The user is a rapidly evolving creature being defined by possibility.
opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] Friday, August 30, 2002

It's Time to Stop the Music

I want you to stop buying Commercial Music and going to Movies for six months.
Because if You do not cut off their money they will cut off your Internet access. They have already killed Internet Radio.This is not about the short term pain of your favorite musician, they have already been screwed so royally that it is amazing that you can even recognize them.

The personal computer has dramatically changed the ways we spend our time. The creation of the World Wide Web, built on top of the Internet has made publishing words, music and even video something that no longer requires a Publishing Industry to produce. You can do it on your home computer right now. But how long that remains true is up to you.

The recent attacks against the RIAA website are wrong. The RIAA has as much right on the web as you and I. By denying them their freedom to post what they believe, you are denying the basic freedom of the Internet. You are also playing into their hands and making their case that they need to tuen the web into a gated community and exclude you.

The attacks are instructional however.

The first attack was a simple DDoS, Denial of Service attack. This is where you create a large number of requests to the target server, flooding it with requests which cause it to crash as it becomes overloaded. This renders the website unreachable. To mount a successful attack of this type, you need two things, a target and a number of unsecured computers. The success of this attack illustrates two significant points.

First, the I.P of the RIAA, is a netblock owned by AT&T,who should know better and should have been hardened against this type of attack took an inordinately long time to respond.

The Second attack was a defacement attack which requires a more sophisticated approach. To mount one of these you need root or administrative access to the server the files reside on so that you can replace them. To get this access you need the I.P and a few tools to dig out the user name and password. The easiest method is to call them and have them give it to you. Failing that, you can scan the box for open ports, packet sniff, and if you have a bit if time just scan the traffic and when they update, you will receive the information necessary.

All of these tools are freely available and most come with instructions that anybody with a 4th grade reading level can apply.

As of this writing 8/30/02 9:44:11 AM the RIAA site is still down. It would seem that http requests are being interpreted as execute requests and the server is denying them. Somebody must have changed the directory permissions, and the sysadmin is just saying no.

This is what you get when you call people who are your customers and are the reason for your continued existance thieves and liars. Only a group of folks with there heads firmly planted in their asses couldn't see this coming.

The 'Entertainment' Industry wants to change this.

Fairness is not a concept that is integral to the entertainment industry.

The Entertainment Industry consists of Record, Movie and Book Publishers. The entertainment industry works like this; Wanna be published? Sign over the Copyrights to us! Wanna record music? Sign over the Copyrights to us! Wanna be a movie star? Work for Hire, Copyright Belongs to Us. Printing Presses, Record Presses, and 35 MM films required large investments, and did not fit on your desktop.

Prior to the internet, the Entertainment Industry had a very cozy arrangement in production and distribution, which has run them in trouble with the law. Repeatedly.

The Entertainment Industry has taken advantage of every invention in consumer electronics in the last 50 years, and have fought every one with various degrees of success. They blocked showing movies on television for a number of years, they created payola[3], which were payments to radio stations to play selected music, they invented the "Minimum Advertised Price" (MAP), but were forced to stop that because of Anti-Trust laws[4] they fought the VCR, lost, but extracted a media tax[5] for all blank media. Even if you are creating your own entertainment You are still supporting the Entertainment Industry with every blank cassette, VCR tape and CD you buy. It doesn't matter that you are using your CD for burning family photos, making a backup copy of your company database, archivial copy of your computer programs, you are still propping up the Entertainment Industry.

The personal computer has dramatically changed the ways we spend our time. The creation of the World Wide Web, built on top of the Internet has made publishing words, music and even video something that no longer requires a Publishing Industry to produce. You can do it on your home computer right now. But how long that remains true is up to you.

The short term solution is to stop buying music and videos. Cut off their money. The long term solution is to change the way artists are compensated and change the political landscape to stamp out the people who believe that Special Interests is more important than Public Interest.

The Only Digital Rights the Entertainment Industry deserve or will get are those we give to them. It is your choice.

Resources and Links

[1]The Statute of Anne:

"Copyright law as we know it began in England in 1710 when the British Parliament enacted the Statute of Anne. contained, for the first time in copyright law, legal protection for consumers of copyrighted works by curtailing the term of a copyright thus, preventing a monopoly on the part of the booksellers. It also created a ''public domain'' for literature by requiring the creation of a new work in order to obtain a copyright, by limiting the length of term of a copyright, and by limiting the rights granted to the copyright owner (print, publish, and sell) so that once purchased the copyright owner does not control the use of the work. The statute also provided for an author's copyright - although the benefit to authors was minimal because in order to be paid for a work an author had to assign the work to a bookseller or publisher."(My Italics)

Timeline: A History of Copyright in the U.S.
read here - go there
Source: Association of Research Libraries

[2] Article I, section 8, clause 8, says that Congress has the power

"to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.".

United States Constitution Article 1 Clause 8
read here - go there
Source: United States Constitution

[3] Payola

Payola is the practice by which record companies routinely pay millions of dollars in independent promotion fees to consultants who in turn ensure radio play from radio conglomerates.

read here - go there
Source: Recording Artists Coalition

[4]Restraining Competition in CD Music Market

Record Companies Settle FTC Charges of Restraining Competition in CD Music Market
read here - go there
Source: Federal Trade Commision

[5]The Royalty Fund
Section 1004 of Title 17 Chapter 10 outlines the Royalty fees that are paid by the manufacturer of Blank digital audio recording medium either here or imported.

Digital Audio Recording Media.-The royalty payment due under section 1003 for each digital audio recording medium imported into and distributed in the United States, or manufactured and distributed in the United States, shall be 3 percent of the transfer price. Only the first person to manufacture and distribute or import and distribute such medium shall be required to pay the royalty with respect to such medium.

Section 1004 of Title 17 Chapter 10 of the United States Code
read here - go there
Source: United States Code

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