Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 17
Ways in which the RIAA say: I'm Gonna Getcha
There are several tools being used or will be used by the Empire RIAA to foil the Rebels such as:
Antinode Creates fake "supernodes," signposts used by some file-sharing technologies (Kazaa, for example) to guide users' computers to files. The pseudo-supernodes distribute misleading file information.

Fester Puts the word out on file-sharing networks that RIAA servers have music files for download. The servers redirect users to black hole sites, tying them up indefinitely. Newer P2P clients drop useless connections more quickly, so this approach may already be obsolete.

Freeze Uses an existing bug in P2P clients to remotely "hang" computers hunting for MP3s. The result could be more than mere frustration - unsaved data can be lost during a long hang. It's in development now.

Shame If implemented, would distribute a benign P2P virus in an illegal media file that adds the words "I steal music on the Internet" to a user's email signature. Expect to see that appear as a slogan on T-shirts a few minutes later.

Silence Scans computers on P2P networks for illegal material, hacks into the pirate machine, and deletes the data. One problem: Early versions delete legal MP3s, too.

Suck Scours the Net for large libraries of MP3s, and then starts asking for files. And asking. And asking. Eventually, the requests clog library owners' connections like hair in a pipe - and if the RIAA is using that bandwidth, then nobody else is. As a bonus, this approach generates huge volumes of data traffic, driving up pirates' usage and incurring the wrath of ISPs.

Tattle Recruits other industries. If you have lots of liberated music, chances are you also have a few pieces of software that fell off the back of a truck. Recording industry bots already track online piracy - insiders have suggested the RIAA share that information with the software and movie industries.
And of course subpeona-ing your ass and threatening you with massive fines.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 16
In which the "big fish" pirates are still Runnin with the Devil but the small fry users are Little Runaways
The scare tactics of the RIAA subpeonas have indeed worked, but not as expected:
Evidence is popping up that the record industry has millions of Internet music pirates on the run -- but not the heavy-duty song swappers the industry has vowed to prosecute.The NPD Group market-research firm released data last week showing that the number of American households acquiring music files on the Internet dropped 28 percent over three months, from 14.5 million in April to 10.4 million in June. The total number of music files acquired online each month declined less, by 23 percent, from 852 million files in April to 655 million files in June.

That's because the average number of files each household downloaded actually increased by 6.7 percent during the same period, from 59 files in April to 63 in June, NPD found.

Russ Crupnick, NPD vice president, said in a statement that the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites)'s legal campaign against file swappers is only scaring "light downloaders" rather than the big fish the RIAA says it wants to catch.
Seems using the Death Star to kill gnats works but the huge mutant cockroach is unimpressed.
Bus Strike
Yup, The City and County of Honolulu has no bus service as of today, as bus drivers go on strike. Myself drives to work but the boyfriend does not, so I dropped him off one hour before he starts. Traffic was bad. I guess if the University of Hawaii Professors can go on strike.....
Music Wars: Scene 14
In which a lone rebel counter-sues the Empire RIAA, despite claims by the RIAA not to target the "small fry", while claiming its winning the war by shock and awe
First the RIAA says: they will not be throwing grannies into jail,sue them, and fine them into poverty:
Small-time users of music-sharing services like Kazaa can breathe a sigh of relief. Although the RIAA (news - web sites) has sent numerous subpoenas to ISPs demanding disclosure of file-swapper identities, it is unlikely the little guys will find themselves in court, subject to Draconian financial penalties. While the RIAA was vague about what it deemed "a substantial user" (most probably out of the desire to avoid giving downloaders a roadmap to its strategy), it is fair to say that the grandparents of a middle schooler who visits on the weekend will not lose their house because the kid downloaded music from one of the exchanges.

Indeed, the RIAA's vagueness has inflamed its opponents. Issuing subpoenas "are part of the RIAA's overall scare tactics," Jason Schultz, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation told NewsFactor. "They use phrases like 'substantial amount of works' or 'significant number of songs.' But when they've been pressed to define what they mean exactly, they have refused."
Why? because they're lying like a $5 rug.

A lone Kazaa user is fighting the RIAA to not have Verizon release her name:
A file swapper who was subpoenaed by the recording industry has filed a legal motion to block that subpoena, claiming it violates her rights to due process, privacy and anonymous association, as well as her contract with ISP Verizon. The legal action by the anonymous user, called "Jane Doe" in court records, is the first of its kind in response to more than 1,000 subpoenas issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) to Internet service providers. The RIAA is demanding the names and address of users who distribute copyrighted music online, with the intent to sue them for infringement.
If it looks like a small fry, acts like a small fry, and talks like a small fry....

Their tactics appear to have some effect on things though, P2P usage has declined recently:
Music piracy over the Web has declined since the record industry started threatening to sue individual users of popular but unauthorized file-sharing networks, several research groups said on Thursday.
According to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group, the number of households acquiring music files began to fall in May 2003, right after the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA) began threatening file-sharers with legal action.

Based on data collected from 40,000 online panelists, NPD projected that music files acquired, including songs swapped illegally, obtained through paid downloading sites or ripped from CDs, dropped to 655 million files in June from a high of 852 million files in April.

NPD said it estimated the number of households acquiring music files reached a high of 14.5 million in April 2003, then fell to 12.7 million in May and to 10.4 million in June.

Apparantly just the threat of using the Death Star suing individuals into oblivion is enough to scare off the faint of heart. The saga continues....

Monday, August 25, 2003

link shill
Big Alohas to Brian Flemming for this link about the CA Gov's race, where I mostly made fun of it, but now that the Lt. Gov is in the race, and in the lead, Brian bows out. Davis should just campaign for a no vote and if that fails at least his Lt. will win. Could be worse. Much worse. Brian has the right idea in that the Lt gov should be the one to replace the Gov. It should be automatic if Davis is removed, not stick in some other shlump in the office. Myself sees it as akin to the Miss America scenario. If for any reason the Gov cannot fullfill his duties, i.e. he gets recalled, nude pics of Gray Davis surface in Playgirl, the runner up takes his place, right?