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November 01, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-01

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4A - Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
KARL STAMPFL IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflectthe officialrpssition of the Daily's editorialhoard. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, PaultH. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact-the public editor
with questions and comments. He can be reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
BAYU for 'U'
Education will help, but antiquated laws must be updated
There is finally a glimmer of hope for all students who
willingly - or unwittingly - upload files using Universi-
ty computers. Effective last Tuesday, the University has
initiated Be Aware You're Uploading, a new automated system
that notifies students via e-mail if they are uploading files using
peer-to-peer programs such as Kazaa, Limewire or Freenet.
Until now, students have struggled to protect themselves from
the Recording Industry Association of America's legal aggres-
sions armed with only a vague understanding of the laws they're
breaking. With the RIAA's continuing efforts to target unsus-
pecting students, however, education alone won't be enough: It's
time to challenge the outdated and poorly defined laws that are
used to punish online file sharing.

There's only three things he mentions in a
sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11."
- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on why Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani is unqualified
to be president during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate.
Arequest for criticism

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With this week's unmasking
of Johnny Quest, the notori-
ous blogger who wrote sar-
castically about the _
Greek community,
our campus lost
one of its newest
icons and also one
of its most critical
voices.
Although his
conduct was child- .
ish at times, Quest's NEIL
blog posts added a TAMBE
valuable critique
of campus culture.
Campus communities and groups lack
constructive external criticism, a valu-
able tool to improve organizations.
Our campus could use more voices like
Johnny's.
Questwas useful to campusbecause
he brought freshness and consistency
to the infrequent and usually mun-
dane criticisms leveled against cam-
pus groups. He was a muckraker who
ruffled feathers, was unafraid to be
candid and was undeterred by political
correctness. He was sarcastic without
being an extremist. More important,
his blog posts were more like a conver-
sation that prompted many dissenters
to disagree freely, which they did,
rather than a lecture. Quest's writing
was a quasi-exercise in organizational
evaluation and encouraged critical
thinking and argument.
There are many campus communi-
ties that would be better understood
with more exposure. Quest penetrated
one such community and at least tem-
porarily provided some explanations
about its workings. With his critical,
challenging opinions, Quest provided

insights that many others would be
afraid to share. His contribution was
valuable, even if it skirted pleasantries
and went straight to the bad and ugly.
In addition to providing insight
into campus culture, Quest's criti-
cisms provided fodder for organi-
zational improvement. Criticism
and advice from independent third
parties is a valuable resource for
any organization trying to improve.
Just as Quest was a watchdog of the
Greek community, others could play
similar roles for additional groups on
campus. As an example, The Michi-
gan Daily recently appointed its first
public editor, who provides periodic
analysis and criticisms of the paper.
The University Board of Regents
could also benefit from third-party
criticism and insight by creating a
student regent position.
Obviously, Quest was far from the
ideal critic. At times, he inaccurately
used stereotypes to characterize his
subjects, which undermined any dis-
cussions he helped to start. Also, some
of his writing was simply inflamma-
tory and didn't seem to serve any pur-
pose other than causing controversy.
What's most detrimental, however,
was that Quest wrote anonymously.
His undercover posting shielded him
from his own critics, allowing him to
blogmore recklessly. By writingunder
a pseudonym, Quest was contradict-
ing the same transparency he was
advocating for.
However, Quest would have never
been taken seriously if he was just
some independent . person writing.
Because he was a mystery, he was frus-
trating enough to garner attention. It is
a shame that Quest felt he had to post

anonymously. Criticism should be wel-
comed instead of shunned. Criticism
should be embraced by its recipients.
Just as important, critics should try to
deliver their criticism responsibly.
Following the example of Quest
doesn't necessarily mean becoming
the next offensive, sarcastic blogger
that people will talk about. Maybe
being Quest-like means participating
more in class discussions or calling a
congressional representative once a
year. Maybe it means talking up com-
munity issues with a friend. A great

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Johnny Quest
filled a void;
others must follow.
start could be to write a letter to the
editor of this newspaper to make criti-
cisms of this column.
I hope the next Johnny Quest is as
bold as the original, daring to speak
freely in places that it is uncommon
or uncomfortable to do so. I also
hope that the next Johnny Quest can
express his or her opinion without the
veil of a mystery identity. Indeed, we
can all learn something from Quest's
short run as a blogger and strive to
use our voices to courageously foster
a more thoughtful, nuanced debate. If
we want to improve our communities
over time, having a respectful, critical
debate is absolutely necessary.
Neil Tambe can be reached
at ntambe@umich.edu.

To avoid court battles, the RIAA specifi-
cally targets college students, even going so
far as to hand out subpoenas during exams,
when students are too overworked to inves-
tigate their options. The RIAA doesn't serve
the subpoenas to students itself; it instead
gives universities guilty IP addresses and
has them track the perpetrators. The Uni-
versity chooses to serve these subpoenas,
allowing many students to settle out of
court. Settlements with students tend to
run around $4,000, while taking the case to
court increases settlement figures.
Because of the additional revenue that
comes without a court battle attached, the
RIAA has no incentive to actually push these
cases into court and thereby encourage the
development of more responsive copyright
infringement laws. As a result, students will
continue to be prosecuted for a largely unde-
fined crime.
According to the University, the new
BAYU system was designed to accomplish
three goals: to help students avoid uploading
unknowingly, to help students who choose
to upload do so legally and to educate stu-
dents of the risks involved in using peer-
to-peer technology. BAYU is not only a sign
that the University.cares about its students
but is also a crucial tool in protecting stu-
dents from being exploited by the RIAA in
the future. However, the definition of spe-

cific copyright laws addressing the issue of
file-sharing would help students even more
by clearing up misunderstandings about
what's legal and what's not.
In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court heard
Sony Corp. ofAmerica v. Universal City Stu-
dios, Inc., in which it ruled that it was legal
for apersontorecordtelevision programsfor
individual use. In 2005, the Supreme Court
decided in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster,
Ltd. that companies that create programs
that promote illegal file-sharing are lia-
ble for the violations committed by users.
However, that precedent is easily avoided
by companies that simply insert a warning
before a copyrighted file can be download-
ed. Although both of these decisions were
useful in modernizing copyright laws stem-
ming from the broad Copyright Act of 1976,
they cannot be applied to the current issues
with uploading and file-sharing, necessitat-
ing that the courts revisit them and make
their specific applications more clear.
For now, the companies that make file-
sharing programs, not people who occasion-
ally use them, should be held accountable
for illegal file-sharing, in accordance with
Supreme Court precedent. But until copy-
right laws are fully developed, users can
only avoid prosecution through education,
something that BAYU will be effective in
providing to the University community.

DAVID GOH

The Daily's other side

JUSTIN SCHON
Biden will fight for educatiol

The University's Office of Student
Publications, which oversees The
Michigan Daily, The Gargoyle and
The Michiganensian, held a dedica-
tion ceremony for its newly renovat-
ed building recently. The ceremony
served both to honor Stanford.Lipsey
- the benefactor for whom the pub-
lications building is named - and
as a reunion of alumni who served
in one way or another at the three
publications.
As a member of the business staff
of The Michigan Daily, I really felt
out of place. Perhaps because the
overwhelming majority of alumni
in attendance represented the edi-
torial staff of the Daily, the stories
the speakers regaled the crowd with
all focused on praising the journal-
istic excellence and great experi-
ences gained from working in this
building. There was a distinct lack
of interest in the improvements of
the business operations of the Daily
over the years.
When I first decided to join the
Daily, recognizing the essential need
to separate editorial and corporate
interests, I had to choose between
writing for the paper or learningthe
business aspect of the newspaper
industry. My eventual decision does
not reflect my lack of passion for
journalism but a logical conclusion
based on the skills I have.
The lack of emphasis on the busi-
ness operations at the reunion was
of great concern to me. While I rec-
ognize the dedication of the writ-
ers and editors who work countless
hours making sure the Daily lives up

to its editorial standard,the business,
staff members play no small role in
ensuring that the paper is actually
published. Such a lack of attention
could be attributed to the lack of
awareness of the extensive amount
of work the business staff does.
The Daily relies heavily on adver-
tisingrevenue to pay forits expenses.
Our sales executives work diligently
selling display, classified and online
advertisements. Our production
crew designs advertisements and
non-editorial publications such as
the Student Handbook. The circula-
tion manager ensures the newspa-
per reaches our readers every day of
the academic year, and the finance
team manages client relations to
gain their trust so they continue to
place ads in the Daily. As business
manager, I have the responsibility
of balancing the budget and ensur-
ing ample resources for the writ-
ers and editors to best accomplish
their work while engaging in fiscal
planning essential to the continued
growth of the publication.
Does the decision to serve on the
business rather than the editorial
staff signal our selling out to cor-
porate interests? Does it represent a
trade between passion and greed? I
don't think so. It is unfortunate that
we inculcate in our students such a
disregard of the economic applica-
tion of their skills.
The landscape of the printed
media industry has been in flux
ever since the advert of the Inter-
net. Newspapers worldwide struggle
to remain the medium of choice for

information as readers shift toward
non-traditionalmedia as their source
of news. To remain competitive,
newspapers like the Daily require
not only journalistic excellence, but
also the business acumen to continu-
ally update its business practices to
engage the public. As advertising
budgets for printed products decline,
the business staff faces a monumen-
tal task to remain competitive in the
'advertising industry. We must con-
tinue to attract the brightest minds
available to equip ourselves well in
this challenge.
While the camaraderie ofthe busi-
ness staffers cannot be compared
with the bonds forged between the
writers, photographers and editors,
it is strong nevertheless. Each staff
is a valued contributor to the shared
goal of ensuring the success of the
publication. As we celebrate the
grand tradition of the last 118 years
of editorial freedom, let us not for-
get the business staff. Acknowledg-
ing their achievements is the first
step toward increasing the interest
and participation of former business
staff members, many of whom enjoy
tremendous success in their line of
work and are well-positioned to give
back to the Daily.
Formalizing the symbiotic rela-
tionship between the editorial and
business staffs of the Daily will go
a long way in ensuring another 118
successful years.
David Goh is business manager
of The Michigan Daily and an
economics graduate student.

Republicans and Democrats agree that
the 2008 presidential election will be one
of the most important elections of our life-
time. That point may
be debatable, but it's -
clear that our country,
has changes to makeD
- now.!
We cannot afford -.
to continue fighting D
on partisan grounds m
and pushing problemso
off onto future gen-
erations. Among those _
future generations are BIDEN
students likeus here at
the University. There are many changes that
our government needs to make so that our
generation can prosper. These changes fall in
areas like the war in Iraq, Social Security and
health care - topics we have all heard a lot
about. However, the most immediate concern
for students is the cost of college, and Sen. Joe
Biden (D-Del.) is the best candidate to deal
with that concern.
Biden is chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee and previously served
as chairman of the Senate Committee on
the Judiciary. He is active on issues of edu-
cation, including trying to help families pay
for higher education. College costs are high,
and they will only continue to grow unless
something is done to keep them in check. The
first thing Biden plans to do is to combine the
two tax credits that are currently offered, the
Hope Scholarship Credit and the tuition and
fees deduction, into one $3,000 refundable
tax credit that is the equivalent of a $12,000
deduction over four years of college.
This would fit into Biden's overall plan of
simplifying the financial aid system. Right
now, no one fully understands the federal
financial aid system in this country. Thou-

sands of dollars in aid go unclaimed every
year because people just don't know how to
receive it. With so much money at stake, stu-
dents absolutely must gain a better under-
standing of how the financial aid system
works. Continuing his efforts as senator,
Biden also plans to expand eligibility for
people to receive the tax credit, resulting in
approximately 4 million more hard-work-
ing families receiving financial aid to pay for.
their children's college educations. Finally,
Biden would raise the size of the Pell Grant
to $6,300.
Biden
plans to This viewpoint is the
instill the fifth in a series by -
expecta- leaders of campus
tion that
everyone groups supporting
can attend various presidential
college by candidates.
engaging
students in
a college planning and preparation process
starting in eighth grade. This would ensure
that families have plenty of time to prepare to
send their children to college and to save up
money. Currently, most students don't know
how much aid they will receive or where they
will receive it from until their senior year of
high school. That is just unacceptable. Col-
lege is a major step for a student. There must
be adequate time to plan for it.
Most people who are familiar with Biden
recognize him for his foreign policy exper-
tise, including his leadership on Iraq and
Darfur. What students should realize is that
he is an especially great candidate for them.
As president, Biden will bring common sense
to this country.
Justin Schon is an LSA freshman and chair of
the University chapter of Students for Biden.

JOHN OQUIST
... ND N TH NET WAT AMINUTE .., WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
- SLIDE WE HAVE.Y..REJ T WRITING DOWN WHATEVER'S ON
TH uETHEN FALLING ASLEEP UNTIL THE NEXT
LDEGOES UPI LET ME SEE THOSEI
tELAX, PROFESSOR, WIIPEtat, FIst.N0 MORt
WILL FILL ALL THIS IN POHERPOINTI
BEFORE THE EXAM
W HATI
> / NOOOOOOOOOOIII

YOU'RE NOT EVEN GETTING THE
MAIN IDEAS. THESE AREN'T NOTES,
THEY'RE BULLET POINTSI
15
BUT .BUT... HOW ARE
WE SUPPOSED TO
LEARN?

BLOGS
Read more analysis at www.michigandaily.com/thepodium.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be
under 300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affili-
ation. All submissions become property of the Daily. We do not print anony-
mous letters. Send letters to tothedaily@umich.edu.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Emad Ansari, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Jon Cohen, Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Gary Graca, Emmarie
Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels, Robert Soave, Gavin Stern, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe,
Matt Trecha, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa

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