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MediaDefender Explains Itself 395

Posted by kdawson
from the smurfs-for-hire dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Wired has an interview with MediaDefender in which they try to explain why they attacked Revision3, which uses BitTorrent to host its own content. Somehow it eluded MediaDefender that they had injected fake content into Revision3's tracker, so when Revision3 changed configuration to forbid this injection, MediaDefender's systems saw it as a pirate tracker with lots of illegal content (which MediaDefender had put there) and attacked. In other words, everything they did was intentional except for the choice of target. Given that they have 9 Gbps of bandwidth dedicated to denial-of-service attacks against torrent trackers, all anyone needs to do is to trick them into attacking a hospital or government facility. MediaDefender has never been very competent, after all."
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MediaDefender Explains Itself

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  • by flerchin (179012) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:37PM (#23619853)
    How is any of this legal? Injecting content, false or otherwise? DOS'ing a server? They're fighting fire with fire.
    • by Xiph (723935) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:42PM (#23619891)
      I fully agree, they admit two doing two things that are not legal.

      Unauthorized access and Denial of Service attack.

      I'm not quite sure of the details though, were they using a bug to plant the torrents or was the tracker just negligently configured?
      The above matters for whether they were hacking(non-geek) or simply using it without authorization.

      anyway, "bad boy!" to MediaDefender, surprise surprise.
      But will the shit stick all the way to those truly responsible?
      • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:01PM (#23620073)
        Dear Public, Media, and our friends Revision3: We are very, very sorry. Our servers did bad, bad things to Revision 3 and WE HAD NO CLUE!! Please, take mercy on us. Sure, our severs were snooping around their legitimate BitTorrent tracker seeding maliciously. BUT WE HAD NO CLUE! Sure, our servers recently assraped their severs into oblivion, BUT WE HAD NO CLUE!! This is all one big, misfortune event. Our Friends at revision3, we are really, really, REALLY sorry. Please, we plead ignorance. Our innocent servers honestly thought you were running an pirate operation. Please accept our appologies (Pretty please! with a cherry ontop :))) We PROMISE we will NEVER EVER NEVER do it again. Sincerely, MediaDefender
        • by empaler (130732) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:26PM (#23620303) Journal
          Also, we made this cake. For you. Please, don't ask about the teeth marks.
        • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:32PM (#23620335)
          "Our servers did it" definitely induced a head-scratch from me. Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access? That doesn't make sense, even from their twisted viewpoint..
          • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:52PM (#23620477) Homepage Journal

            "Our servers did it" definitely induced a head-scratch from me. Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access? That doesn't make sense, even from their twisted viewpoint..

            Because they have gotten away with it for near a decade, even though many have pointed out the illegality of it.

            And they expect, once again, to get away with it.

            And because, this will become even more fuel for them (and the **AA) towards pushing making P2P software entirely illegal, regardless of it's use. Does this last section make sense? No? So what? Do you really think it has to? Look at their other arguments for making P2P illegal - do they make sense? Didnt think so. ;-)

            And of course, because it will help them push forward the pending legislation that would make their actions (whatever they are) legal - irrespective of current law.

            So... I think it makes perfect sense - at least from their twisted viewpoint.

            :-(

          • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @06:34PM (#23620789)

            Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access?
            Their servers became self-aware on August 29, 1997.
          • by jimicus (737525) on Monday June 02, 2008 @04:24AM (#23624335)

            "Our servers did it" definitely induced a head-scratch from me. Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access? That doesn't make sense, even from their twisted viewpoint..
            You're not thinking like a crazed RIAA vigilante, that's why it doesn't make sense.

            If you abandon all attempts at logic and what we the /. using public know about products like BitTorrent, it makes perfect sense. Viz:

            1. Bittorrent is only used for distributing illegal content. (Whoopsie, that's not always true)
            2. Anyone who's running a bittorrent tracker is therefore distributing illegal content. (Only true if 1. above is. And if the entire world has identical copyright laws.)
            3. We can determine who's using this tracker by persuading it to track the details of specific files and then subpoena the IP address of anyone who connects to us to download them. (Whoopsie! We can identify an IP address but it turns out that turning that into a guaranteed-correct person's name is actually quite difficult)
            4. If they attempt to defend themselves (eg. by blocking the fake files injected in step 3 above), then they're as good as admitting guilt and also they're making it impossible for us to subpoena anything. Therefore, the correct course of action is to take their system off the Internet. (Whoopsie! Except that almost any country with even vaguely up to date laws would consider this highly illegal - and if our target is a legitimate tracker, it may get investigated).

            Makes some sense if you're selling a service which claims to stop p2p.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kericr (1172199)

            First, anybody know of any patently identical incidents where this happened? If so, it debunks the folloing point.

            I'm not taking their side, but the way I read this, the explination "our servers did it" indicates that they had things configured in such a way that they never made the connection between the two incidents. They tapped Rev. 3 to seed false torrents. Separately, they set up DoS attacks on servers hosting lots of torrents, but never made the connection as to what happens when their seeding l

        • by kalirion (728907) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:39AM (#23626809)
          Of course if you truly want your servers to be safe, and who wouldn't, we are introducing a revolutionary new service. As long as you make regular payments, we will be able to verify your site as copyright violation-free, and you will be protected from further DOS attacks.
      • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:12PM (#23620177) Homepage Journal
        I don't think you can use the unauthorized access if it was a public tracker, but i agree that i don't see how a DoS can be legal under ANY circumstance.

        Take down letters, ISP turning your account off due to court order, sure.. But an intentional DoS? WTF?

        Since when does 2 illegal acts cancel each other out ( not to mention no illegal act was being committed by Revision3 anyway )?
        • by qeveren (318805) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @06:56PM (#23620949)
          While it was publicly accessible, I don't believe it was a public tracker, in that users other than Revision 3 staff should not have been able to upload new torrents to it; unless my understanding of the situation is completely off.
          • by LrdDimwit (1133419) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @07:38PM (#23621277)
            More to the point, whether or not it was before, it became unauthorized access when Revision3 locked down the server. Then it got DoS'ed? I'm sorry, but I don't buy this explanation. If you see a lot of unauthorized activity from a tracker, then you take it thru the proper channels -- contact the admins, send proper DMCA takedown notices, etc. As much as everyone here hates the DMCA, if this kind of situation isn't what takedown notices are for, then they really are *totally* useless (and not just mostly useless). You don't simply assume it's a bad-guy tracker.

            And then there's the part where they openly admit to using DoS attacks against trackers. That part is really brilliant. I'd like to see what law they're looking at where that's a "grey area".
        • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @07:22PM (#23621169) Homepage
          If I were to do this against any arbitrary server and got caught, I'd be sued to oblivion.

          What do we have here ? We have evidence, a confession, and implicit admission of guilt (their system is designed to blast servers). What are we waiting for ? Jesus ain't coming back, so we're going to have to purge these bastards ourselves.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mpe (36238)
            If I were to do this against any arbitrary server and got caught, I'd be sued to oblivion.

            Or you'd have the police come and take you away.
      • by HappySmileMan (1088123) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:31PM (#23620325)
        What's most disturbing is that I doubt any court will ever find them guilty of a crime for this, if charges are even pressed.
        • by Perp Atuitie (919967) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:38PM (#23620377)
          I think they'd have an excellent chance of being found guilty in a criminal prosecution. The roadblock will be getting a prosecutor or press charges. Once they are in court, they really ahve no defense. Far as I know, the "I didn't know the gun was loaded" excuse has a very bad track record. Any random jury would be very likely to send these crooks to prison, and rightly so.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The roadblock will be getting a prosecutor or press charges

            Can't they just hire any lawyer for legal advice and then press charges themselves? It would stnd to reason that if you have the right to be your own lawyer for defense your could be your own lawyer for prosecution of crimes committed against you.
            • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @06:25PM (#23620733)

              Can't they just hire any lawyer for legal advice and then press charges themselves? It would stnd to reason that if you have the right to be your own lawyer for defense your could be your own lawyer for prosecution of crimes committed against you.
              If I remember correctly, the victim isn't the prosecutor in criminal cases, the state is (hence criminal trials always being "State vs. Doe"). If a crime has been committed, a prosecutor from the District Attorney's office is assigned to the trial.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by tomhudson (43916)

                ... but of course they can file a civil suit at any time.

                Ankle-biters sometimes have a purpose ...

                Still, if you look at the SCO case, "don't hold your breath" is good advice. MediaDefender will just go bankrupt. Mind you, R3 could use this as an excuse for LOTS of discovery, and post the results as video news. "Today we got the perl scripts that are the heart of MediaDefender ..."

            • by burroughsj1 (1273158) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @07:10PM (#23621079)

              It would stnd to reason that if you have the right to be your own lawyer for defense your could be your own lawyer for prosecution of crimes committed against you.

              In a criminal case, the "victim" is not the individual, but rather society as a whole. The State brings the charges, because the state is the "victim." That's why the individual doesn't get to decide whether or not charges are filed, or have the final say in punishment. The individual victim's recourse is to file a civil suit.
              • by Tacvek (948259) on Monday June 02, 2008 @02:36AM (#23623805) Journal

                Well, we do have the informal notion of "pressing charges". Basically, in many cases the testimony of the victim is crucial to a prosecution winning the case. Hence if the victim refuses to testify, the case must be dropped, or the victim compelled to testify. Compelling a victim to testify is terrible form, so it is not uncommon for the case to be dropped, or formal charges never filed if the victim indicates that they are not willing to testify. Further, I am not certain, but there might be cases where victims rights would prevent the compelling of testimony.

                However, there are Common Law countries, where private prosecution is possible. AIUI, generally, in those places any attorney that has been admitted to the bar of the court (i.e. is a barrister) can file criminal charges by following the exact same procedure the Prosecutor's Office follows. From that point forward, the case is treated no differently than any case brought by the Prosecutor's Office. The Office can terminate the prosecution or assign a new prosecutor (i.e. assume control of the case), just like with it's own cases.

          • by schon (31600) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:24PM (#23622395)

            the "I didn't know the gun was loaded" excuse has a very bad track record.
            The thing is, this isn't even "I didn't know the gun was loaded." This is more like "I loaded the gun and pulled the trigger, but I didn't realize who I was pointing it at."
          • by mpe (36238) on Monday June 02, 2008 @02:43AM (#23623841)
            I think they'd have an excellent chance of being found guilty in a criminal prosecution. The roadblock will be getting a prosecutor or press charges.

            The basic problem is "how do you get criminal law applied to a corporation in any meaningful way?" Which includes preventing them from being "business as usual" until the end of the trial.
      • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @07:08PM (#23621049) Homepage
        To increase speed, their tracker would track for any torrent id.
        They wouldn't host arbitrary torrents, only track them.

        They saw it was being used by other people so they disabled that.
        You know the rest.
    • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:25PM (#23620293) Homepage Journal

      There are actually serious laws against this. If you or I did this, we'd spend quite some time in jail, and have to pay quite a large amount in fines. The criminal and civil penalties are not small. Not to mention the probability of losing (the "right" to) Internet access for some period of time (by court order). It's happened before (and been covered here).

      But... how much you want to bet that MediaDefender gets off with less than a slap on the wrist?

      With luck, at the very least, MediaDefender will lose the civil suit brought against them and pay that way.

    • Foot, meet mouth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:45PM (#23620427) Journal
      You know, for a while I was kinda suspecting they'll play the "we're dumb, and it was an accident" card. You know, say that it was some poorly configured system that did the injecting, and it accidentally got stuck connecting in a loop instead of once a day. Present it as some bug they didn't even know about. Blame some techie. You know, anything _except_ say "yep, it was premeditated all along to break the law." Go for criminal negligence.

      But that they have a big fat pipe dedicated to conducting DOS attacks? Jesus F. Christ, that's like saying that I have a car dedicated to running down pedestrians I don't like. If that's not a confession of premeditation, I don't know what is.

      To put it in perspective, the western criminal system (as far as I understand it, and IANAL) tries, or theoretically should try, to establish the degree of intent (or "mens rea" = "guilty mind") in an act. So for example, if a shingle off my roof fell on the a passerby's head, although what happened is the same and the guy is just as dead, you can have very different punishments based on the nuance of being classified anywhere between "direct intention" (I actually intended to have shingles fall on him/someone) and "criminal negligence" (I had no flippin' clue that the roof is in that bad condition, though a reasonable person should have foreseen and inspected it regularly.) The worst you can do is not only go for "direct intention", but also basically say, "oh yeah, it wasn't a momentary act of rage, it was planned all along."

      So these guys have basically been paying all along for a pipe _dedicated_ to breaking the law? They actually had a plan to break the law, and month after month paid the bill on the resources set aside for only that purpose? Geesh. I hope that a few executives land in state jail there.
      • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:54PM (#23620495)
        the "one two punch" MediaDefender did was not only reckless but dumb. They stealing bandwidth and poisoning the Revision3 tracker. Revision3 probably wasn't exactly running a Honeypot operation on their BitTorrent tracker, trying to attract pirate scum. Comes along MediaDefender and their server, finds an exploit and utilizes that. That, in of itself, should be illegal (and probably is). When Revision3 finds their blindspot and patches it, MediaDefender turns around and pies them in the face for finding the hole. What a way to say "thanks".

        Sheesh.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moraelin (679338)
          Well, that goes without saying, of course.

          Though I'd compare a DOS more to a mugging than a pie in the face. That attack disrupted Revision 3 quite thoroughly for a while, and even knocked off their other servers.

          But what I'm saying is: now imagine that, as a private person, John Doe goes to trial for something like that: John Doe was breaking into a house, the owner woke up and found him, and John promptly knocked him out. And it turns out that John Doe had bought a blackjack just for that: to whack anyone
  • Now, really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Perseid (660451) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:38PM (#23619855)
    Shouldn't admitting to a DOS attack in and of itself get people arrested? Who cares what the site they are attacking contains? They are committing acts of digital vandalism. Jail, please.
    • First off, theyre a coroporation in the midst of one of the most corrupt adminstrations in the history of the united states.

      Second, theyre working for the **AA organizations, the darlings of congress, for whom no human rights violations are too great a cost, for whom ACTA is being negotiated to subvert those pesky public interest groups and constitutional protections present in every industrialized nation on earth, and for whom judges suspend several constitutional protections for due process.

      In other words
      • by jlarocco (851450) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:42PM (#23620407) Homepage

        Second, theyre working for the **AA organizations, the darlings of congress, for whom no human rights violations are too great a cost, for whom ACTA is being negotiated to subvert those pesky public interest groups and constitutional protections present in every industrialized nation on earth, and for whom judges suspend several constitutional protections for due process.

        I'm sorry what? When has the **AA ever violated human rights? Sure they're scumbags, but try to keep a little perspective. They're not exactly selling people into slavery.

        The solution to the problem of them being "in" with congress is to give congress, and the government in general, less power. Power is abused. Always. This seems to be a pretty good example of that.

        In other words, they are above the law, and the public allows them to do so because filesharing = terrorism, after all bush said so.

        Reference?

        • by funkyloki (648436) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:58PM (#23620529)
          I thought filesharing=communism.

          There's even a poster [russiablog.org].
        • by 91degrees (207121) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @06:12PM (#23620631) Journal
          They're not exactly selling people into slavery.

          Not exactly, but threatening a lawsuit that will result in someone owing money to them for the rest of their life is a little too close to indentured servitude for my liking.
          • by jlarocco (851450) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @08:07PM (#23621487) Homepage

            Not exactly, but threatening a lawsuit that will result in someone owing money to them for the rest of their life is a little too close to indentured servitude for my liking.

            Yeah, but that's the risk people knowingly take when they decide to infringe the **AA's copyrights. They had to consciously think "I know I can get a huge fine for this, but I'm going to do it anyway." Is it really too much to expect people to take responsibility for their actions?

            Right now, the legal choices are:

            • Buy **AA's music and movies
            • Don't buy **AA's music and movies
            • Vote to get IP laws changed so filesharing is legal

            There is no "Disregard the law and do whatever you want" option. If they're willfully breaking the law, it shouldn't be a very big surprise when they get punished for it. And right now the penalty for copyright infringement is a big fine.

            • by Khaed (544779) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @08:48PM (#23621743)
              Yeah, but that's the risk people knowingly take when they decide to infringe the **AA's copyrights. They had to consciously think "I know I can get a huge fine for this, but I'm going to do it anyway." Is it really too much to expect people to take responsibility for their actions?

              Except there have been cases where the person did not violate their copyrights. They don't prove someone did it before threatening or suing them, and those people who are innocent still have to fight to prove they're innocent. Then the RIAA holds up paying damages in court for years -- like the case where they tried to claim they shouldn't be liable for attorney's fees. I can't recall the specifics but they were found to be wrong and the defendant then sued them for costs and they called her claimed attorney's fees "outrageous" then refused to publish their own lawyer fees*. It was on Slashdot a few months ago.

              * "Objection, your honor!"
              "On what grounds?"
              "...It's extremely damaging to my case!"
        • by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @06:58PM (#23620971) Homepage

          When has the **AA ever violated human rights?

          From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

          Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest [...]

          Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law [...]

          Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence [...]

          • by jlarocco (851450) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @07:50PM (#23621365) Homepage

            Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest [...]

            Nobody in the US has ever been arrested for downloading music.

            Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law [...]

            Copyright infringement is a civil matter, and so far the **AA has always correctly handled it through the courts.

            Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence [...]

            How is the **AA violating anybody's privacy? My understanding was they put fake listings on tracker sites, and sued for copyright infringement when people attempted to download from them. It's a bit of a leap to assume an IP identifies a single person, but it's usually correct. I'd almost agree with you if they were actively infiltrating Tor networks or using man in the middle attacks against SSL connections, but convincing idiots to download and share files with them isn't a privacy violation in my book.

            Besides that, the internet in general is public. traceroute shows 12 machines between me and slashdot, and any one of them can monitor, log, or otherwise view my traffic at their whim. For better or worse, anonymity on the internet usually assumes the other person isn't trying very hard to find out who you are.

    • Re:Now, really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Vectronic (1221470) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:05PM (#23620109)
      According to Wikipedia...

      "In May 2008, MediaDefender was publicly accused of allegedly being the source of a distributed-denial- of-service attack on Revision3. Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO charged that these attacks violated the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is currently investigating the incident."

      Although that may have been written as of 5 minutes ago... plus the FBI isnt exactly notorious for accomplishing things in any sort of justified, or timely manour, and may very well side with MediaDefender.
  • by eggman9713 (714915) <{eggman97132007} {at} {mac.com}> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:40PM (#23619873)
    Even if this story makes it to the mainstream media, its not going to get much airtime. Especially since no Joe User knows what Revision3 is. There just wouldn't be enough outrage to make it a worthwile story anywhere except the geek community.
    • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:14PM (#23620191) Homepage Journal
      Lets sucker them into trying to DoS yahoo or google. THAT would get some air time and effect the average non-techie in a way they would understand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by POTSandPANS (781918)
        I don't know how media defender works, but it seems to me that if you could make [your target] "appear" to be a tracker, you could have media defender perform a DoS attack against whatever you want.

        I work for a small ISP and DoS attacks really piss me off because they seem to have about as much accuracy as a shotgun. Depending on the attack, it can sometimes affect more than just then intended target. I'd really like to see media defender get raped for this, but I know how these thing usually seem to wo
  • It's not illegal... (Score:4, Informative)

    by stevedcc (1000313) * on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:42PM (#23619887)
    They've bought senators, how can it be illegal when they've got paid for law makers fighting on their side(!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      They've bought senators, how can it be illegal when they've got paid for law makers fighting on their side(!)
      Because those law makers haven't changed the law yet?
      Until then, denial of service & unauthorized access charges shouldn't have much trouble sticking.

      The only reason Revision3 wouldn't take this all the way through trial is if MediaDefender offers them a pile of money greater than what R3 would win with a guilty verdict.
  • Fry. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:42PM (#23619889) Homepage
    If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack..in fact..some states have laws to where you'd get charged for selling it, but not possession. Some will tack on an extra charge on top of possession/sale.

    So tell me why MediaDefender gets away with inserting fake data labeled as copyright-violating material into someone else's server and then going all vigilante on them. If you own the copyright you might be able to get away with it as its no longer in violation of copyrights since its yours, but since MediaDefender doesn't own them directly..

    That on top of the damages they have caused this company, in either time, money, or business damages.
    • Re:Fry. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:53PM (#23619989) Journal

      Assuming for a brief moment that copyright infringement is theft, just for the purpose of this analogy...
      If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then phoned the police that you have stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?

      I only have one question: how can we retaliate?

      • Re:Fry. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:11PM (#23620165) Journal

        Assuming for a brief moment that copyright infringement is theft, just for the purpose of this analogy...
        If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then phoned the police that you have stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?
        Its not like that though! Its more like:
        If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then waited until you came home and then smashed all your car windows with baseball bat while sceaming "theif" and your stood by in confused amazement, and then after I got done with that called the cops on you about the stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?

        No very nice, and if anyone else tried it, even if you had really stolen the property and put it in your room my actions would still be a crime of their own. MediaDefender are criminals and the people operating those servers can't be so ignorant of the actions not be accountable for them. We might not be able to get the kingpins but at the very least the doers should be arrested and charged. I know slashdot does not like to go after the little guy but MediaDefenders developers, network, and server admins deserve jail time! If my boss asks me to do something illegal I am still obligated to refuse otherwise the law will hold me responsible. Its imporatant that even these little guys get PUNISHED. The only way you stop getting organizations like MediaDefender from being above the law is to make sure nobody will work for them, because no salary they can offer will be worth doing time for!
      • Re:Fry. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AVonGauss (1001486) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @08:44PM (#23621729)
        How can we retaliate?

        Retaliate is not the word I would choose, but things you can do...

        1) Be nice and professional, but write your congressmen, senators and governors and tell them how you feel about the issue.

        2) Write the transit providers that provide peering agreements with MediaDefenders service provider. Their service provider and the transit providers that peer with their service provider are supporting their actions indirectly. If their service provider refuses to continue service with Media Defender then they will be forced to move. If other transit providers refuse to peer with their / or a service provider that supports their actions, their service provider will be forced to change their business position or go out of business.

        3) MediaDefender is primarily funded by copyright holders, the irony being that the copyrighted works have absolutely no value if there is no demand. If XYZ studio, producer or artist employs the services of MediaDefender, do not purchase their products. Simple.

    • Re:Fry. (Score:5, Funny)

      by jon787 (512497) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:55PM (#23620013) Homepage Journal

      If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack..in fact..some states have laws to where you'd get charged for selling it, but not possession. Some will tack on an extra charge on top of possession/sale.


      Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave. It was 10 dollars worth of oregano.
      Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Yeah, but your client thought it was marijuana.
      Kaffee: My client's a moron that's not against the law.
      Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Kaffee, I have people to answer to just like you do. I'm going to charge him.
      Kaffee: With what? Possession of a condiment?
    • Re:Fry. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lobStar (1103461) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:11PM (#23620159)
      Off topic but, in my country it works the opposite. If you sell fake crack, you can get arrested for fraud. But not for selling drugs. This has happened, I read about one case where the victim (buyer) turned in the dealer. Both were eventually convicted for different things.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by remmelt (837671)
        Well, that's weird.

        In my country (the Netherlands) you cannot sue someone over something that is a crime in itself.

        Joe wants to kill John and hires Jack to do it. He pays Jack a million â. Then, Jack does not kill John. This is fraud (or something like that, breach of contract, you name it) and would be punishable if the main act were legal. Killing a person is not legal, thus, Joe does not have a case.
  • I think... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:47PM (#23619941)
    ...that Air Traffic Control using BitTorrent to distribute approaches is quite possibly the worst analogy I've heard come out of this whole mess.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:53PM (#23619995) Homepage
    Seems like this is as least as destructive as 1 billion people "illegally" downloading digital media .
  • by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:57PM (#23620039) Journal
    If they law does not apply to MediaDefender then surely it can't apply to anyone else either!

    If MediaDefender is allowed to
    1. use Revision3's tracker in an unauthorized mannor
    2. DOS them

    Then I say we are free to ignore any laws we don't like with regaurd to MediaDefender. Dose anyone know where their offices are? Since they seem so fond of vandalism I say some local Slashdot'ers drop by and do a little painting.
    • by s4m7 (519684) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:35PM (#23620363) Homepage

      I say some local Slashdot'ers drop by and do a little painting.
      This is not civil disobedience [wikipedia.org]. It is more commonly referred to as vigilante justice [wikipedia.org]. Generally speaking, it is a despicable practice. But go ahead, lower yourself to the standards of those you castigate. Cede the moral high-ground. I'm sure it will be fun.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NormalVisual (565491)
        Generally speaking, it is a despicable practice.

        Not nearly so despicable as a government that ignores the rule of law for those who curry its favor and provides no legal means for those wronged to secure justice. We'll see what happens with MediaDefender, but I severely doubt anyone will be held to any meaningful degree of responsibility over this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by s4m7 (519684)

          I severely doubt anyone will be held to any meaningful degree of responsibility over this.
          You might be right, but the FBI is looking into it. Let's save our outrage until MediaDefender is actually exonerated.
  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:58PM (#23620047)
    What I can't understand is how MediaDefender has been getting away with illegal DoS attacks for years, when ANY of us would be put in prison for doing it. Who have they paid off to be able to break the law with impunity?

    Isn't DoSing also a Homeland Security issue? Shouldn't their ISP have cut them off when they started doing illegal things like automatically targeting innocent companies with illegal DoS Attacks?

    If someone did to MediaDefender what they do to EVERYONE ELSE, they'd be screaming bloody murder!

    Finally, what if they DID actually DoS a company that caused someone to be hurt or die. Would they be liable for pre-mediated murder?

  • by mcbutterbuns (1005301) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:59PM (#23620059)
    I can't prove it but I heard that The Planet was hosting an open tracker. We all heard what happened to them... http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/01/1715247 [slashdot.org]
  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:59PM (#23620061)
    Although the FBI *is* investigating, be on the lookout for a hastily-written and passed-by-voice-vote bill by Congress OK'ing this behavior by MD.

    Cheers!

    Strat
  • Explain? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:03PM (#23620091)
    Wired has an interview with MediaDefender in which they try to explain why they attacked Revision3...

    Try to explain? The bottom line is MediaDefender attacked another commercial entity.

    If someone throws a stink bomb through a brick & mortar storefront window, forcing the store to close, do you think the police would allow the offender to get off with saying, "oops"?

  • A Good Defense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:20PM (#23620249)
    ...for tracker operators. "Umm...Not my files...They must have been put there by MediaDefender"

    I wonder if that now becomes a viable defense. If MD can get in to leave files, so could anyone else :)
  • Inexcusable (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joebert (946227) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:21PM (#23620257) Homepage
    Computer systems should be treated as pets, if they attack someone they should be put to sleep.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:21PM (#23620261) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't that be considered some sort of 'frame up'?

    I mean if i'm hosing legal content, and they come along and inject fake/illegal content then sue me how the hell is that stand up in court?
  • by ibaun (1300043) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:33PM (#23620341)
    After browsing their site, I found this open dir: http://www.mediadefender.com/marketing/ [mediadefender.com] . How is spreading an mp3 of Kanye West or Timbaland legal? Should they now DoS their own webserver?
  • by Mr_Icon (124425) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:47PM (#23620445) Homepage
    Can someone tag this with "MafiaDefender" please?

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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