In July of 2002 I posted a piece entitled “The Trademark Implications of Spoofing Music Downloads – Self-Tarnshment?” regarding the (alleged) practice of the music industry and its representatives to upload defective and mis-labeled audio files. The implied purpose was to degrade the quality of the libraries of music files on peer to peer networks such as Kazaa. I commented at the time that, however noble the motivation of fighting copyright infringement, the intentional distribution of a defective and/or fraudulently marked product by the trademark owner or authorized licensee (remembering that the artist’s name is often a trademark licensed to the record company), was, to put in mildly, unusual.
With the disclaimer that maybe every fact in this PC World article is wrong, the record industry may have outdone itself. A company named Overpeer that may or may not be hired by the record companies to do so, is allegedly uploading mis-labeled music files that contain adware and browser-hijackers.