Published October 21, 2010
Gene Simmons may want to "rock and roll all night" -- but if he keeps fighting with 4chan, his websites won't last that long.
The famed KISS frontman refuses to back down in a feud with the notoriously nasty online community 4chan, after his websites GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com fell victim to fresh hacker attacks.
"Some of you may have heard of a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers," wrote Simmons on his website.
Simmons brushed off the attacks while firing off a stern warning to the online vigilantes. "Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say 'adventurous' young people, who feel they are above the law."
The attacks stemmed from comments Simmons made at a convention in Cannes, France, two weeks earlier, where he vigorously pushed his stance on illicit file-sharers -- sue first, think later.
"Make sure your brand is protected," Simmons said during a panel discussion. "Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars." The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is well known for conducting just such a strategy of litigation; Simmons felt the groups response has nonetheless been too weak.
"The music industry was asleep at the wheel," complained the bassist and businessman, "and didn't have the balls to sue every fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid who downloaded material. And so now we're left with hundreds of thousands of people without jobs. There's no industry."
Online hackers at 4chan -- who collectively call themselves "Anonymous" -- caught wind of the comments, and a day later Simmons' websites were effectively wiped off the Internet.
Users of the 4chan bulletin board site were in the spotlight for protest against the Church of Scientology in 2008. In the last few weeks, the group began a series of attacks it calls "Operation Payback," targeting organizations that legislate in support of copyright laws. The RIAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, and even the U.K. government's Intellectual Property Office have been target; Simmons is their most recent victim.
Simmons declined to respond to a FoxNews.com request for comments, firing off a stern warning to the online vigilantes on his site instead. "Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say 'adventurous' young people, who feel they are above the law."
"We will sue their pants off," the bassist and businessman continued. "First, they will be punished. Second they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who's been there for years and is looking for a new girlfriend."
True to its manifesto -- "For this, you will be held accountable before the people, and you will be punished by them. We will not stop. We will not forget. We will prevail. We are anonymous" -- the group reacted swiftly to the remarks.
Simmons' sites succumbed again to a second wave of hacker attacks, and 4chan's Anonymous group added GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com to its "official" hit list.
Simmons' site is back online now -- but his statement has been removed.