There has been a buzz of activities in matters relating to the anti-piracy movement. A lot of members have been involved into an operation called ‘Operation Payback’. For those who are unaware, it is an anti-piracy movement where a group of anonymous members had been very busy for over 36 hours, launching DDoS attacks on the Indian anti-piracy site AiPlex Software and the MPAA, and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). The latest target of this group is the RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America.
The RIAA is a trust representing the recording industry distributors in the United States of America and its members comprise of record labels and distributors. According to the RIAA, these distributors manufacture, create and distribute almost 85% of all legitimate sound recordings sold and produced in the country. It is involved in the administration, collection, and distribution of royalties and music licenses and is also responsible for certifying gold and platinum albums, and singles in the United States. The major objectives of the association are to protect intellectual property rights across the world and the First Amendment rights of artistes, and also to perform a thorough research of the music industry. Apart from this, it also aims to review and monitor relevant laws, policies and regulations.
Coming back to the protest of the anonymous members, their attacks were said to be in response to the comments made by the CEO of Aiplex software. The former was reported to have his firm hired by the film industry to put an end to The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website which is said to be the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker, having more than 2 million registered users. Being one of the subjects of a documentary named ‘Steal this Film’, The Pirate Baywas raided by the Swedish government about 4 years ago. However, no torrents were removed for a long time after that from the bay due to legal threats from the torrent tracker.
The Anonymous had issued a letter stating that they are organizing an operation called ‘Payback is a Bitch’ and they will prevent users from accessing the above mentioned ‘enemy sites’, by keeping them down for as long as they could. They were tired of the Internet being controlled by their corporate interests and interfering in people’s rights to spread and share information. As a result of these protests, both the RIAA sites, namely www.RIAA.com and www.RIAA.org are currently offline. Through the Twitter and 4Chan message boards, many protestors have begun to mobilize and launch attacks with the use of the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) DDoS tools. They continue to launch independent attacks and make celebratory tweets, something that seems unlikely for a group of people who call themselves Anonymous.
Despite the strict piracy rules imposed by the MPAA and RIAA, it remains to be seen whether these rules would be changed thanks to the effects of a few hours of downtime and the flood of traffic.