The internet group Anonymous has struck a blow against the very heart of copyright law in America.
Taking on loud-mouthed rock stars like Gene Simmons is one thing, but yesterday Anonymous had bigger fish to fry. As part of two months long "Operation Payback," Anonymous attacked the US Copyright Office website with a denial of service attack, successfully taking it down for around half an hour.
Anonymous targeted the site because it is "Perpetuating the system that is allowing the exploitative usage of copyright and intellectual property." The US Copyright Office not only records details about copyrights, it also provides expert advice to Congress on copyright issues, as well as aiding with drafting new legislation. With that resume, it's not hard to see why the strongly pro-piracy Anonymous might consider the Copyright Office a particularly tempting target.
The websites of the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and the British Phonographic Industry, amongst others, have also been attacked as part of Operation Payback, with the RIAA site reportedly taken down for three straight days last week. Anonymous says it will keep up the attacks until it "stops being angry" and has organized actual physical demonstrations to take place tomorrow in various cities around the world.