The Null Device

The RIAA's new "black ice"?

A computer in New Zealand exploded in flames whilst downloading music. Rumours of it having been a test of a new active copyright-enforcement technology have not been confirmed or denied.

There are 3 comments on "The RIAA's new "black ice"?":

Posted by: steff http:// Fri Dec 10 22:50:56 2004

Not only that, but Airport security are under orders to incinerate any type of data storage device. Piracy is an act of terrorism and therefore logically endangers the safety of passengers. Meanwhile dentists have been advised by the RIAA to obtain crucial information from their patients about music piracy while bound to the chair, facing the drill. This "soft" and admissable type of torture, the RIAA argues, will lead to invaluable information regarding the bulk of all internet piracy. -Reuters

What this also reminds me of, btw, is a situation in 1830 Britain, when books were prohibitively expensive (due to COPYRIGHT, not paper prices) and lo and behold, smugglers brought them in from mainland Europe. These were called pirates, too, I'm sure. The analogy could be taken further: copyright then was a mechanism of cultural capital and enforced access to literacy and good taste and thus socio-economic divisions. See also HJ Jackson's review in the TLS July 23 2004, p.3 of W. St Clair's 'The reading nation

Posted by: acb Fri Dec 10 23:51:58 2004

In all seriousness, a US Congressman did propose, a year or so ago, a bill allowing copyright holders to remotely destroy the computers of copyright infringers.

Mind you, if there was some way to cause a PC to explode in flames in software, chances are the worm writers and organised crime would find it before the RIAA did. And wouldn't that be fun?

Posted by: steff http:// Sat Dec 11 23:01:46 2004

I should think that the US Congress is one of those places where the most harebrained schemes and notions and "ideas" are processed, and not half of those we would consider particularly wild will be rejected. Since US politics is based in the cult of megalomania (do I need to state examples?), i.e. the logic of "if you made it to the top you gotta be right, you're the messiah!", remote PC inflammation rights would only be the tip of the iceberg. Which leads one to wonder how psychedelic the "remote destruction" narratives/desires/ wishes of some congresspersons go. Life is just so much sexier if you got a (virtual) trigger to pull.

ps. apologies for typos, the comment box is rather small and somehow obstructs re-reading a little. my bad.

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