Ask Humorix: I Need Money Fast
Feature written by on Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Mea Suquer writes, "I got drunk one night and I decided (or, rather, the alcohol decided) that it would be cool if I built the world's largest Beowulf cluster of Rolls Royces. At the time I had money to burn, but since then I've been laid off and my SCO stock (also purchased during an alcohol-induced stupor) is quickly becoming worthless. I'm millions of dollars in debt. What should I do?"
We here at Humorix have developed a sure-fire way to make money fast that will allow you to overcome even the stupidest investment choices.
Now, of course, you might be wondering, "If this method is so good how come the folks at Humorix haven't tried it yet?"
Well, it turns out, we have! You'll notice that Humorix has published even fewer articles than usual this summer, and we even forgot to celebrate the site's five-year anniversary (we're still checking with the Guiness Book of World Records folks to determine if this is a record lifespan for a dotcom). It's all because we're rolling in the money.
And we're poised to make even more. We've filed for numerous patents on our business plan. Anybody that uses this method must give us royalties... but hey, we'll let you keep at least 10% of the proceeds -- which is millions of dollars more than you started with.
We should point out, however, that if you go to jail for pursuing the Humorix Sure Fire Way To Make Money Fast®(patent pending), we cannot be held responsible. So there.
Here's how the plan works in a nutshell:
Step 0. Create a corporation with a menacing yet buzzword-enhanced name.
Step 1. Threaten to sue everybody in sight for DMCA violations.
Step 2. Subpoena ISPs for everybody's personal information, creating a detailed database of every Internet user on the planet.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Profit!!!
It's just that simple!
The DMCA was, of course, bought and paid for by large corporations. The beauty, however, is that anybody (with a couple friends) can legally create their own corporation. Now you can use the DMCA to your advantage. Nobody has to know that your corporation is run from a basement closet and doesn't even qualify for the Fortune 500,000,000,000,000 list. With the right name and a crafty website loaded with Flash but devoid of content, your business will look like the major multi-national corporation that the DMCA was designed to protect at all costs.
Now, you'll want to start registering a bunch of trademarks and start manufacturing a stack of meaningless but copyrightable content. Throw in a few patents for good measure. File the necessary paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office to make everything nice and legal. (Don't worry about the USPTO rejecting your applications because they are totally bogus -- it's never happened before.)
At this point, you need to create a simple Perl script that trawls the Web, Usenet, P2P networks, FTP servers, and even Gopher sites looking for potential violations of your precious intellectual property. The key word is "potential" -- you want to target as many people as possible but you don't want to actually take them to court. If you have a trademark with 16 letters and your bot stumbles on a file containing 10 out of 16 (order doesn't really matter), then you've got grounds to fire off a bark letter! There's no point in wasting time opening the file to peek inside, that's none of your concern.
Of course, in order to send the threatening bark letter, you'll need to obtain the target's personal information. This is where the DMCA comes into play. Just file the right paperwork with their ISP or web host, and you're all set. Before long you'll start accumulating enough information to create a database that would make even the Kremlin envious.
There's always the risk that one your targets might try to bite back and accuse you of shaking them down for money with bogus allegations. Not to worry, you represent a corporation invoking the sacred DMCA -- nothing can stop you. Noble sounding legal phrases like "under threat of perjury" and "innocent until proven guilty" are irrelevent when a corporation's valuable intellectual property is at stake.
It's a win-win situation. If the plan succeeds, you will be able to do whatever you want with your massive database -- the opportunities for raking in profits are wide open. If by some rare chance the country -- and Congress -- gets sick and tired of all the DMCA abuses wrought by corporations... then, well, that's a winning situation as well. You probably wouldn't become ultra-wealthy in this case, but you can sleep soundly knowing that Geek Enemy #3 has been vanquished by your actions. (For those keeping score, SCO is currently at #1, while Microsoft, formerly #1, is now tied for #2 with Unisys).
So there you have it. The Humorix Sure Fire Way To Make Money Fast® is just what you need to make money fast and get out of debt. But don't forget: this business model is patent pending. Please send your royalty fees in the form of small, unmarked bills to Humorix World Headquarters as soon you become wealthy again.
 Actually, Humorix really isn't rolling in the money. We made that part up. This is a fake news site, remember?