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RIAA Wants Right To Hack 651

Posted by timothy
from the for-me-but-not-for-thee dept.
An Anonymous Coward writes: "According to Wired, the recording industry wants the right to hack into your computer and delete your stolen MP3s." From the article: "It's no joke. Lobbyists for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tried to glue this hacking-authorization amendment onto a mammoth anti-terrorism bill that Congress approved last week. A copy of an RIAA-drafted amendment obtained by Wired News would immunize all copyright holders -- including the movie and e-book industry -- for any data losses caused by their hacking efforts or other computer intrusions 'that are reasonably intended to impede or prevent' electronic piracy." Does this give you the right to crack RIAA systems to make sure no one there is selling copies of your term paper?
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RIAA Wants Right To Hack

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  • by weave (48069) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:46AM (#2430388) Journal
    Read the license to Win XP carefully. It has a part in it that says that Microsoft may disable your access to copyrighted content at any time without notice upon request by content owners.
  • by Drizzten (459420) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:52AM (#2430422) Homepage
    From the Wired article:

    The RIAA's interest in the USA Act, an anti-terrorism bill that the Senate and the House approved last week, grew out of an obscure part of it called section 815. Called the "Deterrence and Prevention of Cyberterrorism" section, it says that anyone who breaks into computers and causes damage "aggregating at least $5,000 in value" in a one-year period would be committing a crime.

    If the current version of the USA Act becomes law, the RIAA believes, it could outlaw attempts by copyright holders to break into and disable pirate FTP or websites or peer-to-peer networks. Because the bill covers aggregate damage, it could bar anti-piracy efforts that cause little harm to individual users, but meet the $5,000 threshold when combined.


    I'd call this "circumventing" wouldn't you? Those intrusive bastards want carte blanche to do whatever they want, while ordinary people get screwed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:54AM (#2430432)
    Some version of this story is true. Check out the articel in the LA Times:

    Music Firms Fail to Get Anti-Piracy Proposal on Bill [latimes.com]

  • by Misch (158807) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:59AM (#2430466) Homepage

    Actually, according to the article, this is already legitimate. The article cites US Code, Title 18, Section 1030 [cornell.edu]

    The real news in this is that the USA Anti-Terrorism bill includes language to prevent this, whereas RIAA is trying to open this loophole back up.

  • by jerrytcow (66962) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:05AM (#2430503) Homepage
    it says nothing about hacking into comuters and deleting files. Wired no doubtedly knows this, but they also know this headline will get them several thousand hits today
    Here's the full text (emphasis mine):

    'No action may be brought under this subsection arising out of any impairment of the availability of data, a program, a system or information, resulting from measures taken by an owner of copyright in a work of authorship, or any person authorized by such owner to act on its behalf, that are reasonably intended to impede or prevent the unauthorized transmission of such work by wire or electronic communication of such transmission would infringe the rights of the copyright owner.''

    It looks like they are trying to come up with a way to detect if mp3s are being transmitted, and block it.
  • by Masem (1171) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:05AM (#2430505)
    first, READ THE ARTICLE.

    RIAA already claims that they have the right to hack your box if there is sufficient evidence (for them) that you are engaging in illegal distribution of their copyrighted material. Any 'incidental' damage to your computer outside of their copyrighted material was just side effects and not their fault, according to how their read the law.

    The rub here is that in the recently passed USA bill, any act of hacking that incures more than $5k of damages could be concidered as a terrorist act, and thus, if RIAA were to accidently wipe your hard drive with their hacking attempts, that could be a terrorist act.

    So RIAA was trying to get language added to the USA bill that would protect hacking done by copyright owners from being considered a terrorist threat, allowing them to continuing following the law as they believe they can already.

    Apparently, if they've done this, no one has sued them, traced them, or otherwise indicated that their mp3's have suddenly disappeared. As it stands, I think it's a rather questionable application of the law and I wonder if further legal investigation of it should be done.

  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:31AM (#2430696) Homepage Journal
    The article states explicitly that the RIAA is no longer trying to get those hacking provisions made into laws. Sorry, guys. Read the article next time before you post this bullshit.

    - A.P.
  • Re:On that note... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Flower (31351) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:47AM (#2430780) Homepage
    How do you figure that?

    I put one mp3 file on the ftp server and they can say that every download constitutes a lost sale on the CD which has that song. Pricing a CD at $20 that is 250 downloads.

    You really need to learn the New Math companies use to determine on-line damage.

  • by weave (48069) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:51AM (#2430796) Journal
    And here's another interesting feature. I downloaded a content-protected .wma music file I purchased with my pepsi cap points from pepsistuff.com. For a test, I copied it to another computer and tried to listen to it. It not only denied it, but opened up my web browser and sent me to Pepsistuff.com where a message said I had no rights to listen to that content. Worse, the URL I was directed to had the full pathname of the "stolen" file in it, the drive letter, path, filename, and a bunch of other encoded data I have no idea what it is...

    And get this, I tried to play that .wma file with winamp, not windows media player, so the protection is either in the file drivers somewhere or winamp has the wma protection code built in too...

  • by marnanel (98063) <slashdotNO@SPAMmarnanel.org> on Monday October 15, 2001 @11:26AM (#2431004) Homepage Journal
    Hmm. According to MS's FAQ on the subject [microsoft.com], Winamp and others are shipping stuff that uses the Windows Media APIs, including the Windows Rights Manager parts you mentioned. The same document mentions the browser-opening feature:
    Digital media files are maintained in a protected format at all times. This protected file can be freely shared between customers. When customers without a license attempt to access the shared digital media file, they are prompted to get a license for that digital media file by following the business rules specified at the hosting Web site.
  • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Monday October 15, 2001 @02:58PM (#2432289) Homepage
    ... or any other program which can deny web access to selected programs. While THIS program launches the browser, at least that can be interrupted. Who knows what other tomfoolery can happen under the table?

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