Full Of SQL And Fury, Signifying Nothing

from the take-that,-RIAA dept

The RIAA's website was hacked early Monday morning — their out-of-date CMS installation proved to be vulnerable to a number of SQL injection attacks — and as you might expect the internet has been having a good laugh about it since.

Well, ha ha. I won't pretend to be immune from a little shadenfreude at the expense of this particular blogospheric bête noir. But in a larger way, this incident validates the RIAA's existence. After all, it's not the RIAA's name that appears on lawsuits filed against P2P users: it's those of the record labels. The association serves a number of functions, but not least among them is its role as a consequence-free focal point for consumer backlash — backlash that most recently channeled itself into meaningless vandalism against a brochureware site that no one visits.

Of course, this displacement of blame works in both directions. It's considerably easier for copyfighting triumphalists to claim they're in the right when the enemy is a constituency-free trade group rather than a business that represents (however poorly) the artists whose work is being appropriated. For this reason, I wouldn't take too seriously the rumors of the RIAA's demise. So long as the labels choose to prosecute their war on filesharers, everyone concerned will have a use for a scapegoat.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Jan 22nd, 2008 @ 12:36pm


    Awesome commentary, beautifully written.
    And oh, so, true.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe Hunkins, Jan 22nd, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Nicely written!

    shadenfreude at the expense of this particular blogospheric bĂȘte noir.

    Good points, and quite a turn of phrase there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Willy, Jan 22nd, 2008 @ 12:59pm


    What a shame these little script kiddies don't turn their attention to the label's sites themselves. If they'd quietly put a few subtle "Download your favorite tunes free" links on each label's site and have that serve up MP3s of all the top songs "free of DRM" and with "no prohibitions on distribution."

    Days or weeks later, after the label's discovered the changes, it'd be too late. File sharers galore would have the perfect legal defense - "I downloaded it for free off their site. It said I could share it freely." What jury could convict?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      James, Jan 22nd, 2008 @ 1:36pm

      Re: Agreed

      I agree, although I'm unsure of what the nature of the hack allowed, but if it did allow direct editing or replacement of HTML pages.. the best hack in the world would have been to alter the wording in such a way that visitors would read/see it but those who run the site might not realize (ie since their probably not reading their own content).

      Who knows how long something like that could remain, and ultimately be much more hilarious once discovered.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 22nd, 2008 @ 6:13pm

    That's "schadenfreude"


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cixelsid, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 9:40am


    Ich habe gar nicht gewusst dass schadenfreude, also freude uber schaden, auch gebrÀuchlich war in den Englische sprache.

    Jeden tag werde Ich was neues lernen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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