The RIAA wants to hack your computer
October 15, 2001 9:22 AM   Subscribe

The RIAA wants to hack your computer (via Fark ) The RIAA tried to attach a rider to the anti-terrorism bill currently in Congress that would have allowed them to hack anyone's computer without consequence. One more reason why the RIAA is evil.
posted by Maxor (34 comments total)
I don't think they have a clue about just how many people will be willing to boycott all US-made recordings if they get away with any such legislation.
posted by aaron at 9:35 AM on October 15, 2001

I say we boycott them anyway. We need to send these people a clear message, and the only way to do that is with economic consequences. I call for a temporary boycott on new music purchases from major labels. I’m sure the labels are looking forward to the holiday buying period, so let’s all just agree not to buy any new music until January 1, 2002. That’s just 3 months. We can all forgo new CDs for 3 months, and if we can get this thing to catch some fire, it might finally show these people that they can’t take the rights of their customers for granted. What do you say, are you with me?
posted by willnot at 9:39 AM on October 15, 2001

It strikes me odd that they advocate freedom of speech, but constantly try to violate our freedoms through their "helpful" legislation.

Someday soon even the artists they try to protect won't put up with their antics. Hopefully anyway.
posted by Benway at 9:42 AM on October 15, 2001

I find it disgusting that the RIAA would attempt to sneak something like this in under the shadow of the world's current state of order, nailing it to the coattails of an Anti-Terrorism bill.

Even if the RIAA did have a room full of geeks attempting to mass-delete people's mp3s, would it be that difficult for people as in-touch as the MetaFilter community to keep them out? The only ones I can see being victims of something like this are day-to-day people who use their cable modems for email, sports scores and mp3's and aren't entirely computer-literate (of course, this class of people make up the larger portion of the online population now, and are probably the ones who are being targeted in the first place).
posted by tomorama at 9:47 AM on October 15, 2001

This is too outrageous for words. I'm amazed at how little mainstream coverage the RIAA's tactics get. Actually, I shouldn't be amazed, as virtually all the major news media are owned by conglomerates that have major holdings in the music industry.

If Exxon, or Microsoft tried to pull something like this (imagine a Microsoft anti-software-pirating hack), we'd all be taking to the streets. But AOL/Time-Warner/CNN (parent of Warner Bros. Records) won't touch it.
posted by jpoulos at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2001

I find it disgusting that the RIAA would attempt to sneak something like this in under the shadow of the world's current state of order, nailing it to the coattails of an Anti-Terrorism bill.

You think these guys are the only ones trying to slip riders into hastily-passed anti-terrorist legislation? The opportunists are lined up around the block. Even ignoring the constitutional implications (as many of our congresscritters seem to) of bills being rushed through the legislative process, underexamined laws are likely to carry all sorts of special-interest foolishness that won't be noticed until too late.
posted by harmful at 9:59 AM on October 15, 2001

If someone were to organize a formal boycott (I'm sure someone here could make that happen) I would definitely sign up!
posted by Maxor at 10:00 AM on October 15, 2001

According to this Wired article, the RIAA thinks they've always had the right to hack people's systems and that the Anti-terrorism bill actually makes it illegal for them. That's why they tried to attach it to this legislation. Now, as to why they believe they've always had the right to do this ... well it can't be anything less that hubris.

It's simple. They won't stop pushing until we cut off their money supply. They won't take notice until CD sales go into the toilet for a quarter Boycotting is the only solution. No new CDs until 2002.
posted by willnot at 10:03 AM on October 15, 2001

if we boycott buying cds, wouldn't the RIAA think that we were all obtaining our music illegally and be more inclined to hack into our computers??
posted by mutantdisco! at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2001

It makes me sick that they were trying to tack it on to the anti-terrorism bill. There's more to life than being an MP3 cop, Hilary.
posted by gramcracker at 10:18 AM on October 15, 2001

This is probably not true:

The Register story about it

The Register correction
posted by jeb at 10:23 AM on October 15, 2001

mutantdisco!: probably.

But everybody needs to remember that the key here is money. It's all about the money. The RIAA doesn't care about artistic or intellectual freedom, nor do they care about your rights as a consumer. They care about their rights as a corporation and are focused on how they can make as much money as possible. If it causes profit loss for the RIAA, it's bad.

If a boycott were so effective as to lower profits to levels significatly lower than what they were college kids were surfing around napster between classes, there's a chance they might take a step back and say "Hmm. Our profits were this before and they're this now." , then lower the anti-P2P volume in an effort to get sales back up.

But they could also decide to ride it out, realizing that a boycott can't last forever and people need their entertainment.

It's difficult to say which route they'd take and kind of impacts a boycott would bring about. I guess the only way to find out would be to actually boycott, and it might be pretty difficult to organize something of high enough caliber to put such a dent in the corporate wallets.
posted by tomorama at 10:26 AM on October 15, 2001

I say we boycott them anyway. We need to send these people a clear message, and the only way to do that is with economic consequences.

willnot, i've been boycotting the record industry for the last three years. they haven't noticed yet.
posted by dogmatic at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2001

I buy locally produced CDs for Dallas Bands. It's rare that I buy a CD from any artist represented by a member of the RIAA. It's been that way for years. RIAA doesn't care. They don't notice. I don't see how a few thousand more people doing the same thing would make any difference.

Boycotting wouldn't help. It would actually improve their argument. They'd say the reason their sales are plummeting is because people are stealing the music. Even at 128kbps, why buy a CD after you've downloaded the music for free? And the media will sell it to the masses because it is in the best interests of the conglomerates. Already movies are available over the 'Net to those who know how to get it. Why buy a DVD if one can get it for free over the 'Net?

The RIAA may have lost this battle, but eventually the power/money is gonna win out on this argument. Y'all can wait until the legislation goes in their favor to take it to the streets, but the mass media's NOT going to televise your protests on the evening news. TV, Radio, the Music Industry. Maybe one person doesn't own all of it, but it might as well be that way. Remember: the revolution will not be televised. Now you know why. TV is part of what you'll be rebelling against.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:30 AM on October 15, 2001

Jeb, that's an old story. This is a new one.
posted by Kikkoman at 10:40 AM on October 15, 2001

What would be quite nice and doable with a little work:

A website that lists recording labels that belong to the RIAA and the artists they represent, and a list of those that don't belong to the RIAA. On those that do belong, links to mail those labels to tell them you are no longer purchasing their music until they stop supporting the RIAA - maybe a semi-form letter with links to information about why the RIAA is so evil.

It could have forms to add labels non-affiliated/anti- RIAA and forms for indy artists to add them to a portal style page.

The site could could have a sign up list petition that could show the labels how many people are participating in a boycott and a featured artist/discover music type deal that could feature and link non-RIAA artists and things like "if you like so-and-so, check out so-and-so" for those new to indy music.

I think once the RIAA sees that 1. we have options 2. we are solid in our resolve 3. because of the boycott they loose significant revenue they will throw that fat lesbo bi-ch Rosen out and become more concerned with consumers rights, needs and wants. is available too
posted by Zebulun at 10:49 AM on October 15, 2001

What's wrong with They've been fighting the RIAA for a while now. I suggest you all direct your efforts in tandem with them.
posted by skylar at 11:14 AM on October 15, 2001

Here are some awesome labels to start exploring, and they're all non-RIAA related. These labels span genres from electronic to post rock and everything in-between, and have released some of my favorite albums this year. Not only that, but the best part is that you can get CDs for 12 dollars or less postage paid from any of the sites below. Go! Now! And tell them I sent you.

Constellation Records home to Godspeed You Black Emperor, many of their side projects, as well as tons of other great artists.

Carpark Records (excellent electronic label)

Temporary Residence Records Everything from post rock to alt country. Awesome small label.

Bubble Core Records (this site also has ordering information for Leaf, After Hours, Fat Cat (home to Sigur Ros) and several other excellent small labels

Tigerbeat 6 (home of Kid 606, Cex, and many many other crazy glitch/scatterbrain electronic artists)

Again, I say get to it!
posted by almostcool at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2001

that fat lesbo bi-ch Rosen

What the fuck does "fat" and "lesbo" have to do with it? Jesus, I would support an RIAA boycott but stuff like that makes me want to wash.
posted by rodii at 11:19 AM on October 15, 2001

those bastards don't know what a joke they are. good link. back up your files kiddies!
posted by aLienated at 12:01 PM on October 15, 2001

All I have to say is that "Now is the time for all good countrymen to use OpenBSD as their firewall." Looks like we're going to have to secure our freedoms from now on.

Actually I'd like to see them try to take out my 100GB+ mp3 library. Not only is half of it ripped from my very own collection (read: perfectly legal,) but it is mixed in with my own music (read: I made it myself and it is my intellectual property.) If they managed to get in and they happened to take out my personal music I think that I would finally get to live my dream: I could be an ACLU test-case wonderboy.

Boy, it sure would be nice to win a case like that with a jumbo settlement and use all the dosh to buy mp3 players and cd-r drives for the masses.
posted by n9 at 1:40 PM on October 15, 2001

willnot, i've been boycotting the record industry for the last three years. they haven't noticed yet.

Exactly, the people most likely to boycott are those who don't listen to mainstream top-40 music to begin with. The RIAA is smart enough to push their products to teen and pre-teens who couldn't care less about some deal in congress.

I doubt this thread or anything nasty written about the RIAA is going to start any "Dear Brittney" letters.
posted by skallas at 2:51 PM on October 15, 2001

If all laws were written as badly as the RIAA's proposed amendment, it would be time to burn all the law books and start over again, or live in anarchy.

If this amendment's self help allows for intrusion, the combination of copyrighted web pages and browser cache files would give free license to web page owners to intrude into their visitor's computers anytime they wanted.
posted by bragadocchio at 4:01 PM on October 15, 2001

it would be time to burn all the law books and start over again

I've come to believe that this is the only conceivable way to save civilization.
posted by rushmc at 5:01 PM on October 15, 2001

As if this is the only bad law out there...i don't know what its called off of the top of my head, but there's a new law i've been following that is FAR more devestating than the DMCA (as in some gov't mandated files would have to be in all files, this possibly eliminating open-source as we know and it fucking us all over even more...and thats just the beginning)...if anyone wants more info on this, feel free to e-mail me
posted by jmd82 at 5:13 PM on October 15, 2001

Hell. I'd light the fire if we could start with the rule against perpetuities. I'm guessing, jmd82, that the bill that you are refering to is the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act . The RIAA's proposed amendment to the Anti-terrorist act is evil with a little "e" in comparison to the Evil that the SSSCA could bring about.
posted by bragadocchio at 5:44 PM on October 15, 2001

brag: you are the man (or women)! that about sums it up.
posted by jmd82 at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2001

That would be the man, Johnny. I've been working with a friend on a legal weblog, and we've been following that bill. You described its possible effects much more effectively and succinctly than I would have. I just gave its name.
posted by bragadocchio at 7:15 PM on October 15, 2001

gotta' love that tag team effort!
posted by jmd82 at 7:55 PM on October 15, 2001

brag: If you give me a link to your legal weblog, I'd like to check it out.
posted by gd779 at 7:58 PM on October 15, 2001

I'll send a link to your via email (honoring that rule against self linking). It's still in its infancy stages, but it would be great to get some feedback.
posted by bragadocchio at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2001

brag: while you're at it, i could also use that link...the more info, the better!
posted by jmd82 at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2001

I'd like it as well.
Maybe one of you recipients could post it, loophole-ing the self-link thing.
posted by dong_resin at 12:57 AM on October 16, 2001

I thought acknowledged self-linking was okay within a thread? sheesh.
posted by rushmc at 6:26 AM on October 16, 2001

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