives, it'll keep snowballing from there...

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:43PM (#5870705) Homepage Journal
      One of the executives briefed on the silence program said that it did not work properly and was being reworked because it was deleting legitimate music files, too.

      Looks like we don't need to worry for some time, then. They'll be ice covering hell before the RIAA's team find a better way to code their silence program than recursive_delete("*.mp3");
    • by cecil36 ( 104730 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:47PM (#5870735) Homepage
      I agree. If they start deleting files, we could respond with finding ways to track the IP or MAC address of the host which originally sent the request and launch our own program which would remotely delete the system files required by the computer to remotely delete our files.

      Another idea if you have a high-end firewall would be to find out where the hosts launching the attacks are located, and place deny entries into the ACL on the firewall, blocking access to all ports from that host or network. Let's hope they do not resort to address spoofing or using multiple network addresses.
    • by fredrikj ( 629833 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:48PM (#5870738) Homepage
      So now they are above the law, and can cause a computer to become unstable and crash

      Does that mean we can sue Microsoft?
    • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:56PM (#5870800) Homepage Journal
      "But it's all in the name of stopping pirates, right? It's scary to see such tactics even being considered, and the thoughts of these being used is even worse."

      I wonder if they'd consider making my super-hero status legal. I'm sick of bringing bad guys in just so they can be out on the street again trying to build laser cannons on the moon.
    • by Jetifi ( 188285 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:02PM (#5870834) Homepage

      If they want to delete pirated MP3s, they'll have to tell them apart from MP3s ripped from CDs you own.

      That's impossible, but of course I'm sure the RIAA will err on the side of caution, to ensure you're a law-abiding citizen.

      A program that continually pops up with ''Do you own the CD for <artist>-<album>-<track number>-<track name>?'' over and over again for every single MP3 on my two HDs isn't just malicious, it's a freakin' pain in the ass.

      OTOH, anyone who lets themselves get rooted by the RIAA, an organization that can't even keep a website up for more than ten minutes, or do basic things like run Windows Update, will probably loose more self-esteem than data.

      • FWIW:

        % find /data1/mp3 -name '*mp3' | wc -l

        Out of those 2586 MP3s, I ripped them all from my personal CD except for Laundry Service as I got the crippled version without realising it. Unfortunately, this was bought in a supermarket 500 miles from my home, so returning it wasn't easy, particularly as I broke my ankle between purchase and realising it was crippled and I had other things on my mind...

        Turns out that the enhanced CD is rippable, so I ripped my flatmate's version.

        The point of this?

    • by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:08PM (#5870881) Homepage Journal
      I have my doubts that they could even get these attacks to work on my computer. 1.) It's Linux, 2.) I'm paranoid about my security, and 3.) I'm a programmer and will just write a detection script to locate and remove these trojans. If I can defend against this bullshit than I'm sure other geeks will do the same. All the RIAA seems to be doing is creating a market for secure P2P software and quite possibly giving Linux a good chance for a killer app.

      Now the DoS attack might be effective but that game goes both ways. If they start attacking individuals how long will it be until P2P clients come with the ability to detect DoS's and trigger the whole P2P network to do a DDos on the source of those attacks? They'd be hard pressed to handle such a DDoS with legal threats if they did it first and I can just imagine the negative public relations off an Internet war that'd no doubt disrupt large portions of the Net at once.

      Why don't these morons figure out that the only way to beat P2P is to offer cheaper cd prices and affordable (non DRM) downloads of songs themselves. Legal or technical attacks aren't going to be very functional and have dangerous tailspins off their customer base.
  • RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karl_Hungus ( 180893 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:29PM (#5870619)
    I have a hard time believing someone out there won't retaliate in kind. I remember when it was predicted that the Internet would be Co$'s Vietnam. I think there's a better case to be made that it could turn out to be RIAA's Vietnam instead; many more people have an interest in music and have spent far too much on CDs than have ever forked over even a cent to L. Ron's merry band of psychopaths. I hope they don't know what they're getting into.

    • Re:RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:49PM (#5870745)
      They will REALLY be in for shit if they try this. It won't just be home users who get hit -- corporate machines and networks will too.

      Even in the best case for the RIAA, imagine somone in my firm is downloading mp3s at work. The RIAA robot sends them something that damages their machine, causing loss of productivity, loss of valuable business data, and consumption of IT resources. Unless the RIAA wins some additinal legal immunity, their damage of my corporate property will not be legal and OmniMegaCorp will have the incentive and resources to create major legal trouble if it happens very often.

      Now imagine that the employee wasn't actually downloading copyrighted music and gets hit by mistake for whatever reason.

      Or, that the RIAA hack attack takes down an important corporate server.

      Or, that the RIAAs DoS attack does stop my employee's downloading, but also my whole firm's net connection -- say I'm a brokerage that gets cut off from the market for hours. I do some IT work for Wall St. firms, and I can only imagine the reaction if I had to explain that our day's trades got screwed up because of an RIAA attack, even if some receptionist was guilty of downloading the latest Madonna song. The partners would be quite happy to join the inevitable class action lawsuit the next day.

      I can't imagine they'll get immunity from damages even when their attack is an outright error -- and mistakes WILL happen, whether in targeting the wrong people or causing more damage than intended.

      I'm sure it'll make corporate america tighten up their "no downloading" policies, but when it comes to actually causing damage to business operations, firms will view it is just another hack/virus attack -- except this time coming from someone with a well known mailing address for the subponeas and criminal complaints.
  • DDoS attacks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by evil byte ( 666597 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:30PM (#5870625)

    DALnet is dead, DDoS attacks, and supposedly no one knows who was doing it, strange coincidence that the RIAA is "planning" anti-priracy acts. It isn't to much of a leap to say that they are already doing them.

    Bit torrent is gaining popularity and is difficult to directly attack, but relies on various websites to distribute .torrent files for the program to work, so what happens? These web-sites are attacked.

    The "war" has already begun...

  • Please? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by technomancerX ( 86975 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:30PM (#5870630) Homepage
    Oh please let them take these measures. Every one of them violates federal law and would allow the RIAA to be branded as criminals (if not terrorists, considering the way the hacking laws in the US have gone recently).
    • Re:Please? (Score:3, Insightful)

      You are absolutely right. It would be wonderful for them to go along with their plans, and debunk any support they may have by doing illegal acts.

      Unfortunately, the RIAA has too much politcal sway. As it is, they've been scanning hard drives for music files, etc., yet I am not aware of any legal actions against them for this (I may be wrong). As much as I'd love to see them get sued... it won't happen. They'll have enough support (read: bought enough support) to get away with any actions. As it is ri

  • by anythink ( 670702 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:30PM (#5870631)
    one day, you'll be walking down the street with a song stuck in your head, and hillary rosen (spitspitspit) will pop out of a car and demand a royalty for the music you're remembering. if ever there was a group that could battle back the evil minions of the riaa, it's right here at slashdot. bring the noise
  • by powerlinekid ( 442532 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:32PM (#5870642)
    ... talks about new anti-piracy efforts from the music industry, some of questionable legality.

    Come on, what else do you expect from these people? They have stated that they think its alright to break into computers that contain Mp3s (fair use be damned).
    They have sued college students for $90 billion and settled for $17 thousand which is still way too much.
    They count 50 cd burners at faster speeds to be 420 burners for statistic purposes.
    They have been proven guilty of illegal cd price fixing and screwing the consumer.

    All in all, anything they do doesn't really surprise me anymore. I think the only actual thing that would shock me would be something like:

    "The New York Times is reporting that the RIAA is giving away $5000 worth of free cds to every person in this country who ever purchased a cd. They also are responsible for puppies, ice cream and rainbows."
    • They have sued college students for $90 billion and settled for $17 thousand which is still way too much.

      Based on what? If the college students held up a bank, hacked the RIAA servers, or stole from a local artist, they'd still be liable for damages.

      They count 50 cd burners at faster speeds to be 420 burners for statistic purposes.

      Ever been sued / looked at the inital claim in a lawsuit? Any plausible method of counting or claiming gets used to be in the claimant's best interest.

      My wife had an auto
  • Moral standard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrseigen ( 518390 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:34PM (#5870650) Homepage Journal
    I hope whatever moronic coders are busily trying to pull out script-kiddie tools for the RIAA to use on random people think that this is a morally acceptable way to make money. I also hope that the greater population finds out about this kind of thing, and especially the name of the coders responsible so they can have visits paid.
  • PR skills (Score:5, Funny)

    by vivek7006 ( 585218 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:34PM (#5870651) Homepage
    he was also quick to add that "at the end of the day, my clients are trying to develop relationships with these people."

    Way to go RIAA .....
  • Just wondering... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:34PM (#5870652)
    Whenever I buy a new CD, I immediatelly rip all its songs into mp3 files, so that I can mix them into the music I listen to on a constant loop. By ow, I have over 5GB of such mp3 files. If the RIAA really releases that "silencer" how will it determine whether my files are legal or not?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:36PM (#5870665)
    I for one will be posting many, many righteously indignant posts on Slashdot. What will you be doing?
    • 1. Buying music from the artist.

      2. Not buying the latest top 40 crap.

      3. Fully and completely exercise my existing fair use rights. This means trading tracks with friends and borrowing music to sample. All done either with physical media, or via SSH. --Fuck 'em.

      4. Letting everyone I know why I do what I do.

      5. Turn off the FM. Too damn bad really, I like what radio used to be.

      6. Share as much Indie music as I can.

      7. Let the local music store know my choices and why. Do that again every couple
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:44PM (#5870710) Homepage Journal
    As opposed to enticing people to buy stuff with lower prices and better products?

    I mean seriously, the RIAA created this problem for themselves. Music's expensive. You can't try it out, once the CD's opened you own it. And you can't buy what you want. You can only buy their expensive albums.

    I'm not surprised that the customers have leveled the playing field by creating the services the RIAA should have provided. Too bad they choose to fight instead of listen to the people that hand them their money in good faith.
  • Music CD with EULAs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattso ( 578394 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:45PM (#5870718)
    It's not uncommon these days for music CD's to have extra PC content. Installers, screensavers, etc. Usually it's just a few music videos, but I've bought CD's that actually had full installers with EULAs. I think it wouldn't be unexpected if they were to add text to the EULA that they can scan for copies of MP3's and delete them/report them/etc, then install the necessary "virus" software to do it. Or at least these "outside tech" companies would like us to believe that, since let's face it there aren't many legal resources they can do softwarewise. So they need to hype these "illegal" things to stay in business

    I think turning off autorunning on CD's should be considered necessary for basic system security. It would be too easy for a music CD to run a fast installer and bang you have a anti-pirate virus installed. Even if they don't "delete files", they could (if you didn't have an outbound firewall) scan for music and send lists to the RIAA. Report on installed P2P software. Send any and all usage logs from that software, etc.

    Sure they will hold off till they can get laws on their side, but right now I'm not sure congress really is looking after consumers all that much. This "right to hack" nonsense has come up too many times recently.

  • by Enthrash ( 545820 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:46PM (#5870720)
    So let me get this straight. I write some stupid song which you inherently hold the copyright via federal & international laws, and now, according to the RIAA I can now make software for all intents and purposes is a virus?

    The RIAA is either being advised by those that excel at incompetence, or they simply have the collective intelligence of a drunken band of chimps.

    By this methodology anyone who rights a poem (or anything which can be copyrighted) can create malicious code which makes a "reasonable" effort to only go after those files which it thinks have some relation to the copyrighted files in question.

    I'm no lawyer, but I i have a hunch that this won't survive it's first court challenge. This whole notion of what is and isn't "reasonable" opens up far too many loopholes, and no court in the world would rule in their favor should somebody sue them.

    From my experience, it would seem that although governments can pass any law they wish, it's only REALLY valid until it survives it's first few court challenges.

  • by ThresholdRPG ( 310239 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:49PM (#5870750) Homepage Journal
    I seriously hope the RIAA does try to go the cyberwar route.

    They will get absolutely and utterly bent over and destroyed if they open that Pandora's Box.

    Please RIAA... I am begging you... Start a "cyberwar."
    • I quite agree. I have never participated in a malicious system entry except on my own home network to test my own security, nor have I any illegal MP3s on my disks. I have no modern filesharing utilities such as kazaa and such, but do have a server with NFS and Samba running behind my firewall. But if the RIAA chooses to break into my computer and delete anything there, I will of course be forced to retaliate. The EFF will surely assist me in doing so. (yes, in court)
    • by drix ( 4602 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @08:16PM (#5871799) Homepage
      Umm, hate to break it to you, but RIAA is primarily a meatspace organization consisting of lawyers who sue people. You and all your cybergladiator rockstar hax0r friends, feel free to rake riaa.org [riaa.org] and their scant other online assets over the coals. Get real... "pandora," on them. Just don't forget that at the end of the day, you are a lowly computer scientist munching on your microwave burrito and making idle threats on Slashdot, while they a small army of lawyers backed by the full faith and credit of five, billion dollar multinationals. This battle will be played out in the legal arena, and status quo being what it is, it's theirs to lose.
  • by Cerlyn ( 202990 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:51PM (#5870759)

    One time when I logged onto my PPPoE DSL provider about a week or two ago, I saw my DSL modem's activity light blink reguarly. At the same time, my firewall started dropping 2-3 packets per second coming from at least a dozen spread out IP addresses, all directed to the same TCP port number on the IP address I currently was given.

    Being adventerous, I told netcat to listen to the TCP port in question. It turns out that the clients wanted to send me HTTP-ish Gnutella requests. A variety of clients were used/spoofed (Limewire/Gnutella/etc.). All wanted some random combination of the words "Gay Sex P0rn" and similar.

    I tried to get the systems to stop sending me packets by telling my firewall to actively reject any packets sent to the TCP port in question. That did not stop them. I tried spoofing various HTTP-style errors; that also did not work.

    I tried to get my ISP to reassign me to an new IP address (by disconnecting my PPPoE client and reconnecting a few minutes later), but it did not work at the time. Giving up, I left my firewall up on my DSL connection on to see if these packets would ever stop.

    But they did not.

    By the time I shut down this experiment, I had logged over 30,000 connection requests to the TCP port in quesiton in 20 hours. Total data sent in connect requests by the attacker: about 2 MB.

    Its a shame I didn't keep the logs for that date. It was amusing at the time.

    (Obvious disclaimer: I do not have Gnutella nor any peer2peer shared files on my machines.)

  • good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by f0rtytw0 ( 446153 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:51PM (#5870764) Journal
    Tactics like this is the reason why its been almost a year since I've bought a cd. Currently I have no plans on buying any new cd's and the way things are going I don't picture myself buying a cd in the foreseable future. You'd be surprised at how easy it is just not buy a new cd. I guess it also helps that there is nothing coming out anytime soon that I'd want to buy anyway.
  • I buy the music. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Openadvocate ( 573093 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:54PM (#5870782)
    I buy the music that I listen to but I am getting more and more tired of "the music industry", their attitude and methods. It is becoming something I don't want to support and are left with the feeling that maybe I should just drop my interest in music. It's not like I couldn't live without buying CD's, why bother.
    All I want is to buy a CD, rip it and place it on my server so that I can play them on my Audiotron. Then comes the copy protection and our(local) laws that it is illegal to bypass their copy protection. It's not worth the trouble.

    And it all comes down to what have been discussed here many times. The way people use music. Now we have a generation of people who have learned that the computer can be used for just about everything, even getting the music they like. But instead of trying to make money on this "new" marked like everybody else they first acted like it didn't exist and when it became clear that the people wants it, they try to fight it and the result is that everybody now has learned that music is something that you download for free.

    Got me thinking of this quote from Homerpalooza:
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.
  • make a "hot target"

    load it up with madonna, justin timberlake, christina aguilera, etc.

    get on all the networks: kazaa, gnutella, etc.

    snort the traffic, profile the attacks, trace the source

    serve, volley: game engaged

    bring it on assholes, if it's cyberwar you want, then it is cyberwar you will get

    you have no idea how much antisocial time tech-savvy college kids have on their hands

    enjoy the rotten fruits of your misstep into the big kids arena ;-)
  • by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @04:56PM (#5870799)
    What kind of geek in his right mind would actually take a job like this? Seriously, who in good conscience would take a job where you are supposed to crack computers so Hilary Rosen can have her way?

    If the RIAA is allowed to follow through on this, I wish nothing but the worst of geek hell to whoever does their bidding. Yes, I mean the worst: having the maintain someone else's Perl code.
    • One who wants to make a lot of money - they can use your arguement of "unwillingness/concious" as a bargaining chip. Encrytion/security/privacy companies are THRIVING in Silicon Valley right now. It's quite ironic though. The same companies that are pushing these "types" of software to the RIAA are also the same companies producing virus/spam filtering/security software industry wide.
  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speterNO@SPAMtedata.net.eg> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:00PM (#5870823) Journal
    But two other programs freeze the user's system or delete music files determined to be illegal.

    I have the source code for their trojan! Here it is:

    while(illegalMusic = findNextMP3())
    legalTarget = true;
    while(illegalMusic = findNextOGG())
    illegalMusic = "MadonnaHatesMP3s.mp3";
    if(illegalMusicCount >= 1)
    legalTarget = true;
    for( float lawsuitRevenue = 0; illegalMusicCount == 0 ; illegalMusicCount--)
    lawsuitRevenue = lawsuitRevenue ^ 1000;
    prinf("You will be sued by the RIAA for %d. Have a nice day", lawsuitRevenue);
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:02PM (#5870839)
    Some of these attacks the RIAA is planning are clearly illegal. I'm not a lawyer, but isn't the RIAA engaged in the conspiracy to commit a felony?

    Someone should look up the laws. I'm pretty sure that if I were planning the same massive criminal action, the conspiracy itself would be illegal. Isn't it time someone arrested the leaders of the RIAA?

  • by Strudelkugel ( 594414 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:02PM (#5870841)

    The RIAA never ceases to amaze with their stupid antics. Within a couple of days of the successful iTunes deployment, they leak this bit of lunacy. I can not think of another industry doing so much to alienate its customers, all the more amazing given that a CD is a totally discretionary purchase. How long before they cross the line and get hit with a general boycott?

    The idea of launching destructive software is really mind-boggling. IANAL, but it sure seems to me that they could get hit with some massive liability lawsuits if one their destroy bots is a bit more successful than intended. Gotta admit though, it would be sweet irony to see these idiots sued out of existence.

    What about Sony? While the record division is trying to impede piracy, the hardware people are abetting it by producing CD-R drives, among other things. What happens if a legit use of a Sony hardware product is impacted by a Sony Music destroy bot?

    Maybe something else is going on. Perhaps the real panic in the industry is caused by the notion that a smart artist could put their files on p2p to get exposure w/o signing a record deal. If technology can improve the bargaining position of the artist before signing a deal (of their choice), the extreme reactions of the industry are a bit more understandable. NOT agreeable, however, and as stupid as one can imagine, but understandable if one takes the perspective of those who have been feeding at the music cartel trough for so long.

    Dang, I was looking forward to getting an iTunes account, but now I'm conflicted. I'd like to support Apple and the artists, but I hate the idea of any money going to the RIAA overlords who should have been supporting iTunes-like products a long time ago. The pirate networks aren't really free, they just take a lot less time than going to CD store, have better selection in many cases, and allow one to sample. A good pay service with reliable connections, selection and organization, let alone the absence of all the spyware would be much preferable to the "freeware." That's why I think there is something else on the RIAA's mind - Not loss of the customer, but rather loss of the artist...

    • The RIAA never ceases to amaze with their stupid antics. Within a couple of days of the successful iTunes deployment, they leak this bit of lunacy. I can not think of another industry doing so much to alienate its customers, all the more amazing given that a CD is a totally discretionary purchase. How long before they cross the line and get hit with a general boycott?

      I'm waiting to see the headlines when someone purchases a few albums on iTunes and subsequently gets wiped out by one of the RIAA's anti-p
  • by grishnav ( 522003 ) <grishnav@nOSpAM.egosurf.net> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:15PM (#5870926) Homepage
    Windows: Go to start->run If on Windows 9x, type "command" If on Win2k/XP, type "cmd" Enter command: ping -t -w 0 -l 20000 riaa.org Linux: Get root console, ping -fs 20000 riaa.org
    • Re:Fun with ping! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by evilviper ( 135110 )

      PING riaa.org ( 56 data bytes
      --- riaa.org ping statistics ---
      10 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

      Looks like someone beat me to it...
  • by DataShark ( 25965 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:46PM (#5871067) Homepage
    Even if we assume that RIAA is trying to protect a legitimate *stream* of business, what isn't all that clear, this is going way too far ...

    first, even Machiavelli would recognise that by no way a legitimate end would justify such an extreme mesaure.

    second, and if we look at things straigth, this just looks like spam (only not over SMTP) .

    In a time when finnaly all parties involved start to try to kill spam in a global way it is interesting that this kind of *solutions* is not only thinked but openly presented to the public ...

    what we, the *society* need to demand is that the big fish do the same to this polluters that does to the average spammer i.e. silence, block and wipe them!

    AOL are you listening ? ...

    the world can be going nuts, but surely it is fun ...

    chrs from Portugal...

    PS: where is Ashcroft when we need him ?

  • Just try it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @05:46PM (#5871068)
    You would think that the RIAA would have figured out what would happen, if they engage in a "cyberwar" from what happened to Madonna. Instead of trying to outsmart a group of computer users (which WON'T happen unless they hire hackers), they should concentrate on the reason most people download MP3's anyway. THE HIGH PRICE OF CD'S! I remember when CD's hit the stores in the early 80's. The RIAA said that at 20+ dollars each, yes they more expensive than LP's (records), but the technology was new and expensive, and as more and more hit the shelves, the price would come down to the price of LP's. Well, it's been over 20 years, and the prices are still in the 15-20 dollar range, unless you catch them when they first come out and they have a price reduction. As CDRW's became popular in the 90's and the price of blank CD's came down to less than 50 cents each in bulk, people started asking, hey, how come audio CD's are so expensive? It can't be the CD material. As more and more people saw that: A. The artist aren't really making a lot of money on each CD sold, B: The stores where the CD's are bought aren't making any money, C: Companies like Sony, EMI, EPIC(now sony),etc.....are having lavish parties, etc etc......HEY! We are being ripped off! That's what fueled the explosion in file trading (that and peoples desire to get something for nothing). If the record industry would DO SOMETHING positive about file trading like what Apple is doing, then I think the file trading "problem" would disappear. Just look how many LEGAL songs were downloaded in 18 hours! 275,000! @ 99 cents each! Now, although I think 99 cents per song might be a little high, considering if a CD had 12 songs@ 99 cents, the cd, jacket etc....it's a step in the right direction. Come on RIAA, drop the BS, get on the bandwagon and realize your over zealous activities are history. You've had the gravy train for too long!
  • by cbbyers ( 569340 ) <junk @ c b b y e r s .com> on Saturday May 03, 2003 @06:16PM (#5871220)
    Large technology companies say they can't do anything about spam, yet the RIAA thinks they can stop music sharing. If only everyone were this ambitious.

    If we could somehow convince the RIAA that spam promotes mp3 sharing, we'd be set.
  • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @06:23PM (#5871250)
    The RIAA wants to mess with my computers, eh? That is precisely why my networks are protected behind a giant Wall of stone and mortar, beyond a moat of black water filled with flesh eating monsters. Guards stand atop the Wall, some with swords, some with bows are arrows, some with tubs of boiling oil, some with boulders of granite, and some with sawed off 12 gauges. Atop a tower behind the great Wall stands a big ogre wielding a BFG9000. And inside the fortress, behind the giant gates of wrought iron and forged steel stands an entire army of very big, very drunk, very pissed off demons ready to beat the living crap out of anything that steps through the gate. This is what I call a security system. You might better know it as... OpenBSD [openbsd.org].

    This is MY PROPERTY! I am NOT a CRIMINAL. And I will NOT have some stupid RIAA telling me otherwise. Oh, and need I mention that due to their tactics, I do NOT buy music recordings any longer? (Except for self published recordings that have nothing to do with the RIAA.) It's not due to piracy either... because I don't download MP3s. I bought a GUITAR [taylorguitars.com] and I make my own damn music!

  • by Temsi ( 452609 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @06:33PM (#5871297) Journal
    It's pretty simple.

    Let's assume for sake of argument that I have 300 songs in mp3 format on my hard drive, all of which I copied myself from CD's I paid for.
    Let's also assume that this program 'silence' will wind up being distributed in the form of an email (and you can bet your house it will).
    If I open the file, with nothing illegal on my computer, but the program finds my legal mp3's and deletes them, why should I not sue RIAA for damages?
    This type of action a violation of more than one constitutional amendment.
    For instance:
    It violates my right to be secure in my home from unreasonable searches and seizures.
    It violates my right to a fair and speedy trial.
    It violates my right to be informed of the charges against me, but of course in this case, there are no charges and no trial, they just skip ahead straight to punishment, which by the way, is not legally theirs to carry out.

    What would I sue them for?
    The violation of my constitutional rights; for intentional sabotage of property (the files are mine); for intentional and unprovoked abuse of resources (my computer); for gaining unlawful access to my computer; and for intentional infliction of mental anguish.
    Not to mention lost time. Will they pay for my hours spent making LEGAL backup copies of my LEGALLY OWNED CDs?

    Of course, their answer will be: prove that you own the CD's and we will let you keep the files, which is of course perfectly beside the point. They have no right to be looking in the first place, no matter how open my network is.

    These people will stop at nothing to make you pay, even if you already have. Even if their tactics are barbaric and illegal (Sopranos come to mind).

    Basically, this is their argument:

    "The guy who parks next to me in my parking garage has a lot of antenna balls in the backseat of his convertible. My antenna ball is missing, so I think he must have stolen my antenna ball. Because it's a convertible, and the top is down, I must have every right to assume I can gain access to his vehicle, it's practically open for all to see. So, I'm going to go through everything in his car and destroy all the antenna balls I can find. He must have stolen them from somewhere. I will let him keep those for which he can provide proof of purchase. If I happen to destroy those in the process, that's just too bad... he shouldn't have left those other balls in plain sight.
    Hey, look at that... the guy who parks on the other side of me just handed me my antenna ball, his 8 year old daughter found it in the driveway, it must have fallen off. Well, it was still within my rights to destroy that other guy's antenna balls, they looked suspicious to me."
  • your move suits (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PhreakOfTime ( 588141 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @07:10PM (#5871479) Homepage

    If its war you want, its war you will get.

    But honestly, who gives a shit? Did everyone forget that its actually an artist who writes this stuff in the first place? There are plenty of other options out there to find, IMHO, much more creative music than the 'major labels'. I for one will have no problem with this 'war'. All its accomplished in my case was to drive me away from EVER buying another piece of music from these people. And since this has turned into a nice game of threatening the other side, heres my threat;

    feel free to scan my drive with your programs for files that dont exist, since I dont listen to your 'product' and still have thousands of .mp3 files , and the TOS for programs running on my servers states that any program without written authorization by me will be billed at a rate of $120/CPU cycle and by running said program you agree to these terms.

    After all for the RIAA to win, they have to SPEND money, for me to win, I have to NOT SPEND money on their 'product'. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that that is a very unstable situation that will quickly come to a state of rest.

    If a majority of people get pissed off then they will have no income to draw from to launch these rediculous campaigns. But I fear I am the lone minority, as most people dont even have a clue what the local bands in their area are, much less any music not played on FM radio

    So it goes...

  • anyone home? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @07:19PM (#5871519) Homepage Journal
    Please turn on your brains. The RIAA is not stupid. Quite to the contrary, they have a bunch of very smart people.
    The game isn't cyberwarfare. The game is psychological warfare. Most of /. may call them crazy over such ideas, but somewhere out there a 12 year old has been scared away from copying music (legal or illegal, doesn't matter, neither for the boy nor for the RIAA).
    A few homes further down the street, a mother is frightened, and tells her son to remove that gnutella program again, and never use that again or he'll be grounded.

    You don't have to actually write or use these programs. Making enough people believe that you do has almost the same effect, with none of the legal dangers or possible repercussions.

    Wake up, people. These guys have been at the game for a while longer than any of us have. They aren't playing our game, they're playing their own game. They're not writing code, they're writing press releases, strategy papers, and while they're at it, the next copyright laws.
  • by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @07:36PM (#5871579)
    When are the RIAA, MPAA and all the other annoying groups going to realize what is actually going on in the world.

    Why won't they acknowledge that slumpy cd sales have more to do with the fact that albums are: a) overpriced b) almost exactly the same as every other album c) of significantly less overall quailty than used to be the case? True some people don't buy albums anymore because they can get them for free, but this isn't the case for the majority of users and I sincerely doubt their losses are anywhere near close to what they claim.

    When will they realize that they could destroy the entire internet and it wouldn't make the new Britney Spears sound-alike any more palatable. When you choose artists exclusively based on their physical attractiveness rather than their ability or the content of their songs, formats where that appearance is not part of the package are going to suffer.

    When will they realize that if they imprison every single person who has ever pirated music there will be no one left to buy their product?

    Why are copyright laws which were designed to protect creators for a limited period of time so that they would have a financial motivation for creating used to provide corporations who for the most part had nothing to do with that creation with huge profits for periods of more than a century?

    For that matter, why do multi-billion dollar corparations need to band together to support one another. I think it's about time someone looked at these on the angle of anti-trust issues.

  • by xchino ( 591175 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @08:45PM (#5871925)
    As of 8:42 PM CT www.riaa.org could not be reached via Cox cable or Sprint's 3G network. I suspect a ddos in progress.

    Maybe if I just keep on trying to ping it...
  • by Dossy ( 130026 ) on Saturday May 03, 2003 @09:51PM (#5872179) Homepage Journal
    Until the RIAA offers a free media replacement policy (you know, replacing your outdated casette tapes and vinyl records with brand-spanking-new CD's with of the same album), I think music "piracy" should be legalized. It's not piracy if you've already paid for a right-to-use license to the music by already having bought a record or casette tape and are now just getting a copy of the CD without buying it retail.

    Robbery. Sheer robbery.

    -- Dossy
  • Ok.. I have various term papers and code I've written myself... my school doesn't have any stupid rule grabbing copyright, so I own the copyright free and clear on all of it. Wouldn't breaking past the routers firewall, circumventing the Windows XP user/permission scheme be a violation of the DMCA? If so, lets hit them with their own stick. It would be hillarious to see the RIAA itself brought down for a DMCA violation.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!