Monday, August 30, 2004

My Grandma Vs. DMCA

Wierd phone call of the week: My grandma calls me today and tells me that her ISP shut off her service due to a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) infringement. WTF!?

It turns out, that someone downloaded the game, Hitman on to my grandma's computer and either by the game calling home or the publisher monitoring a download site, they found out and turned my grandma in to her ISP. This is messed up on so many levels. For starters, my grandma doesn't play a single game on her computer save Freecell. Secondly, no one in the age bracket that would want to play Hitman has been to my grandma's house in seven months. Yes, I am a bad grandson. Aside from my familial shortcomings, the other thing that bothers me is how this could have happened.

I am guessing there are a couple of things that may have taken place. This could all be a mistake. I am leaning to this outcome solely because I know how computer illiterate my grandma is and how much of a gamer she is not. Maybe they just got the IP addy wrong when they sent it to my grandma's ISP or maybe they have two people with the same name and it was a paperwork foul-up. I don't know.

The more troubling outcome is that it is possible, however unlikely, that someone got onto my grandma's system either physically or over the net and remotely downloaded the game. Maybe a spam email that had a backdoor in it or soemthing, I don't know. My grandma does not do a lot of stuff on her computer aside from email and word processing so I just don't know what to make of the situation. The evil part of me says it was better her than me. :) DMCA is such a stupid law because there are obviously flaws in it that let companies do this to old people that are probably innocent. Unless my grandma is a closet pirate....hmm....


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