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RIAA Wants Right To Hack 651

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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  • THIS IS GREAT!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheMMaster ( 527904 ) <hp@ t m m . cx> on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:42AM (#2430352)
    If this won't help bringing linux to the desktop, what will?? you can give them every right you want... For them to enforce it, you'll HAVE to be running windows! ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This comment is copyright © 2001 by Anonymous Coward, all right reserved. You may not store this comment on your system, period.

      Ahem. I sense that some of you may have violated my copyright by caching this article on your hard drive. I'll be exercising my rights to hack into your systems shortly.

    • by YIAAL ( 129110 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:49AM (#2430788) Homepage
      The Bush Administration and the press had better be all over the RIAA and its Congressional sponsors. I can't think of a faster way to discredit the war on terrorism than opportunism like this.
  • by dave-fu ( 86011 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:42AM (#2430356) Homepage Journal
    If this story is true (and I doubt it is, as seen with The Register's recent retraction) then it's the scariest freaking thing I've heard of in a long time. Don't want people surreptitiously going behind my back and torching my legitimate (some of us rip our own CDs, thankyouverymuch) music collection on my hard drive.
    Running with the possibility that this is true, hopefully the folks who would hack into peoples' computers will be tried as terrorists under the US's spankin' fresh new bills.
    • 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.
      • long as you have less than 300 CDs up on your theoretical FTP site, you're doing less than $5000 in damage to the RIAA's bottom line.
        Problem solved.
        • 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 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 []

      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 WalterSobchak ( 193686 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:00AM (#2430472) Homepage Journal
      Excuse me, I must be halluzinating...

      A dark cellar, somewhere in the world. One man - 1 - is examining goods in the cellar. A second man - 2 - enters...
      2: FREEZE, thief! What mischief are you up to?
      1: No mischief, Sir. My biclycle was stolen yesterday, and I am just looking to see if it is in your cellar.
      2: You smashed a window to do this!
      1: I had reasonable cause. I saw bicycles in your cellar, and you, Sir, look pretty thieverish yourself ...

      Coming to think of it, I want this law to be passed. The nights would be exiting again!

      • Yes, your honor, it was self defense.

        I know I was in his basement, but under the RIAA's bill, I caused less than $5000 damage while entering his basement.

        I only fired after the homeowner refused to allow me to search his basement for my bicycle and threatened me with a handgun.

        I'm sorry that his wife and kids are starving, but maybe the homeowner should have read up on the laws of our country. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    • The first thought that came to my mind was "Unreasonable search and seizure." After reading the article I see what the RIAA is on about; covering their own assets if they devise their own worm or such to go out and wipe MP3's (just another good reason to burn them onto CD's, eh?) Proving $5,000 aggregate damage to a site, which just happens to be hosting such files (how do they prove that it was actually a pirate site, hmm? Consider the Japanese trick for harvesting whales in the name of "scientific research" and use your imagination)

      The more of this crap I see the more inclined I am to seek work arounds for anything they come up with. They'll never win and in the end it will have cost them more than their lost revenues.

      • by NumberSyx ( 130129 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @11:56AM (#2431197) Journal

        The more of this crap I see the more inclined I am to seek work arounds for anything they come up with. They'll never win and in the end it will have cost them more than their lost revenues.

        If this legislation passes, I plan to put up a honey pot system for the sole purpose of setting them up for a billion dollar law suit. Once the drive has been corrupted or wiped, how does the RIAA prove the MP3's were illegal copies of songs, instead of recordings of my children singing silly little ditties and also on the drive were irreplacable pictures and videos of my GrandFather, the day before he died. No $$$ value, but tons of sentimental value. Any decent litigation Lawyer could convince a Judge this was worth way more than $5000.

  • by Rob.Mathers ( 527086 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:42AM (#2430359) Homepage
    Under the proposed anti-terrorism laws, wouldn't this make the RIAA a terrorist organisation?
  • by ZenJabba1 ( 472792 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:43AM (#2430360) Homepage Journal
    and when they try to break into it, sue them via DCMA and tell them to take a fly f*ck and leave my personal property alone!

    I don't have pirated stuff on there, and I don't want them snooping around my system
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:43AM (#2430362) Homepage Journal
    If this got through then in theory a hacker could create their own 'tune', copyright it and let it wander the net. Then after a couple of months claim that the reason they were breaking into the FBI computer was to check that they didn't have any illegal copies of your MP3.
  • by hAkron ( 448427 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:43AM (#2430363)
    As long as they don't delete any of my porno they can have my MP3's
    • Well, the RIAA may not care about your pr0n, but the owners of those copyright images and movies may. Imagine waking up every few weeks to find that another sex site operator has broken into your computer, conducted a search and deleted some images it (summarily) decided infringed on its rights.

      Imagine every few months waking up to find one of these sites screwed up and wiped your harddisk... and there's nothing you can do about it...
    • > As long as they don't delete any of my porno they can have my MP3's

      Yeah let the MPAA take care of the porn... but they won't use that law, they will need to rewrite the proposition so they can have the right to download "to be sure it's porn" before deleting it off :)

  • by spacefem ( 443435 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:44AM (#2430365) Homepage
    We all saw this coming, but that's beside the point, you know what my main thought is today?

    Who are these people?

    They have that much time on their hands that they're willing to hack into individual people's computers to look for their files?

    At dinner parties, do they go off about mp3's and how every college kid is going to kill the record industry?

    Movements like this say "passion" to me, they're passionate about their copywrites, it's what they eat, sleep, and breath. Do they have nothing better to do? Are there this many idiots in the world?

    Maybe I just haven't seen enough corporate America yet, but I can't believe people make their lives out of something this petty.
    • I discussed these types of issues ad infitum on The Napster Forum [].

      I wish my post was still there, but I came across some evidence that the economy was mostly to blame. I found statistics on income and record sales and found that incomes fell, so did record sales. This makes sense, since music is a "luxury item" and is one of the first things to go off personal budgets in an economic slowdown.

      They have a convenient scapegoat in "piracy", even though the economy is in the crapper, and the quality of the product is such that it should just follow the economy.
    • by cavemanf16 ( 303184 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:04AM (#2430499) Homepage Journal
      Wrong. They're not passionate about their copyrights. They could care less if a million people copied the tunes, as long as they all paid their $2.00/mp3 for doing so. This whole copyright business with the DMCA is specifically about making the heads of recording studios richer, not about making the actual creators of the music rich, or even given credit for their works.

      And yes, once you've been in corporate America, you'll see that this shitty money grabbing politics happens all the time. Enjoy college while you can.

      And besides, the only computers they'll end up cracking into to delete files from will be the Britney Spears and NSYNC teenie bopper fans of the world, which just means that they'll be pissing off little teenage girls and boys, who will in turn cry to their parents, who will then go ballistic on the RIAA. Just another wonderful way to alienate their user base even more than they already have.

      • And yes, once you've been in corporate America, you'll see that this shitty money grabbing politics happens all the time. Enjoy college while you can.

        Then don't work for 'corporate America,' silly. There's no law saying you have to. What's more important? -- living in a giant-box two story house in the suburbanite jungle with two cars and an SUV or fighting for freedom and goodness and doing your best to help make the world a better place by helping others. That's not to say all corporate jobs are bad or that all big business is corrupt, but in the areas geeks gravitate towards (in which 'intellectual property' is the focus), you really have to weigh the ethical pros and cons with who you work for. Money and success matter not. PEOPLE matter. Don't waste your life. Enjoy college while you can, then go make a difference.
        • For some people, we don't have the choice of throwing away money just to help people. not everyone comes from pristine beginnings and has the luxury of an all expense paid visit to collegeland.

          I busted my ass working 2 jobs to get through school and I sold my soul the minute I could. that paid for things like a working car, a clean house, good food, and other things I never had until then.

          I'm all for helping people and working to better the community but please realize that the lower on the food chain you are, the less idealistic your goals tend to be. homeless people don't worry about your MP3s or your digitally-encrypted whatever. they care about food, warm places to sleep and other basics.

          sometimes there's a certain degree of perspective to be gained.
  • by fjordboy ( 169716 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:44AM (#2430372) Homepage
    Ok, something like this begs several questions: First of all, how would they determined that the mp3s and whatnot on my computer aren't legal? I happen to own cds for almost every single mp3 on my computer.

    Second of all, how would they go about hacking into our computers? If these guys are stupid enough to come up with such an idiotic proposal, how can we expect them to be able to hack a 386 running windows 3.1 on a network running win NT with no patches applied?

    To get to the point, this is the stupidest idea I think i've ever heard in my life.
  • by RedOregon ( 161027 ) <> on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:46AM (#2430383) Homepage Journal
    I get it now... according to the RIAA, I'm guilty until proven innocent. They want to be able to crack my system in order to prove me innocent. Oh, and if they fry my system, sorry, but I can't do anything about it.
    • I get it now... according to the RIAA, I'm guilty until proven innocent. They want to be able to crack my system in order to prove me innocent. Oh, and if they fry my system, sorry, but I can't do anything about it.
      RIAA: "Well, we thought she was a witch, so we tied her up and threw her in the ocean. See, witches float, so if she was a witch, she would have floated and then we could have killed her."

      Inspector: "Uh..."

      RIAA: "So anyway, she drowned. She wasn't a witch, so we don't see the problem."

      Inspector: "So, you're admitting you killed an innocent woman?"

      RIAA: "No, we simply proved she wasn't a witch and that there's nothing wrong with her."

      Inspector: "By killing her???"

      I hope my analogy is clear.
  • So let me see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haplo21112 ( 184264 ) <> on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:46AM (#2430384) Homepage
    Hacking is terrorism, but Hacking to defend copyrights is legal if you have enough Cash to by a Congressman, and get him to make legislation that says so? Have I got that right?
    • Re:So let me see (Score:5, Insightful)

      by imadork ( 226897 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:03AM (#2430493) Homepage
      Hacking is terrorism, but Hacking to defend copyrights is legal if you have enough Cash to by a Congressman, and get him to make legislation that says so? Have I got that right?

      Remember, one man's Terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter.

  • 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 Anonymous Coward
      A click-through license hasn't been tested in court yet, and I have read that these types of contracts will not hold up in court due to the fact that the consumer has no bargaining power in the "agreement" of contract and that it is considered a type of entrapment.

      I forget the exact legal terms, but consumer law protects citizens in the non-digital world in terms of bargaining power, seeking recourse, and being forced into something without really agreeeing to it (opening the celophane wrapper, etc.)
    • yeah if you enable the remote access bullshit. If I was running it, I wouldn't.

      I have service through roadrunner. Seems to me that they are blocking EVERYTHING. I cannot access anything on my computer (no ping, telnet, ssh, ftp, no nothing). Fine w/me. Come get me bitch. ;)

      Just make sure you don't enable the remote access crap, don't call them for technical support (ask your guru next door), or better yet, don't buy it in the first place.

      Who the fuck does MS think that they are putting something in the license that says that they can control what I have on my computer just b/c i use their OS? Excuse me but I own my computer, I own my HD, and I own their OS. They don't own me.

      They are scary.
      • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:23AM (#2430632) Homepage Journal
        Who the fuck does MS think that they are putting something in the license that says that they can control what I have on my computer just b/c i use their OS? Excuse me but I own my computer, I own my HD, and I own their OS. They don't own me.

        "The things you own end up owning you." - Tyler Durden

      • What makes you think they'd contact your machine? Why not phone home via http? Like, ever notice when you install or update IE, no matter what your home page is, first time IE runs it loads a page from microsoft with /runonce/ in the URL?

        As for a friend of mine who said he's OK because he runs ZoneAlarm, er, ZoneAlarm hooks into the IP stack. Microsoft wrote it, they can operate at a layer lower than zone alarm. The only real protection is to have an external gateway or firewall recognize and block whatever this mysterious ability to disable content is, and until they start doing it, we won't know what to look for.

        I'm sticking with linux and w2k personally (I go both ways...) and definitely Linux with the ultra-cool iptables running as my firewall on a ratty old box in my basement!

    • Strange, I thought this feature was included in all Windows OS...


      3 questions...

      If I infringed copyright for songs not belonging to RIAA Members, do they have the right to do anything ? for example, I have a large Reggae collection, and I'm sure Jamaican Producers from 1970 didn't belong to RIAA)

      I happen to have only LEGIT MP3 (ripped from my own LP & CDs)... Can somebody tell me how to differentiate a legit MP3 from a fraudulent one if you only have access to my computer ?
      For I have the right to make MP3s and backups (fair use...)


      I'm a foreigner (Brit, french, German, whatever you want...)

      If RIAA come to my pc and try to hack into it, this is illegal under my local matter what (or they have to ask local police do do something)

      which means I can sue them, even ban them If I want (can) (you know, you call ISP and tell him IP XXX.XXX.X.X just scanned all my ports, and flooded...)

      Well, I don't know about you, but this is the sort of things I fear...

  • Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:47AM (#2430389) Journal
    The RIAA just wants to be exempt from the new cyberterrorism regulations in the anti-terrorism bills.

    They are afraid what they do all the time will be classified as cyberterrorism.

    So really, even the RIAA is afraid of these new cyberterrorism regulations, and is trying to get their own loopholes put in.
  • Of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by CaptainZapp ( 182233 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:48AM (#2430395) Homepage
    Of course they want the right to hack into your computer. Same as our friends from the BSA.

    What is most disturbing however, is that those folks are not responsible for consequential damage, according to the article.

    Uuups, sorry we trashed your hard disk. Here's a 3$ off voucher for the new Britney Spears CD.

    If a web site defacer could wind up in jail for life, then the same measures should apply to corporate entities.

  • by 4444444 ( 444444 )
    how do they determin the eleagal mp3's from the ones you ripped from your cd's
  • by jued0001 ( 95852 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:49AM (#2430402)
    Couldn't this potentially lead to something even more nasty (if it ever comes to fruition), like M$ coming in and wiping out pirated copies of their OS? XP is already a step in the nasty direction, but that would just be completely insane...
  • Dear Gaia . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cjpez ( 148000 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:49AM (#2430407) Homepage Journal
    Okay, yeah, obviously they were eventually going to try something this moronic. They might even be lucky enough to get it passed for awhile until the supreme court manages to knock it down.

    But are they REALLY so insensitive as to tack it on to the end of an anti-terrorism bill? This has nothing to do with keeping terrorists at bay (some could argue that half of the stuff that is still in the bill doesn't do that either, but at least those bits have rationalized themselves). This is just some greedy organization that tried to use a "get this through quick" bill to slip in some really nasty stuff.

    The other day, I was trying to force myself to reconsider my opinions on the evilness organizations like the RIAA. Or at least take a closer look at the actual humans involved in the decisions they make. But this is just insane . . .

  • Retaliation (Score:2, Interesting)

    Any attempt by those bastards on my machine will constitute me to enter a "self defense mode", in which I will return the attacks to them 10 fold. This is just bullshit. I'll file charges in michigan (my home state) against them where any hacking is considered a felony.
  • by Jodrell ( 191685 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:51AM (#2430415) Homepage
    Will the last geek to leave America, please turn Slashdot off? Thanks.
    • by ClubStew ( 113954 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:56AM (#2430452)

      I hear ya! With each passing week, I want to move to Germany more and more. Heck, their government funds open source projects and is practically begging for computer engineers and scientists.

      • You won't.
        Everyone has to take an ID-Card around or your fine will be 500$.
        Shops have to close at 8 PM (20:00).
        Bureaucracy is nowhere as bloated as in Germany.
        And secretary of interior Mr. Schily is pushing
        anti-"cybercrime" laws as hard as US senators.
        The pros: the politicians are not bought like in the US (there are strict laws against "donations" and lobbying), they have just no idea...
        Of course the Greens are the salvation
        as they are in government and really protecting your rights.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2001 @11:13AM (#2430934)
        Funny you should mention that. ust last week was the first anniversary of my wife and I leaving Silicon Valley for Munich, Germany.

        I have been freelance contracting here (software engineering) and getting a visa and work permit is absolutely no problem. in fact, they really cater to foreign tech workers (almost embarassingly so).

        It's an awesome place to live with great people who are super friendly. the best part? I have a 10 minute commute on my bicycle nd we don't even own a car! Compare that to the old 2 hour total commute up and down 101!

        What you are talking about can be done. We have done it. I cannot tell you how happy we are to have left. We made the ultimate vote. We voted with our feet.

  • According to the article the reason that the RIAA was pushing this POS was because the new Anti-Terrorism bill (you know, the one that states that hacking=terrorism) would put the Kybosh on the RIAA trying to block people who trade MP3s and such.

    I still think the hacking provisions of the anti-terrorist bill stink (and I hope they're sunsetted eventually) but it gives me a nice warm glow to know that they're also causing the RIAA lots of grief.

    I can't wait for the first person to sue the RIAA for "terrorism" when they try to port-block someone. I'd even donate some $$$ for the cause.
  • by ClubStew ( 113954 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:53AM (#2430423)

    Great! So now the government AND RIAA (is there any difference anymore?) want to hack my computer. What kind of country is this? Apparently freedom is only granted to those with the money. Matthew Lesko [] should put that in his book.

    We really need to start writing our congressmen and explaining the truth to them about technology. Has everyone written their congressmen yet? With so much bad legislation being proposed, one or two are bound to get passed.

    There is another solution, though: transphasic torpedoes []. They took out the bork with one shot in the last episode of Star Trek Voyager; perhaps they can take out Uncle Bill's cube before he assimilates the entire government and media!

  • ...It might not be all too soon. With the anti-terrorism legislation that has screwed with our rights more than necessary, it seems that congress is willing to do all sorts of scary things in the name of public safety. This seems to be the beginning of a big-brother society. Would the RIAA have rights to randomly hack into any machine they suspect of having illegal MP3s? What would happen in a situation like mine where the only MP3s on my computer are the ones I have ripped from my own CDs to transfer to my rio? Would the RIAA claim they have the right to crack my security measures because they know there are MP3s on the computer, legal or not?

    This is insane....
  • Already Legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slashkitty ( 21637 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:53AM (#2430429) Homepage
    from wired:
    The RIAA believes that this kind of technological "self-help" against online pirates, if done carefully, is legal under current federal law. But the RIAA is worried about the USA Act banning that practice -- and neither the Senate nor the House versions of that bill include the RIAA's suggested changes.
    It would seem that they are only trying to prevent this bill from outlawing their hacking. Is there no law preventing their cracks right now? Are they already working on a system to break into everyone's computer? Have they already started it up?
  • Peter Swire, a former top privacy official under President Clinton and now a professor at Ohio State University, says he hopes there would be public debate on any such proposal.

    He hopes for public debate? We already know [] there won't be [].


  • by glowingspleen ( 180814 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:54AM (#2430434) Homepage
    Step 1: Download a few pirated mp3's

    Step 2: Leave your PC connected to file sharing programs until the RIAA finds your IP address

    Step 3: Allow RIAA MP3-Killer-Bot to delete your mp3's

    Step 4: Sue the RIAA, pointing out the fact that you actually had a Step 1.5, in which you renamed some of your personal documents as mp3's, named after your favorite bands. It's their fault for not checking the data inside the files first.

    Ta da.
  • by egburr ( 141740 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:54AM (#2430441) Homepage
    For once, the RIAA may be doing something (unintentionally) good for us. Since the article didn't provide the actual proposal, I am assuming its description was farily accurate. To sum it up: anyone can hack into any system anywhere for any reason with complete immunitiy if they say they were doing so to check for suspected piracy of works for which they own the copyright. This sounds like a blank check for hackers.
    • The actual text is linked off of the Wired article, I've posted one of the two suggested texts for the amendment.:

      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 intended to impede or prevent the infringement of copyright in such work by wire or electronic communication; provided that the use of the work that the owner is intending to impede or prevent is an infringing use.

      Which means, if you own the copyright to something, and you believe that someone is poaching said thing, you have a blank check under this law. They can't prosecute you for whatever you do, provided you can prove the intent was to prevent/impede distribution.

      But on the other hand, isn't intentionally breaking into someone's machine already illegal? How the hell would this amendment stand up as opposed to laws already in place?

      • Oops. I missed that link when reading the first time. I see it now. Thanks.

        I guess the big question is, what are the current laws that supposedly already allow them to hack/crack into peoples computers to do this? This amendment is only intended to prevent the anti-terrorism legislation from making their current activity illegal. What are they doing now? How is it legal? Can we do the same back to them under the pretenses that we are making sure they haven't copied any of our copyrighted materials?

  • .....let'm try me...

  • Red Herring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nyjx ( 523123 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @09:55AM (#2430445) Homepage
    The wired article says that ammendment ddin't get through. Interestingly (from the wired article): "We might try and block somebody," Glazier said. "If we know someone is operating a server, a pirated music facility, we could try to take measures to try and prevent them from uploading or transmitting pirated documents."

    It seems unlikely that hacking the individual machines would be the best solution for this (even if the law were to allow it). The cost would be very high. Much cheaper to do what they are now doing:

    • Leaning on ISPs to cut off "abusing" users (without comeback - see previous slashdot stories)
    • Suing the larger sites (napster obviously)
    • Trying to stifle decryption technology.
    In the long run these are likely to be 95% effective if the succeed. If their wording were to ever pass into law they would just be setting a dangerous precedent for anybody to go and explore somebody else's machine. I'm just off to RIAA's web site to "check" if they have a copy of my (copyrighted) memoires on the server...

  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:02AM (#2430479)

    I think this is a great idea. People who copy music and distribute it on the internet are robbing artists of their rightful earnings. After all, the RIAA is really just a kind of charity that collects money for poor musicians.

    I think they should go further. They should allow the RIAA to break into people's houses to check that they don't have any music copies on cassette. If they do, the RIAA should be allowed to smash up their music system. And crap on their carpet.
  • Student cant afford to pay the money for a CD BUT wants the music (and has NO intention of spending any money even if he did... beer is more important), they have one of three choices...

    1) copy a friend's CD (unless friend doesnt have CD)
    2) download songs off of internet
    3) goes to the local store and steals it

    cases one and two the RIAA doenst lose money because the student wasnt going to buy it anyway
    case three, the store, the artist, the distributor, the Record Label and the RIAA lose money...
  • It is legal to create MP3s of music you own. How is it possible to determine which are legal and which are illegal, given only a list of files on your computer? Do they have a catalogue of the CDs I own?
    • I write all of my MP3 on CDRs so that I can listen too it on my Expanium while biking, guess it'll take them a long time to just realise my laptop is not the right place to search
    • broomstick, is temporarily under Linux (I am developping somethin else)...Hope they can just "see" it if they want to hack it
    • the MP3 I collect are the digital versions of songs I buy as second-hand LP's so they might find it even harder to prove that I infringed their shit
    • Last but not least: when I don't listen too these good'ole times songs, I listen to GNUArt [] GPL'ed music [] which makes it definitely a bad day for their "hackers".
  • How this could work. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:04AM (#2430497) Homepage Journal
    This could work in a couple of easy ways, if assume the world runs Win.

    Simply release a great free sound player that incorporates some drice and network sweeping functions "to make it easier to find the music you want to play".

    If an M3 is found the software can do one of two things;
    1 Delete it, but keeping a copy within some HUGE archive file so the user can still play it but not copy or share it
    2 Resave the file with your name, address, etc embedded.

    Now if you share the file your info is going along with it. If the software finds a file with someone elses details, it gets deleted from your PC.

    Keep the files playable so people dont go back to the old copy of REAL on a cover CD somewhere to get their old files back (as if 90% of users would know how).

    That'd do it, quietly, like the way copy protection on CDs just slipped onto the market. They dont have to hack you - they just give you free software a la MS-IE
  • RIAA wants to be able to enforce the law. They want to be able to take the law into their own hands. They want to be able to strike against targets of their own choosing.

    Terrorists have their own agenda, too, and want to strike against targets of their own choosing, taking the law into their own hands.

    RIAA wants to be able to act like a terrorist, yet be protected from the anti-terrorist laws.


  • 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.
    • Wrong. Read it again. "Impairment of the availability of data, a program, a system or information" (translation: Damage done to your programs/OS/data) IS hacking. What the amendment really says is that if such damage is caused to your computer, if the RIAA REASONABLY INTENDED to prevent the "unauthorized transmission" of copyrighted work (translation: if they thought you might be sharing MP3's), they cannot be held liable for the damages. Sure, they're trying to block transmissions. The problem is that the amendment says that they may do so with impunity; any damage they cause while attempting to do so, *whether or not justified* (only has to be "reasonable" intent) is *your* problem.
  • by joshtimmons ( 241649 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:05AM (#2430504) Homepage
    I worry about this scenario:

    1. RIAA starts portscanning my box, testing buffer overflow exploits, etc. in an attempt to get into my system.
    2. I notice the suspicious activity, but don't know who it is.
    3. I decide to figure out what's going on by scanning the originator and applying other various security tools. This could be anything, but if someone is trying to get in and I don't know who it is, I'm going to be tempted to respond in some way to stop the attack.
    4. I get convicted of a felony (in many states) or terrorism (hasn't passed yet) for trying to hack into the RIAA's system.
    5. They don't even get a slap on the wrist because it's legal for them.

    My point is that it puts knowledgable people in a very risky position because they don't know who is attacking their PC and would naturally try to respond.

  • 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.

  • bought 12 CDs at a pawnshop for 3.00 each, pawnshop made 12.00 on the deal, RIAA recieved NOTHING!

    oh and it was some good stuff to...

    ACDC, thick upper lip
    ACDC, Dirty Deads
    Led Zepplin, Presence
    Megadeth, Peace sells
    Megadeth, Risk
    Days Of The New, Yellow Album
    and a bunch more...
  • by Marasmus ( 63844 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:06AM (#2430522) Homepage Journal
    There is no such thing as 'the right thing to do' when it comes to the RIAA.

    the "we claim to denounse the 'vigilante' actions of music piraters, but we are trying to become legally-protected vigilantes" hypocricy is, well, baffling. I don't think that any sane body of people could come up with anything as fundamentally and legally wrong. The RIAA just makes itself out to be a body of mentally-imbalanced sociopaths.

    How far does the RIAA plan to take this? The mention of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is not only symbolically but literally relevant. Will the RIAA start burning books because we could translate the music into multiple sinusoidal equations and print it on paper? Are they going to get 'expert witnesses' to testify that the human brain never loses any data which it receives, and thus the human brain itself is a physical medium of piracy? Will they then lobotomize me to get their song back?

    Of course this is an exaggeration... however, it is more possible today than it was yesterday.
  • $ ls -l ~/mp3
    Permission denied

    I don't own the directory. Good luck :P

  • by werdna ( 39029 ) on Monday October 15, 2001 @10:09AM (#2430532) Journal
    . . . we are now in a position to turn the tabled on RIAA, using the USAA's overreaching revision of civil remedies for hacking.

    Perhaps it is time to set up some serious MP3-baited honeypots, and just wait for RIAA to bury themselves?

    I can think of nothing more useful to turn the tables on RIAA's currently pristine image in Congress (or at least to get Congress to re-think their ludicrous rewiring of criminal computer laws), than to show the unintended consequences of massive remedies for improper hacking.
  • I hold the copyright for a couple (mostly GPL) programs. Am I allowed to hack into the RIAA machines so I can verify they're not violating the GPL? That would be interesting. For some time there's been rumors of MS using GPL'ed code in Windows, I guess we can verify that now!

    Thinking about it, I'm not sure even the RIAA wants that kind of laws...
  • OR use .ogg (I havent messed with it yet as I use options 1&2)

    kinda hard deleting/finding mp3s when they are names (Deep Purple, smoke on the water)
  • Hey does that mean I can commit a burglary at RIIA, just to get back some of that money that went to them when I bought records. But of course, only for those records I found cheaper in another store.

    Is it ok?
    It's the same thing? Really?
    great, let me just go get my crowbar...
  • 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.
  • Y'know what? Let'em TRY hacking MY computer. I mean, I figure some of you guys MIGHT POSSIBLY be able to convince a hardware router to do your bidding, but then you've got to figure out which box is really mine (hint: it's not the Windows boxen, those are my housemates'), and then you've got to take into account that I do in fact keep up with all the software updates and stuff... so there's not going to be any of this slack-ass admin hackability.....

    If they really care to go to all that trouble. But I doubt it. They're going to go after easy targets [].

    Some of us are fish.... and some of us are sharks.

  • ... is not their proposed (initial) amendment, as they already agreed to withdraw it, and the newer amendment is mainly there to ensure they would still have the legal loophole they have today (or at least they believe they do).

    The real news is that the RIAA is actually admitting they have plans to use those tactics for fighting piracy.

    My guess? The RIAA does not plan to hack into individual user's computers and delete their MP3 files - this would not be cost-effective. What they have in mind is a plan in case they loose the case against FastTrack/Music-City. I bet they plan to distrupt the KaZaa/Morpheus network in case they loose the legal fight and FastTrack do not accept their terms in negotiation.

    There is a lot that can be done to deliberately sabotage the KaZaa network, and make it unusable. I won't mention the possible ways not to give anyone any ideas, but I think this should serve as a warning for us - we should prepare for a new kind of attack from the RIAA.

  • from:
    to: alt.virii, alt.h4x0r,
    subject: l33t h4x0r5 w4nt3d!!!!!111111

    W3 wnat j00! if j00 c4n rwit3 b4d-455 viri1 liek s1rc4M, & c0d3 rde, w3 w4nt j00 to h4x0r f0r u5!!!!11111

    phr34k in2 th3 b0X3n 0f l4m3r5 ru0nd th3 wl0rd 4nd t4a5h0r th33r MP3Z... l3g4lly!!!!111111 m4k3 m0n3y f45t!!!!!!11111111```````

    w3'll 3v3n g3ts j00 a t3ch-g33nisu v33sa 1f j00 rw0t3 c0d3 rde 4nd l1v35 n1 ch1n0r!!!!!!1111

    The RIAA... ph33r us!!!!!!11111
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday October 15, 2001 @12:01PM (#2431230) Homepage Journal
    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 lot of folks are pointing out that this ammendment did not make it through (some others are claiming that it's already legal). I won't even touch that, because it's not the point.

    Folks, the RIAA has shown us its true colors! In the face of one of the greatest national tragedies in the U.S., the RIAA decides to use the political momentum to sneak through controvercial legislation granting them the power to subvert the bill of rights without even so much as notifying law enforcement!

    This is deeply anti-freedom, anti-American and just downright evil. If the RIAA had pushed for hearings on the topic, or even bought enough of a congress-crittur to get a bill introduced, that's one thing. If they had pushed an amendment to related legislation, that's kind of slimy, but I'm (unfortunately) used to it in the U.S.

    But, when you try to hide your actions under the cloak of an anti-terrorism bill, in response to the death of thousands... I don't think I want to have to look at someone associated with the RIAA for a very long time.

    Oh BTW, in case you were wondering why anyone would ever want to risk such public backlash, let me clue you in: the RIAA wants this amendment to be part of a bill that the courts dare not strike down. Do you think the supreme court would toss and anti-terrorism law because of an entertainment-industry amendment? Sorry, I can only take so much.... I have to go wash.

VMS must die!