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  BLACKLINES

World Wide Web
by Andrew Davis
2003-07-01

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Madonna's American Strife

Madonna just can't seem to find peace on the Net. After releasing the first single from her American Life album online, the Material Girl saw her Web site hacked, with links to pirated versions of her full album replacing the site's content.

The hacker's attack appeared to be in response to Madonna's most recent response to file-swappers seeking free copies of her music. The singer put files that appear to be versions of her new songs onto networks that actually contain recordings of her saying, 'What the fuck do you think you're doing?'

The hacked page read, 'This is what the fuck I think I'm doing.' It also contained what appeared to be links to the album's songs.

Madonna's war with hackers isn't unique, but it has been one of the consistent threads of the battles over online music during the past few years. Several other artists and groups that have complained about file swapping and have seen similar attacks.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been the target of repeated hack attacks during the past year, sending the site offline several times. Metallica, the hard-rock band that proved to be one of Napster's chief antagonists, had its site hacked at the peak of that controversy.

Madonna's release of fake files into file-swapping networks is an increasingly common way of combating Net piracy. Her own twist on the tactic, of course, earned her more attention ... and, in light of artists' sagging CD sales (including hers), attention is a desperately needed commodity.

Source: CNET News.com

***

Sites of the Month:

1. Lynne Thigpen - Wikipedia

(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynne_Thigpen): This page contains information on the formidable late actress, probably best known from TV shows The District and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? As this all-too-brief page reveals, Thigpen was a complex actress who handled a wide variety of roles.

2. Biography of Marlon Riggs (www.newsavanna.com/gravity/BlackIs/biographyofmarl_419.html): Continuing along the late celebrity trek, the openly gay Riggs (1957-1994) made 'insightful and controversial documentary films confronting racism and homophobia.' If you get a chance, take a look at Tongues Untied and Black Is ... Black Ain't (which includes clips of Riggs succumbing to AIDS) to see what a trailblazer this man was. For more info on Riggs, see www.museum.tv/archives/etv/R/htmlR/riggsmarlon/riggsmarlon.htm.

3. The Official Chaka Khan Site (www.chakakhan.com/Home.asp): The site for the 'I Feel for You' singer features the usual celeb site trappings, including a gallery, biography, tour information, and discography. You'll also see, however, that you can donate to Khan's non-profit literacy organization.

4. 205 Flava (www.205flava.com/): If you're still riding the Ruben Studdard Express, you might want to check out this site featuring tops with '205'—although the enterprising vendors here have expanded to include every area code in that nation.

***

I'm at westelm406@yahoo.com .


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