RIAA ignores court battles, picks Verizon to host site

The one thing we didn't want to happen

In its endless quest to keep the RIAA's Web site up, hosting company TST manages to set new records not in uptime but in third-party service blunders. The latest gaffe has TST moving the RIAA's servers onto Verizon's network - an ISP the music labels have fought in court.

Verizon has confirmed that, as of July, TST's own Web site and that of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) made their way onto the ISP's network. It seems TST will stop at nothing to make a mockery of the RIAA.

Earlier this year, the RIAA and Verizon faced off in court with the ISP trying to protect its customers from the pigopolist's subpoena machine. Now, TST has thrust the two enemies into a hosting marriage riddled with more emotional baggage than the union between Bill and Hillary.

"We have to provide the service to a customer that asks for it," said a Verizon spokeswoman. "TST is purchasing access service from us, and then its their decision what to do with it. It does not change any of our positions on the RIAA case."

Of all the hosting providers in the world, why would TST pick Verizon? Surely the thought would occur to the company that this might not be the best idea. It's not like the hosting masterminds at TST have not heard of other ISP's. The RIAA has already traversed a wide range of networks, including Global Crossing, UUNet, and Digex. TST's Web site has made a similar journey over the last year.

One possible explanation could be that no other ISP would have the RIAA and the hacking baggage its site brings to the table. Another school of thought would have TST being totally oblivious to the world around it. We'll leave it to you to decide.

Just remember that TST is the same company that changed the name of Microsoft IIS to TST-Secure-OS, hoping to scare would be attackers off with a fierce monicker. It's also the same company that describes itself as a small, disadvantaged business, has set downtime records beyond compare and insisted on using IIS 5.0 for months despite being hacked everyday.

Hosting savvy they are not.

To its credit, TST has moved its own site onto Linux servers as of late. We pray that these are not running on the 2.4 kernel or above. According to SCO, that would be an IP violation and make TST the same kind of criminal as file-traders everywhere. From an IP standpoint, it also seems a tad disconcerting that TST has renamed Microsoft's products as TST-Secure-OS. Check your license agreement, please.

In the past, Verizon has not shied away from warning the miscreants off its Internet services. A Verizon notice conveniently posted (be patient, as always) by none other than the RIAA provides a stern warning.

"Verizon Online reserves the right to deny Service to you, or immediately to terminate your Service for material breach, if your use of the Service . . . in any manner violates the terms of this AUP (Acceptable Use Policy).

"You may not store material on, or disseminate material over, Verizon Online’s systems or servers in any manner that constitutes an infringement of third party intellectual property rights, including rights granted under the US copyright laws."

Think Linux and TST-Secure-OS. ®

  • Side Note:

  • We've come to learn that Northwestern University students refer to a TST-style blunder as a "Perry Smith." School lore has it that a student by that name caught an STD while masturbating. The self-proclaimed celibate had been working on gonorrhea research for the biology department and took some of the work home with him. Anytime someone shoots themselves in the foot, or in this case the pants, the students call it a "Perry Smith." Not sure if we believe the story, but it's worth a laugh and applies nicely to the RIAA.

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