RIAA responds, defends its prosecution of individual file
sharers

To the Daily:

As a proud University alum (Law School, Class of 1995), I was
disappointed to read your recent editorial about the Recording
Industry Association of America (Lawsuits against file sharing
is the wrong solution
, 03/30/04) because it was filled with so
many factual inaccuracies. Let me correct the record.

First and foremost, the RIAA is the trade association that
represents the nation’s major record companies, and speaks
solely for them. We have always made that clear. What is equally
clear, however, is that illegal file sharing, like other forms of
music piracy, affects everyone in the music community —
artists, songwriters, back-up musicians, producers, record stores
and thousands of other less celebrated individuals. Just ask
the unsigned bands who have lost their shot a record contract,
record store owners who have closed their doors and the thousands
of record company employees who have lost their jobs over the past
four years because of a 20 percent decline in CD sales.

We also recognize that when used legitimately, peer-to-peer
technology has enormous positive potential. The problem today is
that this technology has been hijacked by businesses — unlike
Robin Hood, Kazaa’s owners are making millions — that
are making money on the backs of creators, while off-loading what
should be their legal liability onto individual users. If
you’re looking for someone to blame, you might want to start
there.

The record labels are committed to and enthusiastic about the
Internet as a tool for delivering music to consumers. Services like
iTunes, Napster 2.0, www.bestbuy.com, Musicmatch, Rhapsody,
Wal-Mart and countless others give fans the ability to get the
music they want, when they want it — legally, and in a way
that fairly compensates creators.

After years of public education and warnings, we took the
difficult, but needed, step of bringing lawsuits against egregious
file sharers. In response, we have and will continue to hear from
our critics who believe we are wrong and think that because the
Internet and technology make it easy, stealing music okay. To those
critics I would say — the last time I checked — just
because the Internet makes it easier to plagiarize your final
paper, doesn’t make it any less wrong or punishable when you
do it.

David A. Sutphen

Alum

The letter writer is the senior vice president for federal
government and industry relations, Recording Industry Association
of America

 

Conduct of students supporting lecturer’s walkout
damages cause

To the Daily:

Before I even knew about Thursday’s Lecturers’
Employee Organization strike, I had scheduled a meeting for that
day for a potential summer internship in one of the University
buildings. I was stopped from going inside by a student who handed
me a flyer and asked me to not enter the building. I kindly
explained that I supported their strike, I hadn’t gone to my
classes, but I had an important meeting to go to. She physically
blocked my way and said that they wanted to stop people from going
into any University building for any reason and actually started
insulting me when I went around her. I heard several other accounts
that day of picketers being verbally abusive toward those who
crossed their lines, without any knowledge of who they were or why
they decided to go inside.

If they really are concerned for our quality of education, as
they keep insisting, how productive is it to ask us not to go to
the library? What about nonteaching University employees and
work-study students, many of whom make much less than the lecturers
and won’t get paid if they don’t show up for work? If
directly asked, most picketers would probably excuse them, but
these people were attacked and intimidated just as equally.

It’s probably simply a matter of LEO or Students
Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality not being careful enough
in whom they ask to picket or the directions they give to the
picketers (i.e., asking them not to harass people). Though all of
the complaints I heard were about younger, undergraduate-aged
people, probably SOLE members, so I suspect that the problem is
more on their side. Even among quite liberal people such as myself,
the reputation of SOLE and other left-leaning campus groups is
being slowly tarnished by this and many other similar incidents. If
they really want to convince students of their views and make an
impact on campus, they should stop attacking others and treating us
as if we were morally inferior, or at least be more careful about
who represents them.

Meghan Ahern

LSA senior

 

Daily shows respect for student activists

To the Daily:

I was impressed with the Daily’s decision to respect the
Lecturers’ Employee Organization picket lines on Thursday.
The Daily surpassed my expectations as a politically active student
at the University when its staff stood outside of University
buildings on Thursday in order to distribute the paper, instead of
crossing picket lines to place them inside academic buildings where
someone would normally find them.

Daily staff members must have volunteered to pass out the paper,
and they should be commended for their time spent. The paper itself
should be proud of its ability to move beyond the intertia of being
a large institution by making an active decision to respect the
teachers of this university and their picket line. It shows an
unusually high awareness of student issues, as well as an
understanding of the significance of a picket line.

In addition, this made it easy on students who wished to respect
the picket line themselves. We were able to get ahold of a paper
without entering a University building, allowing us to stand in
solidarity with our teachers but still get our daily fix.
Considering the entire front page covered labor issues, whether it
was the strike itself or the decision of the University to improve
its anti-sweatshop policy with wage disclosure, I appreciated being
able to read it without being confronted with that small but
significant moral dilemma.

Despite all the chaos and conflict surrounding every nuance of a
newspaper so important to the students at the University, for your
respect of LEO’s picket line, thank you.

Mike Swiryn LSA senior

Member, Students Organizing for Labor and Economic
Equality

 

Daily finally takes a fair look at the Greek system

To the Daily:

I would like to thank the Daily for one of the few
non-stereotypical articles with reference to the Greek community
written since I’ve been at the University (Leave the
Greeks alone
, 04/06/04). To accuse an entire community of
students of being the same is no different whether you are judging
them by their affiliation or their skin color. Personally, I came
to this campus thinking Greeks were a group of people I would not
want to be affiliated with, but after joining a great house, I can
see how wrong the stereotypes are.

Sure, there are many problems with the system, and to say there
are not would be a lie, though as a community we are confronting
these problems and working to fix them. But please, don’t let
the actions of a few ruin your thoughts of many, and please
don’t let the reputation of some of the individuals
discourage you from joining. Fraternities and sororities are as
diverse as all of us on this, possibly the most diverse campus in
the country, and there is an organization out there that you can
learn a great deal from and that also can learn a great deal more
from you. If you give these organizations the joy of your presence,
both will be better off in the future.

Finally, my brothers and I would like to extend an inexpressible
amount of gratitude to some different individuals. Last week Lambda
Chi Alpha had our 5th Annual Teeter-Totter-A-Thon, and we were able
to raise over $500. Thank you to all the sororities that sat on
that uncomfortable teeter-totter at crazy hours in helping us to
raise this money, of which every cent is going to diabetes
research. These sororities are Alpha Gamma Delta, Gamma Phi Beta,
Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Sigma Kappa. Thank you all very,
very much. Also thank you to all the passers-by who donated their
money to some fools on a teeter-totter; your money is going to a
great cause and both we and the recipients of these donations
appreciate it more than you can imagine. Thank you all!

Stephen Marin Engineering junior

President, Lambda Chi Alpha

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