This is obviously something that shouldn't be happening. In fact in some states it is a crime. (So far I have heard that it is definitely a crime in Minnesota, not sure in others.) It's definitely something that needs to stop, we already have enough computer viruses, worms, trojans, adware and malware without Overpeer contributing to it in the name of stopping copyright infringement.
So what can you do to help? Write your state attorney's general office, pass along the information from the PC World article and ask them to look into the legality of Overpeer's actions. If enough people write, they'll definitely look into it. If it's illegal in your state they will hopefully take action. At worst we can hope for at least one state AG filing for an injunction against Overpeer to make them stop distributing these files to the citizens in their state. Since Overpeer really wouldn't be able to tell 100% by IP what state a computer's in, they'd have to stop completely once such an injunction was granted.
I also recommend you write Overpeer as well and let them know you'll be doing this, if they get enough heat they may stop to avoid risk of a lawsuit. Feel free to copy and paste from the draft of my E-mail to them below:
I recently came across this (http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,119016,00.asp) PC World Article about your company's actions in creating trojaned windows media files to "seed" onto P2P networks. You should be aware that in several states, your actions will likely qualify as willfull computer hacking, being in the same category of offenses as computer virus, trojan and worm creation & release.
While your actions have not directly affected me (I have no use for P2P software), I am sure they have caused damage to other citizens in my state (Your stste here). I felt you should be aware that I am sending along the information in the PC World article to my state attorney's general office with a request that they look into the legality of your actions under XX state law.
Copyright infringment on P2P networks is both illegal and immoral, but that does not allow those fighting it to break laws as well. I am not sure if your actions are illegal under XX state law or not, but I am sure our attorney general will be able to make that determination.
I urge you to think through the potential ramifications of your actions, and to rethink your current course of action.
Joe Cool (Or your name here
I should note that given their current actions I don't trust them so I used a disposable address from Spam Gourmet to send from and only signed my first name. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I figure any company who thinks it's OK to basically attack other people's computers in the name of stopping P2P just can't be trusted to know both my full name and state.
I'll post a copy of the letter I send to my state AG here for others to use as soon as I get it drafted. Let's put a stop to this type of behaviour, and let Overpeer know we're serious about stopping it!
If you're really interested in taking advantage of these offers you'll want to join a Conga line for them. These work by having a list of people's referral links, new users sign up using the topmost link, then they're added to the bottom of the list. After the top person gets enough referrals they drop off the list and the next person moves up. This way everyone gets a chance at getting their free item and everyone helps each other.
I help moderate conga lines for five of the free offers. Lately I've added two more because of user requests for a conga line for a specific free site. I'm always willing to do this, as I enjoy doing these conga lines and helping people get their free items. It's really rewarding to see an excitied post from someone who's just gotten their item in the mail.
Give them a shot, the free iPod one is most decidely legit, I've personally gotten an iPod for free. Most of the other offers are from the same company (Gratis Internet) so they're legit as well. Only three are not run by Gratis, those are the DVRs, PVPs and MP3 Players 4 Free Congas. Be sure to read the thread in the discussion secton of the Conga Lines that gives tips & hints about the offers for more detailed info, and feel free to contribute to it as well.
One last note, watch out for any offers run by Giftfox. I had tried their free Nintendo DS one, but they're claiming none of my friends signed up under me, even though I personally watched one of them do it correctly. They also failed to respond to my telling them that after they claimed no one had signed up under me. Perhaps you would have better luck, but they don't seem to be very legit to me.
Good luck to anyone who decides to join up.
Not of any use to anyone but myself, but I'm archiving the sig file code that linked to this article, just in case I ever feel like using it again in the future:
If you're really interested in getting one for yourself you'll want to join a Conga line for them. These work by having a list of people's referral links, new users sign up using the topmost link, then they're added to the bottom of the list. After the top person gets enough referrals they drop off the list and the next person moves up. This way everyone gets a chance at getting their free iPod and/or flatscreen and everyone helps each other.
I help moderate conga lines for all three offers, and they're all still pretty small so you won't have to wait forever. The free Desktop PC one was just started yesterday in fact so it's really short. If you're interested here's the links:
Give it a shot, the free iPod one has been verified as legit by many folks online and the other two are run by the same company so they'll likely deliver as well. There are offers you can complete that won't cost you anything (you may have to cancel before the free trial ends though). Be sure to read the thread in the discussion secton of the Conga Lines that gives tips & hints about the offers.
Good luck to anyone who decides to join up.
The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.