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  (Source: Wired's Threat Level)
Firefox extension Linked Users to Same Product at The Pirate Bay

Internet pirates were in for a brief surprise Wednesday: art students from the Netherlands launched “Pirates of the Amazon,” a Firefox extension that linked product pages to their equivalent listing at The Pirate Bay. The following day, however, the website hosting the project took it offline after it received threats from lawyers.

The add-on’s authors are thus far anonymous, identifying themselves only as students of a Media Design M.A. course at a Netherlands-based university. Their website currently describes the project as a “practical experiment on interface design, information access and currently debated issues in media culture.”

“We were surprised by the attentions and the strong reactions this project received,” reads the site. “Ultimately, the value of the project lies in these reactions.”

A description of the add-on before it was taken down said its authors wanted it to be a “counterpart to the current models of media distribution,” and to “redistribute the wealth.”

Indeed, within a day of the add-on’s launch, its authors received a takedown request from’s legal department.

WHOIS records and what appears to be an posting indicate that the domain is held by artist Timo Klok, and that the add-on is to be publicly exhibited at an art festival at the end of next week. user “funchords” notes that the add-on retreives the “download 4 free” image from it’s home site, allowing administrators to monitor the extension’s spread through web server logs. It is unknown as to whether or not the add-on was designed with this in mind.

According to TorrentFreak, the add-on’s authors are not affiliated with The Pirate Bay – despite evidence that the add-on’s code transmits its queries to The Pirate Bay under the user-agent string “Pirates-of-the-Amazon”. The DSLreports posting describing this behavior posits that it was simply a “cute thing to do.” did not respond to repeated request for comment from Wired’s Threat Level.

While the add-on is no longer available from its original page, a working mirror is available from TorrentFreak.

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By xsilver on 12/5/2008 8:24:13 AM , Rating: 0
I think the only surprising thing here is that even a joke project by a student is taken seriously by multinationals. lawyers probably have nothing else to do...

RE: surprising
By Aloonatic on 12/5/2008 8:51:31 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone's trying to look busy these days so they don;t get made redundant.

Who are they going to go after next to make it look like their retainer is necessary?

RE: surprising
By lotharamious on 12/5/2008 9:10:18 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing else to do? Their jobs are probably or will be soon on the chopping block, just like the rest of America's.

Hint: Economy

RE: surprising
By xsilver on 12/5/2008 9:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
and chasing after some punk kid in a foreign country known to be sympathetic to piracy is going to make your legal team look good?

talk about david vs goliath.

RE: surprising
By masher2 on 12/5/2008 9:50:25 AM , Rating: 4
> "is that even a joke project by a student ..."

A joke? Even the team who wrote this called it a "practical experiment". Joke or no, it still facilitates piracy, and could have seriously impacted Amazon's revenues.

Manufacturing has been declining in the US for 30 years. Intellectual property is one of the few things we generate that sells well. The last thing a struggling economy needs is more pressure on that.

RE: surprising
By xsilver on 12/5/2008 10:08:54 AM , Rating: 2
sorry i should have been clearer. The student probably didnt take it as a joke but the joke is the fact that the amazon lawyers would be able to shut it down within 24 hours. When a multinational is going to be afraid of a student project I guess it just brings a whole new meaning to the meaning of the word fear.

By shutting them down with such vigour I believe brings even more power/publicity to their cause.

RE: surprising
By murphyslabrat on 12/5/2008 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 4
I guess it just brings a whole new meaning to the meaning of the word fear.

Why, how does this change the meaning of First Encounter Assault Recon?

RE: surprising
By Hardin on 12/5/2008 11:01:53 AM , Rating: 4
What's surprising is seeing Amazing Grace with explicit lyrics.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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