Tuesday, July 25, 2006

could a computer virus save whats left of our free society?

no....probably not. But a computer virus could be a hefty wrench in the proverbial gears of this onslaught of corporate extortion and government backed legislation that is currently destroying the technology field. Allow me to explain.

The current implementation of intellectual property law caters exclusively to the rich. Fair use and public domain have been essentially and completely written out of the picture with the Digital Milennium Copyright Act and other such bullshit legislation. For that reason alone, I have no qualms about stealing music. I hope all labeled artists starve because of it (Seriously. I hope they die)......but i digress. Here is my simple solution for copyright infringement lawsuits and other fun technology problems:

An open source, cross-platform, self-replicating computer virus. This virus would have one purpose and one purpose only: to download a random file from a random P2p net. Everyone with the virus now has plausible deniablilty. The entire P2p lawsuit game would end overnight, atleast until these scumbags could buy some more legislation.

Here are the exact criteria for it:

  • The virus needs to be self-replicating - If the user has to download the virus then plausible deniability is alot harder to argue. The user has to look like the victim (and rightfully so)
  • The virus can cause no damage to the users filesystem, and should determine the best time to steal a file as to not impede the users current opperations.
  • Cross platform. C'mon - gotta let the linux and mac guys in on the fun as well (although I dont know how the linux community will take this - on the one hand it will be considered a breach of security (it is a virus after all), but on the other, it offers everybody asylum from bad people and their laws. It will probably be handled on a distro by distro basis.)
  • The virus cannot keep logs of its operations, in case the RI/MPAA's decide to play hardball and look at the systems on a case by case basis. In other words, there can be no way to differentiate between files downloaded by the user and files downloaded by the virus
  • The virus will need to upload, atleast once, everything it downloads. this sounds scary, but bear in mind if the virus only downloads, the virus is worthless. (RI/MPAA's dont go after leachers, they go after people who upload. this is about muddying the waters)
  • This virus needs to be open source, and all development should be done outside of US territory, because, unfortunately, the "source code is free speech" argument doesnt fly here in the states anymore, and hasnt for a while. If it did, that law would change in a heartbeat. after all, the RIMPAA have money and by extention, political power.

The scary thing is that if the plausible deniability angle works, I think we're going to see a federal law against "knowingly operating a computer with a virus". But that should be expected; The Dems and Repubs dont give two shits about you or your life, or how the laws they pass will affect you because you arent filthy rich.

Another use for a virus is a little more sisnster, but i think the results will be worth it:

Just as above, we have an open source, self-replicating computer virus. This time though it does cause damage to the user's filesystem. It will change one registry key, and in doing that, it will cause windows XP to become deactivated. (figuring out the specific key is left as an excercise for the reader, but it is laughably easy to find - think key changing) When every internet connected windows XP based computer in the world locks the user out, every telephone line in india will be ringing off the hook, with users pissed off because microsoft has locked them out of their PC. Perhaps the virus could even pop up a little message explaining to the user that this is microsoft's fault and that mac and linux systems wont do that. perhaps we'll see some more mac and linux converts, perhaps not. but either way, we will certainly cause a headache and possible monetary damages for redmond. Everything from universities to large businesses to home users all unable to use their PC's. people suing (probably class-action) for damages because of time and revenue lost, it could be beautiful.

Not that the above has anything to do with a 'free society', I just think microsoft's activation is a huge pain in the ass and I would find it hilarious if their activation system were exploited to screw them over. Im really surprised it hasnt been done yet.

As i dont believe in copyright law, I shall practice what i preach and release the above work in the public domain. Do what you want with it, I dont care.

Um....hmm. How do i take responsibility for a creative work while simultaneously separating myself from anything that anyone decides to do with it?.....

The above was a work of fiction, for educational and entertainment purposes only. It was not intended to influence the actions of another human being. I take no reponsibility for anything anyone does with it...ever. In fact, I made it all up. I dont even understand computers or the internet, although ted stevens did help clear some things up for me (Tubes and trucks, Imagine that). I think that microsoft invented the computer. I think the internet and the World Wide Web are synonymous. I think that legally downloading music is awesome. I think its great that the artists get $.09 on the dollar, while the rest of the money goes to buy new laws to attack me and my freedoms.