How Not To Get Caught By The RIAA & MPAA
Making Educated Pirates Out Of All Of Us
From the fall of Napster ages ago to the recent raids on torrent indexing servers, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the current happenings of the pirating scene. Many individuals in the recent years ranging from gansta-rap downloading grandmothers to unsuspecting college students have been sued into submission while the rest of us tremble in fear of the great cartels that is the RIAA & MPAA. I have to say this first though: This article might not be intended for the people of “just-don’t-download-illegal-stuff” argument; Nor is it of much importance to the occasional one Britney Spears song downloader. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is for those of us who has the feisty pirates in them, who will go beyond the call of duty to ensure that the latest movie release gets on to our hard drives…even if we don’t really want to watch it in the first place.
Personally, I am a very conflicted individual when it comes to copyright infringements; the line is indeed blurred for me, perhaps I will talk about only that in my next blog (For those of you who didn’t figure it out yet, this is my first blog).
After years of observation, I have found my set of rules to abide by; some of you might’ve known this already while many don’t. So, without further ado, I give you the golden rules of how not to get caught when downloading copyrighted material, divided into specific sections.
What To Download (And Not To)
- Stay away from new theatre releases of films (Fine, I’ll explain how to download them regardless in the end, but read this first) – The urge to download the latest movie when it’s in theatres is in all of us, but these types of files are the ones most actively monitored by the MPAA. The revenues generated from new media are very important to them, so the next best thing is waiting for a DVDRip/DVDScr release (but perhaps even then it’s somewhat risky, but the percentage of getting caught is SIGNIFICANTLY less also).
- Second rule, perhaps the most important pertaining to movies, is that you should definitely check whether the movie you’re downloading belongs to a company that is part of the MPAA. A production company part of the MPAA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpaa) will most likely and indeed be the only party that will take legal action…at least for the moment.
- The same “early-release” and “RIAA-participant rule” aforementioned applies to music as it did for movies, but a tiny difference is that an individual will still get sued for even one song.
- Downloading individuals of TV shows have yet to be sued, but that very well might change in the future, for safety though, I still recommend something along the lines of http://tvlinks.50webs.com/ and/or www.dailyepisodes.com. Games & software as of right now are not involved too much in legal disputes with individuals, so smooth sailing there. Kitty Pr0n however, is a no-no and I can’t help you there.
How To Download Securely (Important Section)
- For Mp3s, One classic and effective way of downloading the latest music and bypassing this RIAA is using websites. Yes you heard me, leave P2P out of this. Websites as simple as AltaVista (the audio search function) will get you most of the single track songs that pops into your head. If albums are more your style, use special Google commands to search for your latest albums and download them from other people’s servers. This site (http://www.geocities.com/my_haz_runs/) tells you exactly how to accomplish this with ease.
- Bit-Torrent – If you don’t know what this is or have heard people talking about it, you might want to read this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent) a couple of times. Anyways, grab your favorite client/program (I’m split between Azureus/uTorrent/BitComet), and start off from there. For those of you that understand the torrenting process, I’ll cut to the chase.
- PeerGuardian – Now I’m not a big fan of this, but it’s better than no protection at all. PeerGuardian blocks bad IPs, meaning that it prevents known IPs of RIAA/MPAA tracking companies from connecting to you during a swarm and identifying you. Is it foolproof? No way. Does it help a bit? Yes.
- Private trackers, private trackers, private trackers – Now I’m not talking about “private” sites like Demonoid (Waits for laughter), but the ones that prevents you from connecting to other members if you are not a member. That kind of sharing will set a pirate free. But, getting into one of these torrent sites is difficult, most of them only does invite, while some have enough members and like to remain underground (my mouth is shut). But talk to your friends who have been around the torrenting scene, and ask around. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get and invite.
- For certain torrent clients there are plug-ins for them such as SafePeer for Azureus and etc. Explore them as maybe you’ll find a gem.
- Other P2P ways of getting files – DC++ is decent, but it still suffer the same danger as torrents if an “illegitimate” IP connects to you. For clients such as KazaaLite or Limewire, you are just wide in the open; try your best not to use them. Other ways of transferring files across the internet from people you DON’T know are Usenet, Tor, etc. I’m sorry I can’t list them all.
And finally ladies and gentlemen, you’ve reached this far, I’ve decided to reward you with some tips that will trump everything that I said above. These tips will allow you to download with abandon whatever you want.
- If you have wireless, leave it wide open when YOU ARE DOWNLOADING. Now many computer security experts and also myself knows that it is ridiculous to have you wireless connection without a password. Mild script kiddies can view what you are doing online and your transactions and they can also piggyback on your network. But that’s the best part, EVERYONE can join and no one knows which IP belongs to whom. Two legal cases as of the writing of this article have already proven so. Both of the cases’ defendants used the argument that they left their wireless connection open and that anyone could’ve connected to it under their router and downloaded copyrighted material. Both of the cases the RIAA dropped the suit to avoid a record of loss. In theory, one does not even have to leave it open, you could claim your wireless is always open when lawsuits come along.
- The downside, of course, is that lawsuits will come regardless, but you could always use this “wireless router argument” as a solid defense. If the RIAA uses “user negligence” argument, you can always state that you do not know how to set up a router.
- Finally, last note, if you are on a college network (since the RIAA and MPAA are targeting the student audience so much), one way to share files effectively is through an internal network. I use a Darknet for sharing of movies and files under 50 people. WASTE is a great program for setting a closed network within a university network, just give it a spin. Then of course, there is always the conventional AIM/GAIM/GTALK file transfer feature. MyTunes (OurTunes doesn’t work for iTunes 7 anymore) for sharing all those mp3s with people in your dorm building.
There you have it ladies and gents, I have so much more too say but many have only so much time to read. If this article takes off, perhaps I’ll write my second blog entry on Ethics In Pirating, I can’t wait.