interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

Posts Tagged ‘talk like a pirate day’

Talk Like A Pirate Day marred by DDoS Attacks

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on September 20, 2010

Boy in pirate gear looks through a spyglass

Avast mateys! Sunday September 19th was Talk Like A Pirate Day.  It’s always the 19th of September.

Kids (of all ages) around the world revel in a whole day in which they can “Talk Like A Pirate”.    Arrr.   Be a pirate.   Sing and play pirate songs like the Arrogant Worms classic pirate tune Last Saskatchewan Pirate.  Dress up in pirate gear.  There is even an online Pirate Translator for assistance with pirate talking.  It is nothing to do with politics, or copyright. The point of “Talk Like A Pirate Day” is fun. Yo ho ho.

This year, not so much.

The MPAA has been unsuccessfully trying to convince people that sharing is a bad thing by spending vast sums of money on ‘anti-piracy’ advertising. Of course it doesn’t help that they what they call piracy is not just commercial bootlegging, but includes personal use sharing and any number of things that users feel justified in doing. (Some copyright “reformers” say that we need to purchase copies of the same book for every member of the family.) Or format shifting. (Some copyright “reformers” say we should purchase copies of the same song for every device we would play it on.)

Although this campaign to make people think that piracy is terrible has been largely unsuccessful with citizen consumers, in combination with massive lobbying efforts it seems to have worked with governments. The USA passed the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), the UK passed the Digital Economy Act (DEAct), and the Canadian government continues to push ahead in the face of almost universal opposition to it’s Canadian DMCA Bill C-32. The MPAA /RIAA has also been pushing the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in an attempt to make an end run around WIPO, previously the way to achieve international copyright treaties. Although not perfect, at least the WIPO process was transparent. Even so, none of these laws are easy to uphold in the face of such widespread citizen dissatisfaction. The DMCA has been repeatedly amended in response to court challenges to various anti-democratic aspects over the 12+ years of its operation.

So the MPAA hired Aiplex Software to go beyond the law, and use what is called a “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack” to take down websites they allege infringe copyright. I believe this is done by overwhelming the site with traffic. I think that’s a bad thing. And apparently I’m not alone.

“Girish Kumar, managing director of Aiplex Software, a firm in India, told this website that his company, which works for the film industry, was being hired – effectively as hitmen – to launch cyber attacks on sites hosting pirated movies that don’t respond to copyright infringement notices sent to them by the film industry.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Film industry hires cyber hitmen to take down internet pirates

White Pirate Ship silhouette on one and A casette tape making the skull above crossbones for the other
Word went out that Aiplex used this tactic to take down the Pirate Bay website, which led to retaliation by the anonymous membership of the 4chan Message Boards. According to Torrent Freak,

“Following a call to arms yesterday, the masses inhabiting the anonymous 4chan boards have carried out a huge assault on a pair of anti-piracy enemies. The website of Aiplex Software, the anti-piracy outfit which has been DDoSing torrent sites recently, is currently down having been DDoS’d. They are joined in the Internet wasteland by the MPAA’s website, also currently under huge and sustained attack.”

TorrentFreak: 4chan DDoS Takes Down MPAA and Anti-Piracy Websites

I don’t know about the MPAA but I did see that the Aiplex site was indeed down yesterday. Today both are back up, as is the Pirate Bay site.

When the MPAA employs Aiplex to attack other sites, it makes the MPAA look very bad.

And the urge to retaliate is a natural human instinct. But striking back at your attacker isn’t always the best course of action. In this case, it doesn’t really help. In fact, replying in kind makes ‘pirates’ look bad.

Logo made of a purple letter P formed by a pirate sail enclosed in a circle surrounded by gold laurel leaves

Instead of talking about the great Software Freedom Day we had yesterday, people online were talking about DDoS attacks.

And suddenly it wasn’t any fun to talk like a pirate.

That’s too bad. Because raising awareness among those who might fall prey to misleading ‘piracy’ propaganda is important.

One constructive way to fight against bad law is to get involved politically. The European Union currently has two elected Pirate Party members. At this point pretty nearly every country in the world has a Pirate Party at some stage of development. (The United States has two. Coincidence? I think not.)

I believe that The Pirate Party of Canada is gearing up to register candidate(s) for the impending Federal Election, which is the last step in achieving ‘official party status’. Just the name “Pirate Party” draws attention to the issue. The point is not to engender lawlessness, but rather to fight for sane copyright reform.

Woman in Orange smoking text encircling her reads A TPB WORLD PREMIERE Die Beauty

When I went to check if Pirate Bay was down yesterday, I got a glimpse of one of the best ways to fight against the negative propaganda being peddled by the MPAA.

A new movie Die Beauty is being released on The Pirate Bay. You can check out the Die Beauty movie trailer on FaceBook (you don’t even have to log in to see this) and it looks quite interesting.

This is of course is the real reason the MPAA is so eager to shut down p2p sites like The Pirate Bay. The MPAA needs to kill or control this new distribution medium because it means that film makers don’t need a Hollywood monopoly to distribute their movies. Making effective use of this distribution channel to legally distribute movies is a far more effective way of fighting the MPAA.



[If you’re aware of any movies, videos, music, books and art that make use of or plan to use Internet p2p distribution and/or creative commons licensing please let me know so I can add them to the list I’m compiling of of the new media. Thanks! —laurel]

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a few more good links

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on September 19, 2009

No Usage Based Billing

No Usage Based Billing

This is the blog that made me look at UBB This Blog Is Not For Reading: Usage Based Billing is Considered Harmful”

MTS, small ISPs launch campaign against CRTC ruling is a CBC story about the group comprised of MTS, “the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), which represents about 50 smaller ISPs, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses — which counts about 105,000 small and medium firms as members — and a dozen other companies in forming the Campaign for Competitive Broadband” who have joined together to fight the CRTC on the broadband access issue.
This group is most visible to the public through their website: Competitive Broadband: The Issue In A Nutshell[note: link broken to use domain for corporate marketing]
An oldie but goodie showing what happens to Usage Based Billing in a market where actual competition exists
(competition=companies heed their customers if they want to survive)
Time Warner Caves, Postpones Usage-based Billing

In the US Usage Based Billing is more often called “Metered Broadband”. Here is a cautionary tale:
Metered Broadband Won’t Bridge the Digital Divide

This website has provided a place where Canadians can do something tangible:
http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/
The signature count is now at 7922 signatures (nine signatures in the time it took me to write this post… go Canada!)
So is it any wonder it’s my favorite?

SFD09logo_mclimeorangeblend_sun_bvlshdw

Software Freedom Day logo

Today is Software Freedom Day

The website: Software Freedom Day

The concept:
SFD: An open letter

The philosophy:
here be dragons: It’s the ability to learn tools, not the tools themselves

Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Today is also Talk Like A Pirate Day… Arrrrrrrr

“Arrrrrrr you salty moose!”

–Arrogant Worms

the song:
The greatest pirate song ever written, and coincidentally my all time favorite pirate song is The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

It’s the Arrogant Worms song that made me a fan for life. It’s also my talk-like-a-pirate-day theme song. If you’ve never heard this awesome tune, check the the Arrogant Worms online catalogue, where you can find 3 count ’em three versions of The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

the website: Talk Like A Pirate

STOP Usage Based Billing

STOP Usage Based Billing

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