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Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2,956
Loc: Russia
US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs
    #1643199 - 06/19/03 01:27 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)


US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 18/06/2003 at 14:57 GMT

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah), thinks it would be a fabulous idea if copyright owners could remotely destroy computers that contain pirated material, the Associated Press reports.

"I'm all for destroying their machines," Hatch said during a Committee hearing Tuesday. "'If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize' the seriousness of their actions," the wire service quotes him as saying.

This would involve creating new legislation to exempt copyright owners from old-fashioned laws that make it a crime to destroy other people's property, and from somewhat newer computer trespass and misuse statutes as well.

Such legislation would be in line with US Representative Howard Berman (Democrat, California) and his vision of allowing copyright owners and their agents to hack computer systems where copyright violations might be going on. Hatch would simply take it a bit further, permitting copyright owners to take overtly malicious action.

While there may soon be an excuse for willful destruction of property, "there's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch explained.

We can't quite picture the sort of attack our visionary Utah Senator has in mind. Obviously there is little danger of actually destroying a PC remotely; in spite of great advances in malware, it remains the sort of business for which a hatchet comes in most handy. You could wipe the HDD or re-flash the BIOS remotely, but victims can recover from this sort of thing.

Benefit of the doubt

One has to wonder how much evidence of wrongdoing a copyright owner would need before their exemption from prosecution would kick in. Would they have to maintain copious records of their investigations and findings? Or would they be granted a blanket benefit of the doubt and therefor not have to justify it at all? And what happens when an innocent person is victimized? If their HDD were wiped by some malicious program, they would have an awful time seeking a legal remedy with no data to challenge the media pigopolists' evidence.

Perhaps Hatch is imagining of some sort of Mission-Impossible-style DRM self-destruct regime, possibly one mandated by a law like the one contemplated by Senator Fritz Hollings (Democrat, South Carolina) known as the CBDTPA.

A mandatory DRM scheme of this sort could monitor the copyright status of content being accessed, and after a set number of 'violations' sabotage the PC with a Hatch attack. To further inconvenience copyright miscreants, the DRM mechanism could be tied to some sort of Win-XP-style 'product activation' discipline, possibly requiring users to purchase and install a new copy of their operating system to regain full control of their computers.

Or perhaps Congress will realize that Hatch is talking utter nonsense and ignore his bizarre suggestion. It all depends on how much money the MPAA and RIAA lobbyists can slip into the pockets of their Congressional lapdogs.

Citizens are welcome to e-mail Senator Hatch here to offer him their kind words of support. ?

If he is able to do this, then we should be able to break into his house and set his computer on fire, because thats pretty much what hes doing to us. I say no! Check out some of his songs on file-sharing servers...

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old hand

Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1,193
Loc: in your house :)
Last seen: 15 years, 3 months
Re: US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs [Re: TinMan]
    #1644702 - 06/19/03 02:14 PM (18 years, 4 months ago)

if this passes the record industry attackers will get owned. good or let i say great hackers are never able to be bought by a specific price and it'd only catch people who were hackable. but it's sickening they want to give big companies the right to smash people who don't buy there products. when did we get in this police state damn?

Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
- Abraham Lincoln: Speech in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18, 1840.

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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 2,107
Loc: azurescending
Last seen: 2 years, 5 months
Re: US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs [Re: socratesmind]
    #1645432 - 06/19/03 06:00 PM (18 years, 4 months ago)

bush..... ashcroft.... homeland security...

you figure it out.


-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--

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Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 3,649
[Re: Raadt]
    #1646941 - 06/20/03 03:03 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)

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 User Gallery

Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 3,881
Last seen: 8 years, 9 months
Re: US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs [Re: matts]
    #1657896 - 06/24/03 07:23 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

FUCK ASHCROFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fold for The Shroomery!

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The Mahatma OfZalu

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 736
Loc: pass the gates of hell 2 ...
Last seen: 6 years, 8 months
Re: US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs [Re: daba]
    #1658413 - 06/24/03 02:00 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

i agree with daba

Mice have feelings

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Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 2,894
Loc: Earth
Re: US Senator would destroy MP3 traders' PCs [Re: TinMan]
    #1661412 - 06/25/03 02:57 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Hatch is a pirate himself.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested Tuesday that people who download copyright materials from the Internet should have their computers automatically destroyed.

But Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website, which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system he proposes.

The senator's site makes extensive use of a JavaScript menu system developed by Milonic Solutions, a software company based in the United Kingdom. The copyright-protected code has not been licensed for use on Hatch's website.

"It's an unlicensed copy," said Andy Woolley, who runs Milonic. "It's very unfortunate for him because of those comments he made."

Hatch on Tuesday surprised a Senate hearing on copyright issues with the suggestion that technology should be developed to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Net.

Hatch said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights," the Associated Press reported. He then suggested the technology would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

Any such technology would be in violation of federal antihacking laws. The senator, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested Congress would have to make copyright holders exempt from current laws for them to legally destroy people's computers.

On Wednesday, Hatch clarified his comments, but stuck by the original idea. "I do not favor extreme remedies -- unless no moderate remedies can be found," he said in a statement. "I asked the interested industries to help us find those moderate remedies."

Just as well. Because if Hatch's terminator system embraced software as well as music, his servers would be targeted for destruction.

Milonic Solutions' JavaScript code used on Hatch's website costs $900 for a site-wide license. It is free for personal or nonprofit use, which the senator likely qualifies for.

However, the software's license stipulates that the user must register the software to receive a licensing code, and provide a link in the source code to Milonic's website.

On Wednesday, the senator's site met none of Milonic's licensing terms. The site's source code (which can be seen by selecting Source under the View menu in Internet Explorer) had neither a link to Milonic's site nor a registration code.

However, by Thursday afternoon Hatch's site had been updated to contain some of the requisite copyright information. An old version of the page can be seen by viewing Google's cache of the site.

"They're using our code," Woolley said Wednesday. "We've had no contact with them. They are in breach of our licensing terms."

When contacted Thursday, Woolley said the company that maintains the senator's site had e-mailed Milonic to begin the registration process. Woolley said the code added to Hatch's site after the issue came to light met some -- but not all -- of Milonic's licensing requirements.

Before the site was updated, the source code on Hatch's site contained the line: "* i am the license for the menu (duh) *"

Woolley said he had no idea where the line came from -- it has nothing to do with him, and he hadn't seen it on other websites that use his menu system.

"It looks like it's trying to cover something up, as though they got a license," he said.

A spokesman in Hatch's office on Wednesday responded, "That's ironic" before declining to put Wired News in contact with the site's webmaster. He deferred comment on the senator's statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which did not return calls.

The apparent violation was discovered by Laurence Simon, an unemployed system administrator from Houston, who was poking around Hatch's site after becoming outraged by his comments.

Milonic's Woolley said the senator's unlicensed use of his software was just "the tip of the iceberg." He said he knows of at least two other senators using unlicensed copies of his software, and many big companies.

Continental Airlines, for example, one of the largest airlines in the United States, uses Woolley's system throughout its Continental.com website. Woolley said the airline has not paid for the software. Worse, the copyright notices in the source code have been removed.

"That really pisses me off," he said.

A spokesman for Continental said the airline would look into the matter.

Woolley makes his living from his software. Like a lot of independent programmers, he struggles to get people to conform to his licensing terms, let alone pay for his software.

"We don't want blood," he said. "We just want payment for the hard work we do. We work very, very hard. If they're not prepared to pay, they're software pirates."

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