History is written by the victorious to reflect whatever truth fits best. What story will be written about the great online copyright wars current being waged in the years to come? Will it be the RIAA's or LimeWire's? Good question; as of right now neither, since both are offline and incapable of telling their tale. So it's up to us...
Knocking websites offline used to be a purely pro-entertainment industry sport. Napster, Scour, LimeWire, AudioGalaxy, EliteTorrents - the list goes on. These sites and hundreds, if not thousands like them, have been forced offline by the various pro-copyright factions that have used the judicial system to obtain permanent injunctions against their file-sharing foes. It seems the tables have turned, however, as the other side has obtained the tools and strength to do the same.
The "other side" happens to be a variety of different online groups participating in Operation: Payback. This effort is part of a coordinated (at least most of the time) effort to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) certain websites. Most happen to be pro-copyright/entertainment industry websites, but being pro-copyright isn't the inherent target. Rather, their targets consist of those who actively confront file-sharing or support efforts to sue those accused of file-sharing. The online group Anonymous is certainly part of this effort, but isn't the only group involved. It has grown from its origins to include facets from all corners of the internet. And the latest target, as we reported yesterday
, is the RIAA - again.
The schedule attack against the RIAA's website was set to begin at 4PM EST today, yet it seems either one of two things happened: 1) the RIAA intentionally brought their server offline, or 2) there was a premature attack on the website. Either way, the site is offline, and that seems to be good enough for Anonymous and supporters of Operation: Payback.
Although the site is offline, the planned DDoS attack is still scheduled to occur, at least according to Operation: Payback's homepage. If history is any indication, typically when a site goes offline prematurely, targets are switched (such was the case for the Ministry of Sound when Gallant Macmillan took their site offline). We'll see what happens at 4PM EST.
Update 5:15PM EST:
The DDoS attack took place an hour later than scheduled, however, in about 4 minutes 30 seconds, the RIAA website was taken offline. The RIAA website experienced some downtime earlier today, but was back online during the afternoon. As of this update, the RIAA website is offline due to the 5PM EST DDoS attack.