Access Denied: RIAA, MPAA Blocked From Techfocus
July 20, 2003 5:27 PM   Subscribe

MPAA Blocked From Techfocus
:Effective immediately, the RIAA and MPAA will need to find another way to get to Techfocus. In response to their legal targeting of individual file-swappers, access from their known networks to this site has now been blocked. While it may still be possible for them to access Techfocus via address ranges which we're not aware of, they'll otherwise have to use non-RIAA and non-MPAA networks to view the site."
posted by metameme (34 comments total)
Anything that bothers the RIAA and MPAA is great with me, but what is Techfocus, and why should these organizations care if they can't access it anymore?
posted by Hildago at 5:45 PM on July 20, 2003

Great, I'm sure the RIAA is all broken up over this.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:46 PM on July 20, 2003

grandstanding. a nice attention getter, but without effect on RIAA/MPAA. besides, in the interests of humor, rather than blocking them, they should be redirecting those IP's to or
posted by quonsar at 5:46 PM on July 20, 2003

Also, if you link to the article, you don't need to quote it in full, taking up the whole front page.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:48 PM on July 20, 2003

This will acomplish absolutly nothing.
posted by delmoi at 5:56 PM on July 20, 2003

what's more sad? that the RIAA/MPAA has to gank articles from this podunk site, or that the podunk site thinks that the RIAA/MPAA really give a flying fuck?
posted by angry modem at 6:05 PM on July 20, 2003

I think its kind of cool that they're doing something legal the *AA can do nothing in courts about. Granted, its very easy to get around what techfocus did, but hey, its something legal (not just downloading illegal songs as protest, thus furthering RIAA's claims)
posted by jmd82 at 6:12 PM on July 20, 2003

This will acomplish absolutly nothing

Maybe not, but I applaud them for doing more than just saying "I don't buy RIAA CDs anymore". You can boycott on many levels, and I hope Slashdot/Ars Technica/etc follow their lead.
posted by Jairus at 6:25 PM on July 20, 2003

Baby tattoos, via TechFocus.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:33 PM on July 20, 2003

maybe this will start a trend? what if the internet collectively rejected the RIAA?
posted by mcsweetie at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2003

This will acomplish absolutly nothing

what mcsweetie said. things like this are how Internet Death Penalties get started.
posted by dorian at 7:04 PM on July 20, 2003

What they are doing may be legal, but is it in any way significant?
posted by mischief at 7:17 PM on July 20, 2003

what mcsweetie said. things like this are how Internet Death Penalties get started.

I wonder if Matt would consider doing something like this, said Hildago, speaking about Matt in the third person.
posted by Hildago at 7:19 PM on July 20, 2003

Resistance is futile. Sheesh.

Yes, it's a podunk site. Yes, it's easily circumvented. No, it's not pointless. Even trivial legal resistance to things such as the DMCA should be considered worthwhile - the MPAA/RIAA cartel used their muscle to circumvent the body public's will. So, it's up to the body public to reassert itself.

It's a trivial effort, but the more folks who can put up some form of minor, but visible, resistance to this crap, the better.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:24 PM on July 20, 2003

Will one site blocking out the evil empire make a difference? No. They acknowledge that this is more a principle thing than any actual belief that this will make any difference. However, as they said, if OTHER sites start emulating them ... well, then, it MIGHT make a difference. At the very least, with the right spin it could make for a minor news piece somewhere :)
posted by kaemaril at 7:31 PM on July 20, 2003

I'll do it on my site, as soon as I find out how.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:42 PM on July 20, 2003

That's neat. I'm feeling inclined to firewall the RIAA and MPAA now.
posted by maciej at 7:43 PM on July 20, 2003

more than anything its ironic that 2 groups that do nothing but shine about distribution of their stuff without permission goes and does it themselves. The MPAA/RIAA isnt about copyright or IP, they are about money and control. The less they have the more is scares them. And they will violate whatever it takes to remain in control.
posted by MrLint at 7:53 PM on July 20, 2003

RylandDotNet - check out the comments for more info on how to block them from your own sites.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:53 PM on July 20, 2003

I don't think its a big deal that they're blocking the RIAA, buts it's a great thing to provide instructions and the source file to block all the RIAA/MPAA networks. That is an extremely valuable resource.

What would be a massive statement if someone like MTV or the BBC blocked the RIAA's networks. You know, someone the RIAA could conceivable sue, not quote.

Baby tattoos, via TechFocus. - uhm, fire you left me, are those children that those are getting those tattoos? Their parents should be f*cking sued.
posted by jdaura at 8:49 PM on July 20, 2003

um, jdlaura, the babyink site is a hoax which appeared on the front page of mefi quite recently.
posted by quonsar at 8:54 PM on July 20, 2003

mcsweetie: ah, the instructions weren't up when I looked. Thanks.
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:08 PM on July 20, 2003

Even trivial legal resistance to things such as the DMCA should be considered worthwhile

ok. i guess i could leap on this bandwagon. RIAA and MPAA are now officially blortless. hey! watch that damn trombone, buddy.
posted by quonsar at 9:27 PM on July 20, 2003

I've added it to my site. Viva!
posted by j.edwards at 10:38 PM on July 20, 2003

Damn! Now myself and my fellow RIAA goons have to go out and sue people, instead of wasting time on techfocus!
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 10:50 PM on July 20, 2003

um, jdlaura, the babyink site is a hoax which appeared on the front page of mefi quite recently.

Because I'm a big sucker.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:17 AM on July 21, 2003

Admittedly, blocking one site doesn't do a lot, but if every site was blocked...

then the RIAA would still keep suing people. If you want to do some good, write your congressmen, contribute to the EFF, or start a legal defense fund instead.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:34 AM on July 21, 2003

What is the RIAA/MPAA IP range? Their corporate offices?

The criticisms of this being a "podunk" site are pretty meaningless if you realize that even if tens of thousands of websites did this its easy to circumvent just by using a simple web proxy, doesn't affect those users not in the office, and the RIAA/MPAA can always just migrate to different IP blocks.

Its completely symbolic. Might as well toss a "I'm blocking the RIAA/MPAA" gif on the webpage so people can appreciate it.

This could get interesting if mail admins started blocking their email like they do with spammers. I'm sure its a good way to get fired. "Dear Boss, my political beliefs demand I block this company from sending us mail."

Maybe we're going to see cyber-attacks on a grand scale towards all their servers. The hacker community has gotten pissed off for much less.
posted by skallas at 12:35 AM on July 21, 2003

RIAA/MPAA can always just migrate to different IP blocks

Or the relevant people can just work from homeoffice using any one or more commercial Internet providers where your IP address isn't tied to your employer. Whaddya gonna do then?

Of course, we could make working from home illegal...
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:55 AM on July 21, 2003

... What's the point, so the RIAA and MPAA can't hear them bitching and moaning about what they're doing? Don't worry everyone, they're not paying attention anyway.
posted by KnitWit at 5:03 AM on July 21, 2003

from techfocus:

They've used our material in their press releases once already, and logs show that they visit regularly. Rather than give them the luxury of easily accessing our work (as they have already done), we're choosing to make it a bit more difficult.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander - they didn't pay for our work, didn't acknowledge or ask for rights to it, yet they expect individuals to do so for them. If that's going to be how it's going to happen, then they'll need to follow their own mandates.

i guess that pretty much takes care of the "they're not paying attention anyway" argument, doesn't it?
posted by chrisege at 7:51 AM on July 21, 2003

The original intent of the Internet, as I understand it, was to simultaneously make the spread of information easier (.edu), and multiplitous storage of that information successful so that loss of said information under dire circumstances (nuclear war for example) would be less likely (.mil). You've come a long way baby -net. However, this goes completely against the dot com strategy - in order to make money on the Internet, it's imperative that information becomes a commodity. So .com goals are the antithesis of .edu and .mil's early success in the invention of the Internet. The spread of information must go slower, and the storage of that information reserved only for those who pay, in order for .com to thrive in the .net environment.

Nowhere is that more evident now (except perhaps in the porn industry) than in mainstream music and film's relationship with the Internet. Because offline they sell music and film as commodities and not information, the MPAA & RIAA have to fight to prevent their product from becoming internet information. If they don't, they fear that they may cease to be relevant in the constantly changing world, like the railroad industry. So long as these industries were able to keep the appearance of their product as solid objects, this wasn't a problem. However, when the music industry went from vinyl to eight track to cassette to compact disc, it eventually became more apparent to the consumer that the object they purchased was merely a mode of transit - that the actual part of the object they wanted was not concrete at all. A recording of music is concrete, but music itself is not. The bird had been in a gilded cage all these years. Napster threatened to teach it to fly. Now, the music industry is trying to keep the bird caged.

Since these corporate entities are players in the game of corporate oligarchy, they're moving the battle off the internet and onto arenas more familiar to them. So, blocking one or a thousand websites won't put a dent in their operations. Blocking big corps from seeing websites is like shooting spitballs at laser cannons. If it's noticed by those allegedly affected, it will be seen as laughable. It's too little, too late. But then when up against a corporate oligarchy, it may forever be too little too late. At least David had a remote chance against Goliath. It's impossible to win a game when your enemy not only made the rules, but designed the playing field and paid for the referees.

The only way to beat this game is not to play it.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:01 AM on July 21, 2003

ok. i guess i could leap on this bandwagon. RIAA and MPAA are now officially blortless.

quonsar, have you no pity? Boycott them, destroy them, drag their names through the mud -- all of it richly deserved. But denying them blort is cruel and uncalled for.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2003

The only way to beat this game is not to play it.

Do you mean let them win without a fight / outcry, or cease listening to music and watching movies altogether?
posted by beth at 4:54 PM on July 21, 2003

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