I just saw this article about Kazaa over at Slashdot, on how the RIAA is making them ban certain search terms, like "Eminem" and "Kylie Minogue". There's also that deal out there with BitTorrent as well, which I think is more about specific trackers than names, but it wouldn't surprise me if it also included something like this.
Not that I really want to promote piracy, but messing with the RIAA gives me a warm fuzzy. How about a site like RealNames (which I posted about the other day), but called "CodeNames" instead. Get it? The community would register codenames for popular artists or other "banned" search terms to be used for P2P networks. "Eminiem" would be called "Arenar" (Get it? R&R?) or something like that.
This could be useful for dissidents as well, no? The term "democracy" could be replaced by "butterfinger". There could even be automatic CodeName proxies where the banned or tracked keywords would be automagically replaced with the CodeName.
I guess The CodeNames could expire after a certain amount of time, so it'd be harder for an automated tool to track. Or better - how about something like those "email address obfuscator" methods, that rotate every month or so? So "democracy" would be "d3m0crac4" one week and "cy-democra" another day?
It's not a perfect system, but it ads a bit of confusion to the system, which is nice: "Your honor, the defendent searched for the term "shakespeare" on November 25th, 2005, which on that day was a codename for "Madonna" and then subsequently downloaded a file which contained her songs.". Response, "Dude, I had a book report due that day, I thought I was downloading the complete works of Shakespeare." Reasonable doubt! Innocent!
Just a thought. :-)