Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Steal My Sunshine

It's getting so that a crook can't make an honest buck anymore.  I mean really... when I download copyrighted works of music or software, I expect to get what I downloaded.  Instead, what I'm likely to get these days is a piece of malware targeted to make it look like I can make a simple payment to pay up for my debt to society, but which instead is really just another way to scam me out of a couple of bucks while turning my PC into the equivalent of typhoid Mary. 

It's one of the lesser known problems with using these torrent programs, but living with teenagers has allowed me to realize it's a HUGE problem for those who do.  You're system is, at some point, likely to be infected, infested, and bugged to the hilt and is going to require a full rebuild to get it back to a working state of being.  This is not a maybe, a could be, a might be... this is a definitely going to happen. 

A more cynical man might think this is the systems attempt to get back at all those who ignore their odious and stupid attempts at copy protection.  After all, during the hey day of Napster, some members of the RIAA actually hired people to do this very thing.  I'm not entirely sure they were successful though, after all, these people still thought that CD's were the "new and hip thing."  It has a beat and they could dance to it, for sure.

In any case, I see this more of an example of malware coders following the crowd and looking for easy methods of access.  Bit torrent programs are definitely one easy method.  You are trusting people whom you've never met, never talked to, and do not know to provide you with a safe, secure file that is exactly what you are looking for.  And when exactly did they prove they were trustworthy?  Yeah... it's that whole stranger-danger thing we were taught on ABC after school specials, but apparently forgot.

So, to sum up:  copyright infringement bad; those who give us malware instead of the copyrighted works we were seeking badder; RIAA worst.

I'm off to listen to my downloaded copy of Pink's latest album.  I hope my car has had all its inoculations....

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