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IP: IF THE F WORD DISTURBS YOU, DO NOT READ -- FBI gun-check computer crashes; Flash movie parodies Metallica
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 13:13:01 -0400

X-Sender: declan () mail well com
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Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 11:51:37 -0400
To: politech () vorlon mit edu
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>


   Metallica Net Parody Flashy Fun
   by Declan McCullagh (declan () wired com)

   3:00 a.m. May. 13, 2000 PDT
   WASHINGTON -- If you thought the spectacle of a heavy-metal band
   whining to Congress about the Internet was hilarious, just wait 'til
   you check out a short movie about it.

   The Flash spoof of Metallica's efforts to shut down file-sharing
   service Napster depicts singer James Hetfield as a hulking ape who
   grunts things like "T-shirts good!"

   The animated drummer Lars Ulrich praises his fans, saying: "You
   fucking made us rich. You fucking made us popular. I worship you.
   Unless you downloaded 'Until It Sleeps' from Napster ... then you're
   going to motherfucking jail. You're motherfucking meat."

   Bob Cesca, the creator of the movie and founder of Camp Chaos, said he
   already had a monkey-for-president character from a previous
   assignment, and was inspired by Metallica's lawsuit against Napster.

   "The two things came together. I had a character design already, I
   knew how to do the voice, and the issue was hot," Cesca said Friday.

   The popularity of the flick overloaded Camp Chaos' server, which was
   transferring about 3 MB a second, Cesca said. He hoped to have a
   mirror site online by Saturday.


   FBI offline: The FBI's computer used for background checks of gun
   purchasers has crashed.

   "On May 11 we experienced a loss in service to the Interstate
   Identification Index due to a database problem," an FBI spokesman
   said. "The only thing affected is the National Instant Check System
   and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System."

   Under a federal law that took effect in November 1998, anyone buying a
   rifle, shotgun, or handgun from a dealer has to go through a
   background check.

   Some 100,000 Americans were prevented from purchasing firearms because
   of the glitch, which started Thursday and which the FBI hopes to have
   fixed by Sunday. About 9 million checks took place during the first
   year of NICS's operation.

   Investigators at the U.S. General Accounting Office report NICS was
   offline for 215 hours from November 1998 to November 1999.



Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 16:44:47 -0700
To: declan () well com, politech () vorlon mit edu
From: Bill Stewart <bill.stewart () pobox com>
Subject: Re: Metallica drummer says Congress should ban MP3-swaps,

At 01:40 PM 05/05/2000 -0500, Declan McCullagh wrote:
 Lars Ulrich, drummer for the heavy-metal band Metallica,
 suggested that the U.S. Congress should step in to stop
 MP3-swapping services like Napster "before this whole Internet
 thing runs amok."

WAY too late for that :-)

It may not be that hard to stop centralized servers based in the US
with identified clients from swapping watermarked files -
but Gnutella and similar decentralized systems are very hard to stop
(but very inefficient), and semi-centralized servers in non-Berne countries
can provide similar services efficiently.  Meanwhile, somebody commented
that Napster complied, dropped the 300,000 user handles, and the same
people logged in again 10 minutes later and created new handles :-)

And there are lots of applications that are legal - particularly
non-commercial trading of Grateful Dead and Phish live concert recordings,
which the bands permit as long as you don't charge money for them,
and trading MP3s made by garage bands, and promotional MP3s by
commercial bands.

Somebody has suggested that Metallica should set up a few thousand
high-bandwidth Napster connections, and start flooding Napster with
MP3s that have their song names but instead contain a recorded
"Hey, you, stop ripping off our music!" message...

The real problem with Gnutella and FreeNet is that they don't
provide a good mechanism for finding other users near you to
conserve bandwidth - leading to the problem of university networks
getting swamped by students downloading on limited internet feeds
instead of staying on the campus LAN, getting them from other students.
Napster was able to reduce this problem significantly by modifying their
indexing mechanism, so students would get copies from inside,
but systems that hide where servers are to prevent censorship
and don't have central databases to track things are very bad at this.
It's sometimes possible to build useful indexing on top of them,
but it's much harder if it's not planned for from the beginning.

Bill Stewart, bill.stewart () pobox com
PGP Fingerprint D454 E202 CBC8 40BF  3C85 B884 0ABE 4639


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