Operation Payback is a Bitch: Hactivism at the dawn of Copyright Controversies

by PaleFire on 13/10/10 at 12:17 pm

As operation Payback is a Bitch finished up its second week, things seem to be winding down. For those unaware of what went down, here’s a recap: The operation is launched by Anonymous against the entertainment companies, in particular MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (The Recording Industry Association of America) and their legal watchdogs to support bitTorrent sites like The Pirate Bay. Within days, it developed into a cyberwar in which everyone got a share of the pie. The sit down may not be over yet. Anonymous stated that the attacks will continue until they are no longer "angry." Embracing the manifesto “we manifest anarchy,” the organization believes that the industry organizations’ “long outdated traditional views on copyright infringement enforced solely by rich and powerful corporations need to be modified in light of the modern age on the Internet, the Information

anonymous copyright

The manifesto of the aforementioned operation is quite interesting in that it reveals how anarchic behavior may ensue when policies, in this case those that relate to copyright issues, are inadequate to respond to the needs of the contemporary age. Quite interesting that such criticism would be voiced by a group that was born out of the message boards of 4chan infamous for its crass humor and profanity. But at the same time, you don’t have to be a genius to see the obvious. In the absence of functional regulators or laws, related parties are ravaging the loot while waving the banner of "doing good." And the manifesto announced by Anonymous, cited in full in Slyck in its entirety, demonstrates this chaos. The relevant section is as follows:

“There have been a massive lobbyist-provoked surge in unfair infringements of personal freedom online, lately. See the Digital Economy Bill in the UK, and “three strikes” legislation in the EU which both threaten to disconnect internet connections based on accusations supplied by the music and movie industries. In the USA, a new bill has been proposed that could allow the USA to force top level registrars such as ICANN and Nominet to shut down websites, all with NO fair trial. Our tactics are inspired by the very people who provoked us, AiPlex Software. A few weeks back they admitted to attacking file sharing sites with DDoS attacks.”

The problem, perhaps, is not just the inadequate copyright laws, but also the inability of the industry to adapt itself to the contemporary needs of our culture. In a recent interview with TorrentFreak, Fritz Attaway and Craig Hoffman, the two of the top suits of MPAA, admits that the large part of the problem "is developing new business models that consumers will access legally and find that experience superior to illegal access." While the two are optimistic and believe that the industry is doing an excellent
job in attaining that goal, the latest events that transpired prove that we have a long way to go.

In the meantime, the groups are seeking justice in any way they can and no one is too sure who is the sheriff in town is or even if there is one. As is the case with most cyber-protests, it is not even clear who the victim is.

To fight back against the anti-piracy lobby, Anonymous did what it does best: to initiate one of the largest cyberwars to date and, to maintain momentum, says Tom’s Guide, the group sought out more members by sending out flyers and recruiting people through Facebook, Digg, Reddit and other sites and made sure they had access to the tools they needed. Who is on the menu? The aforementioned associations, MPAA and RIAA, The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), Stichting Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland (BREIN), ACS:Law, Aiplex, Websheriff, and Dglegal. Ultimately, what happened on the Internet, did not stay on the Internet. The initiative ended up being far more consequential than it initially was thought to be, exposing scams, personal information of hundreds of people, ACS:Law’s dirty laundry, and… well… the names and information of those who illegally downloaded gay porn… or porn… Come on… admit it… we’re all one big happy family here ;-P Well, you get the idea.

The stench of the mess is so potent that it may require some radical cleaning up that requires
more than fining people and putting them into jail.

The story starts like this: The Operation Payback was initiated when RIAA had hired AiPlex Software, an India-based company working on behalf of Bollywood studios, who admitted to using not-so-kosher techniques to fight piracy including launching DDoS attacks. You see, Aiplex is not the first or only company resorting to strategies like this. Seeing that their very own tactics were being used against their beloved p2p sites, Anonymous decided to take the matter into its own hands. And, as they promised, Anonymous took down the Web sites of RIAA, Aiplex, and ACS:Law, the law company that was hired to hunt down the infringers. So they did.

The real damage to ACS:Law, however, came after the DDoS attack when, in their haste to put everything in order, they exposed the backup of their confidential files containing the e-mails of its only lawyer, Andrew Crossley, in addition to thousands of personal records that were handed over by ISPs, including Sky, BT and Plusnet. And this information appeared on the website, unencrypted. Ooops, sorry!

This unfortunate faux pas led to the company’s gory tactics being revealed to the hacker world who eagerly downloaded all this good information. Apparently, ACS:Law had been extracting money from the alleged infringers by encouraging out-of-court settlements. The firm’s confidential (and now not-so-confidential) business plan shows that, while the amount of money demanded in the letters varied depending on the rights holder, the number of letters sent out by the law firm has turned its business into "a numbers game," so the payments of between £300 and £500 quickly added up into a handsome sum.

Crossley, whose clients were mostly in the porn industry, came up with what seemed to be the perfect scam: track down BitTorrent infringers, convert their IP addresses into real names, and blast out warning letters threatening litigation if they didn’t cough up some cash. Except that the scheme had its flaws.

Unless you are aggressively following the threats, people don’t take you seriously and if you are too aggressive, they bond together and resist collectively (both of which were the case here). Not to mention, the average file-shares don’t have extra of cash laying around to begin with, otherwise they would buy the movie in the first place. On top of this, according to a the same leaked business plan, only a fifth of money collected from damages paid was given to the rights holders, turning the law firm, which keeps 80% before paying ISPs and IP tracking companies, into cash cows.

And so last week, the Internet witnessed ACS:Law going down in a spectacular fashion.

But not before shaking down other companies. Everything seemed to come down like a house of cards. British Telecom (BT), the owner of PlusNet, admitted to sending to ACS:Law unencrypted personal data of 500 users who had been suspected of illegally downloading porn following a court order. But because they sent the data unencrypted (hoping that the unprotected files would be securely stored by ACS:Law), they breached the Data Protection Act, in addition to violating the very same court order they
were following because the order had specifically stated that PlusNet should send this data in an encrypted form.

The story doesn’t end here.

After the collapse of ACS:Law, Gallant MacMillan (another law firm famous for hunting down infringers) rose up to the occasion to take over where ACS:Law has left off… and declared that it will use whatever method necessary to bring down the file-sharers and went to court to subpoena the IP addresses of additional suspected infringers. Seeing what had happened to BT, the ISPs weren’t so hot in delivering this information when presented with flimsy proofs. Guess what happened to Gallant MacMillan and its client, the Ministry of Sound? Yup, you guessed it! Their sites went down, though they had a little bit more dignity than ACS:Law when doing so. If you are interested in the details of the entire operation, you can find them here.

Already, the data leak is bringing important questions into the limelight, questions that exceeds copyright issues, but also, as you can suspect, verges upon privacy violations. Privacy International lost no time is expressing outrage by the breach and decried it as a “travesty of data security.” The quality of the standards set forth by The Digital Economy Act of England, while deemed to be satisfactory, is questioned as a result of all the dust that Anonymous brought up following its DDoS war.

Even if ACS:Law’s evidence (sending warning letters by turning ISP into customer names) would be sufficient under the current regulations, it would still may not be considered as acceptable evidence in court. Privacy International is already seeking legal advice about the possibility of bringing charges against BT for contempt of court. If found guilty, the firm could face a fine of up to half a million pounds if it is found in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Anonymous may very well have had the noble intentions expressed in their manifesto… and/or the reason could be as petty as one of these organizations getting in the way of them downloading illegal content and they just got mad. But does it really matter? It is a precarious juncture, really. While we see the undeniable power of networks when mobilized, we also see that no one really is in charge… the group has a mind of its own. The hive mind is powerful, yes, but can we call its operation successful in anything other than causing mayhem? In other words, was there a long-lasting purpose other than taking down the entertainment industry websites? As Darlene Storm says in Computer World, "Perhaps the biggest purpose it served was the warning shot heard around the globe about the collective power of anonymous people." One of the commentators insists:

"Well guess what? Anonymous isn’t as simple as a bunch of teenagers who want free music. Why did they attack Scientology, for example? Why are they attacking these websites now and why are they planning a gigantic assault on any organization which supports the ACTA or COICA internet censorship legislations? The answer lies in their simple slogan, "knowledge is free". They attacked Scientology because Scientology tried to silence free speech in the form of anti-scientology videos on YouTube. They attack ANYONE who attempts to apply any sort of "control" or "regulation" to the internet. Look at their homes, the "chans", 808chan, 4chan, wherever, for proof – there’s no order! It’s free flowing, stream of consciousness. Posts are barely even ordered into topics or subjects, it’s literally a wild west of total freedom of thought and expression. Anonymous believes the internet should be 100% free from any form of control by governments or organizations, and they are willing to stand up for this even if it means they go to jail (as some have in the past)."

Looks like Net Neutrality has a forceful defendant. Hats off. But the question is, what would happen if this force decides to use its power for things other than worthy causes? Do we have means to control it?

42 Responses to “Operation Payback is a Bitch: Hactivism at the dawn of Copyright Controversies”

  1. The Anti Herald

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Obviously, no.

    You can’t take complete anarchy and dress it up and make it look like altruism no matter how hard you try. Nobody’s fooled. Hang it up, “Pixeleen”.

  2. Tracey Humphreys

    Oct 13th, 2010

    That bastard crook Crossley (lawyer and ACS:Law’s owner) is well and truly stuffed! He was already under investigation for malpractice (failing to file proper account). He’ll have to sell his new Bentley and leave his luxury mansion.

    WOO HOO!

  3. [...] more: Operation Payback is a Bitch: Hactivism at the dawn of Copyright … Posted by Bugged on Oct 13th, 2010 and filed under Net Neutrality. You can follow any responses [...]

  4. Ravin Draconia

    Oct 13th, 2010

    The Anonymous manifesto is no longer showing up at that link to Slyck that you provided. I’d like to read it.

    Overall, I applaud Anonymous. I’ve been keeping a small bit of attention on ACTA and COICO and a few other things and am of the mind that such things as ACTA et al does nothing more than protect profits to the detriment of the average person.

  5. Darien Caldwell

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Vigilante behavior is never justified, and is just as bad, if not worse, than the wrong it seeks to right.

    If they don’t like the policy, that’s what the legal system and voting is for. Not to mention, voting with your dollars and your feet.

  6. Ravin Draconia

    Oct 13th, 2010

    @Darien … wrong. A vigilante is someone who goes after law breakers without the lawful right to do so.

    As for using the legal system and voting, how can that work without debate, as has happened with the Britain’s Digital Protection Act? How do you fight multi-million dollar lobbyists who seek to have laws changed that would result in the infringement of your rights?

    Think about it …. how do you fight back if the law says you have no right to appeal? Take these acts, proposed and enacted, that results in your household being cut off from Internet if you are merely accused of copytheft? No substantiation needed, just 3 seperate accusations and you’re done. Your kid gets into a beef with a couple of other kids. Those kids make false reports against your kid. And now you have no Internet and no recourse to fight back. Period.

    All in the name of profit.

  7. Edna

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Here’s a new idea, if you want to watch a movie, download a song, use a website script, etc…pay for it like everyone else. This is like the guy who sues the homeowner when he gets hurt slipping on the rug while robbing the home owner’s house.

    Criminals have no rights and are entitled to nothing but death by stoning.

  8. Synonymous

    Oct 13th, 2010

    I just blogged about Hacktivism and how it has to be a last resort after trying less illegal forms of interactivism (internet activism). Social media campaigns have been successful and are of course going to be the first line of defence in terms of protecting people’s rights on the internet. Anonymous are really a last line of defence, and they are only acting because we all failed in our legitimate attempts to stop this human rights infringement happening in the first place.

    We all signed the online petitions and we retweeted the hashtags, but the ACTA has been rolling out without any sign of stopping.

  9. Kiddoh

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Behold, the power of the people in its purest of forms~.

  10. Boyd Doghouse

    Oct 13th, 2010

    There will never be “business models that consumers will access legally and find that experience superior to illegal access”

    Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store will always suck compared to grabbing a steak off the shelf and walking out the door.

    Reasonable people, though, understand if they keep stealing groceries though, eventually the store will stop putting them on the shelves to be stolen.

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand the same will happen with digital media as well.

    No one infringes on your rights by requiring you to pay for stuff. Only children and retards have trouble seeing that.

    Piratebay only exists because there are still enough people willing to acquire their music and movies legally to support their production.

    Movies will probably be the first to go if this refusal to pay for stuff continues. They’re very expensive to make and are a risky investment to begin with.

  11. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Ravin Draconia @”As for using the legal system and voting, how can that work without debate, as has happened with the Britain’s Digital Protection Act? How do you fight multi-million dollar lobbyists who seek to have laws changed that would result in the infringement of your rights?”

    Who elected those voters that gives them the right to tell those corporations what to do? There is nothing stopping you from hiring your own six figure lobbyist. It’s your tough luck your to lazy to get off your behind and get a job as a CEO at a mulinational. like a real hardworking American.

  12. Edna

    Oct 13th, 2010

    If you can’t scrape together one measly dollar to rent a movie from Redbox, maybe that ought to be a wake up call to you to crawl out your mom’s basement and look for a job instead of sitting on your greasy ass all day and illegally downloading and watching movies.

  13. Yep

    Oct 13th, 2010

    “If you can’t scrape together one measly dollar to rent a movie from Redbox,”

    or get them legally for free at these two web sites.

    Crackle http://www.crackle.com
    Hulu http://www.hulu.com

  14. General Drama

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Greatly amused at the terrible grammar and horrendous sentence structure throughout this article. Pix, c/mon.

  15. Rebecca

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Before Anonymous, we had Rebecca. Nevah forget.

    “By late 1843, the riots had stopped. Although Rebeccca had failed to produce an immediate effect on the lives of the farmers she had sought to serve, the very nature of a leaderless uprising of the downtrodden peasantry in an attempt to obtain justice from an unfair system, was an important socio-political event within Wales. In the aftermath of the riots, some rent reductions were achieved, the toll rates were improved (although destroyed toll-houses were rebuilt) and the protests prompted several reforms, including a Royal Commission into the question of toll roads, which lead to the Turnpikes Act of 1844. This Act consolidated the trusts, and simplified the rates; furthermore it reduced the hated toll on lime movement by half. More importantly, the riots inspired later Welsh protests.”

    So as you can see, there are precedents of anonymous groups attacking unfair policies, hiding behind disguises and succeeding in changing policies.

    Yours sincerely

    Rebecca, mother of Anonymous

  16. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Oct 13th, 2010

    @boyd doghouse:

    “There will never be “business models that consumers will access legally and find that experience superior to illegal access””

    Yes there will be. And they will come into the mainstream when the old pre-broadband-internet generation of businessmen dies off and today’s 20-somethings at the top of the coporate ladders.

    The videogames industry is slowly getting there with microtransactions and gaming as service rather than as a product in and of itself, as well as the idea of customer-funded development, or ‘Triple A Indie’ as it has been called.

    The movie industry is slowly making progress by streaming movies on demand – although this really needs high speed connections to become more reliable and widespread.

    The music industry is really the slowest player in the game here, which is a joke because they have by far the smallest file sizes and thus connection speed requirements to deal with. I contend that spotify is superior to the pirate experience – or it would be if they had more tracks in their library.

  17. Glenn Beck

    Oct 13th, 2010

    You know who else was anti-Intellectual Property?


  18. PaleFire

    Oct 13th, 2010

    @Ravin Draconia Here is the link–>http://www.slyck.com/story2069_Gallant_Macmillan_Website_Next_Target_of_DDoS_Attack

    I guess it has more of the manifesto, but not all. Either way, I think I got the most important section…

  19. Scooby Doo

    Oct 13th, 2010

    @General Drama

    Ry “rentence ructure” Ri rerume rou rean “ryntax”.

  20. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Oct 13th, 2010

    Glen Beck @ “You know who else was anti-Intellectual Property?


    You tell them professor. Who was the first people the Nazis came for when they marched into Saigon in 1975?

    The copyright holders!

  21. Darien Caldwell

    Oct 14th, 2010

    @Darien … wrong. A vigilante is someone who goes after law breakers without the lawful right to do so.

    Which is why that term is right. Aren’t they claiming they are righting the wrong of copyright, by illegally downloading and offering works owned by others? That’s being a vigilante.

    As for the rest, Norton was mostly right, even if he was being sarcastic.
    How do you beat the multi-billion dollar company? Don’t buy their products.

    How do you change the laws? Elect people who believe as you do.

    I know this may be shocking, but there was a time when *movies didn’t exist!* D: And people didn’t die. You don’t want to pay for a movie, then don’t. But you can’t watch it either. And your life won’t end.

    You’re not entitled to anything in life. That is the grand mistake in reasoning behind this. You have no entitlement.

  22. Kinoko

    Oct 14th, 2010

    I Love 4chan/anom XD always will…

    Content should be free. Don’t like it dont sell your music keep it to yourself and 100% private in a safe. Screw the MPAA & RIAA screwing up technology with DMR Rights and all that other crap.

    Dont like music theft or illegal movie copying then make new technology to prevent it.

  23. Edna

    Oct 14th, 2010

    “Content should be free”

    Yeah so should houses, cars, and food.

    Funny thing is, I don’t these “screw copyright” people stepping up and telling Burger King that they’ll flip burgers all day for free. Yet they expect everyone that works in the film and music industry to give away their work for free.

  24. Little Lost Linden

    Oct 14th, 2010

    “I have come here to chew bubble gum, and pirate music. And I’m all outta bubble gum.”

    I’m fairly certain that is famous quote made by:


  25. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 14th, 2010

    @ Edna

    The financial repercussions of giving away houses, cars, and food are much higher because there is a limited supply. Copying digital content provides no real financial repercussions because there is an unlimited supply and virtually no cost to “manufacture” each copy.

  26. Gundel Gaukelei

    Oct 14th, 2010

    There isn’t such a big difference between the content industry and someone sharing unauthorized copies on the internet. Both do suck the blood until the victim stops bleeding without losing any sleep over it. It’s the american way of doing business. Grab all you can get. Morale is for losers.

  27. Ravin Draconia

    Oct 14th, 2010

    Let me be clear about something here.

    I am quite willing to pay for my movies and music and such. But I want the money going to the artists NOT the RIAA. Yes, I know it costs money to manufacture and distribute the discs, but it does not cost what is being charged.

    I want protection of Intellectual Property, NOT punishment without appeal. Which is what Britain’s new law does and what ACTA will do.

  28. Gaara Sandalwood

    Oct 14th, 2010

    Personally I don’t find this to really be wrong at all. There are varying types of vigilante actions, and this seems to be a favorable one.

  29. billy

    Oct 14th, 2010

    just remember this

    money talks and bullshit walks

    look at all the goverments of the world they all want money to spend on bullshit that atre used to buy super expensive houses and super expensive cars all for the fucking politions.

    then those same assholes all want more money so they can then cover bills they cranked up.

    now toss in the owners of the music and movie and book industries, heres a run down

    book – writers have relised the internet and they now sell digital versions of there books cheap which isgood

    music – fuck me why pay MORE for a digital download version of a song / album, example metallica sold an album a year or so ago the cd in the store was £11.99, the itunes version was £17.99 and the rock band / guitar hero version was £15.99.

    look at the diffrence between a physical item a diffrence between £4 to £6, what did metallica say about the diffrence “who cares we want money”

    movies – wellin the past 4 years there has been HARDLY any great movies worth seeing so if i see a movie coming out i watch it online streaming, if i like it i go see it.

    prime example of a bad mistake, avatar was an awesome movie but thanks to movie distibuters they put it out in one market 2 to 8 weeks before others which caused it to get cam’d in cinemas and be put online which gave it such a shitty box office returns on the first 2 months.

    also the diffrence between countrys is even worse.

    right now i see xbox / ps3 games on sale for $49.99 USD and then when you go else where its on sale at £49.99 or 49.99(euros)
    get the hint all they do is replace the currency symbol with the country its going to.

    i agree with what anon is doing but its all money money mony to ppl, under uk law its only theft if theres a physical item, copyright theft in the uk is a real gray area.
    if anyone in the uk watches movies wait untill the credits have run to get the copyright info and this goes for games, you will see that it states copyright in the usa and not the uk, CD’s show the same info about copyright in the usa but not in the uk.
    this means all the copyright holders are bound by the law of the usa which means they would need to deport the person from the uk to the usa to answer charges.
    but uk courts dont relise this and there taken aback by companys that have no legal right in the uk or any other country.

    but i saw the list from ACS LAW and my name was on it and i had to laugh my ass off, “Mr ******* ********* Location :********** ”
    ip# ***.***.***.*** name of file Windows 7 professional, downloaded from microsoft.com”

    they had all the info and were going to send a letter out demanding i pay for a file i LEGALLY downloaded direct from microsoft i even have the bill lol.
    good god i’m talking jibberish now lol

  30. Gaara Sandalwood

    Oct 14th, 2010

    Reminds me of how Japan thinks that despite the economy they think the sole reason manga sales have diminished is because of online manga hosting sites, so they get the US to help them shut these sites down, declaring it piracy of their literature.

    Some people just get too worked up over shit being free.

  31. IntLibber Brautigan

    Oct 14th, 2010

    I recall meeting Smookah, he and his entourage had wandered into Badnarik once while I was building a fighter plane for the Mercz that rented the region from me. One of his flunkies gave me sass for laughing when Smookah gave me a 5L tip in respect of my building skills. Smookah was a funny fellow, a Rastafarian Hutt with a thick constant cloud of pot smoke in his wake. I wonder what he’s up to these days.

  32. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Oct 14th, 2010

    Ravin Draconia @ “As for the rest, Norton was mostly right, even if he was being sarcastic.
    How do you beat the multi-billion dollar company? Don’t buy their products.

    How do you change the laws? Elect people who believe as you do.”

    What commie freak show do you live in? This is the United States, we have this thing called the US Senate. It was put in there to protect and service the needs of the rich. You want to change a law, get your lobbyist and buy up the Senate.

    The fact is this stupid Anonymous crap is about music and computers, two hippie run buisness that no one cares about. Anonymous wants to take on insurance companies or Wallstreet brokerage then they have some stones because then they are in for a real fight. Otherwise, its just little people stealing from other little people.

  33. PaleFire

    Oct 14th, 2010

  34. c3

    Oct 14th, 2010

    amazing how a culture that cant tell the difference between “information” and “entertainment” is so sure it KNOWS what “content” it wants to be “free”.

    sad global netizens…

  35. Darien Caldwell

    Oct 14th, 2010

    “What commie freak show do you live in?”

    lol. Sorry I didn’t realize Democracy was Communist.

    The real point is, if most people believed all films, music and other media should be free, it would be, as that would be reflected in the laws. Want to change the law, you have to change the perception. And stealing and wearing masks isn’t going to do that.

  36. IntLibber Brautigan

    Oct 14th, 2010

    Have to agree with Darien, Norton. The commie freak show is those thinking that if all information were free, that anybody would put any effort into producing any. Those of you producing information for “free” wouldn’t be able to do so either because you, or your parents, wouldn’t get any welfare from the state because the state wouldn’t have anybody to tax…. get a clue.

  37. MattyK

    Oct 15th, 2010

    “It was put in there to protect and service the needs of the rich.”

    Congratulations, you may now eat your hat for the very hyopcrisy you spouted.
    Governments are corrupt, mmmkay?

  38. overblown

    Oct 18th, 2010

    All this, the fight against copyright infringers, the fight against copyright protectors et all, is completely useless.
    when the pirate bay goes byebye, there will be numerous other sites like it to replace it. There are already countless sites like it. So that’s a futile fight.
    When companies and organisations like the RIAA etc go byebye, there will be others like it to continue the endless fight against copyright violations, because there is money in it. So that fight is useless too.
    And in between, companies will continue making movies, artists will continue making music, because despite all the piracy, there is still money to be made with it. And there are even those artists, amazing as it may seem, that aren’t in it for the money. They simply enjoy making music and movies.
    people who download material illegally are not destroying the industry, as they might very well buy the cd or dvd if they enjoy it, and then of course there are the masses who wouldn’t even think about stealing anything, even a single mp3. They will still pay for their movies, music and software.
    I bought the game flightsim recently, because I enjoyed playing it for years prior, and didn’t want to go trough the trouble of illegally downloading and cracking it again, after losing one of the disks I had burned it on.
    it was in the discount bin yes, but I now own it legally.

    Its really that simple, pirate bay won’t be the end of content being created, the RIAA won’t be the end of sites likePB, and anonymous won’t be the end of companies like the RIAA.

  39. Joao Rodrigues

    Oct 18th, 2010

    Operation Payback is a Bitch have my complete support. I’m just a Portuguese internaut who will not accept a law that will break my civil rights just to protect the profit of some legal thiefs…

    The artists are exploited, the consumers are exploited but the only thing the law makers think about is how to protect the profit of the exploiters…

    I would have a lot more to share about this subject but my English don’t allow me. I’ll be fighting in my language for the rights that I believe. (And yes, I also believe in Intellectual Property)

  40. IntLibber Brautigan

    Oct 18th, 2010

    There are plenty of actual artists who oppose pirating and have had their band websites attacked by OPIAB hackers. Do you oppose actual artists standing up for their rights? Or are they “exploiters”, too, just because they wont give you their blood sweat and tears for free? Gee, it sounds actually like you and the pirates are the real “exploiters”, taking for free what artists want to get paid for.

    It really is none of your business what sort of contractual relationship they have with their music or movie studio. That’s up to them and their attorneys/agents, if they didn’t find the terms rewarding, they wouldn’t do what they do. It certainly isn’t an excuse for you to steal their work.

    Pirating is NOT what open source is about, despite how many confuse the two. Open source means that the artists/creators actually put their work in the public domain voluntarily. Forcing someone’s content public via piracy without their approval is a greater exploitation than whatever terms those creators have with the companies that distribute their work legally.

  41. [...] recap of the issues can be found here and here. Meanwhile, some people praised Anonymous for their hacktivist efforts, while others condemned it, [...]

  42. Charrles

    Dec 17th, 2010

    There is no ‘it’ to control, how could you write an entire article about Anonymous yet fail to get the most basic concepts?

    (Great article other than that.)

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