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-N EW S The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 30, 2003 - 3
[AA will expand lawsuits
rainst file sharing users
Every Tuesday since Sept. 11, the weekly Peace Vigil meets to express their
views regarding the war, with the invasion of Afganistan and a peaceful resolution.
Continued from Page 1
"People are going to do exactly what
they want to do, regardless of set rules
and especially if they've been doing it all
along" said Eastern Michigan University
juniorVira Van Horn."... That's a privacy
thing. I'm not saying I'm a supporter of
that kind of activity, but as far as the law
is concerned, people will continue to do
what they want to do in the bedroom."
Robert Knight, a spokesman for the
conservative group Culture and Family
Institute, said Thursday's ruling would
have "very real consequences."
He warned that the ruling would
destabilize the legal foundation of mar-
riage, lead to more deaths among gay
men from sexually transmitted dis-
eases and lead to schoolchildren
being taught "that homosexual
sodomy is the same as marital sex."
Even before the justices handed down
their decision, the case led to controversy
this week involving Sen. Rick Santo-
rum, (R-Penn.), who said overturning
the law could lead to legalized incest,
bigamy and polygamy.
"Whenever I hear statements like
that from people, I am always remind-
ed of the struggle against ignorance
and intolerance that we as a commu-
nity need to continue to fight against.
It shows me just how much more edu-
cating we need to do," said Jeff Souva
co-chair of the Michigan Student
Assembly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
"I don't see the arguments of certain
government officials as a valid argu-
ment but I understand that others see
same-sex intercourse as a vice," said
LSA junior Joel Weltman.
"That's not to say that it doesn't piss
me off when someone in power can
make statements like that," he added.
He said the ruling is a significant step
forward for the gay rights movement,
although there is much to be done. "This
law has the potential to empower people
that are not yet empowered. The ruling
has made a difference... in the future it
will be helpful, but at this point we are
still far behind," he said.
As one of the 14 states in the nation
that have a sodomy law, Michigan will
be significantly impacted by the deci-
sion, said Sean Kosofsky, director of Pol-
icy at the Triangle Foundation.
"Our sodomy law in Michigan is the
toughest in the nation," Kosofsky said.
He added under Michigan's law,
sodomy violations were considered a 15-
year felony for the first conviction, and
life in jail for the second conviction. "It's
been used hundreds and hundreds of
times in the past couple years," he said,
adding that the law was commonly used
to deter adoption by gay parents.
"So it's a very very exciting decision
not only for privacy rights of all Ameri-
cans but for equal protection for gays and
By AbdurRahman Pasha
The Recording Industry Associa-
tion of America said it will file law-
suits against those who share
massive amounts of music online,
according to a written statement
released last Wednesday.
The announcement comes on the
heels of a District Court ruling on April
24 in RIAA v. Verizon Internet Services,
which granted the RIAA access to the
personal information of computer users
via their Internet Service Provider,
which will aid the recording industry in
catching and prosecuting users.
In addition to the recent court ruling,
falling record sales have driven the
RIAA to its new stance.
Many University students reacted to
the announcement with confusion and
indignation. LSA senior Michael Pappas
said he was doubtful the RIAA's threat
of lawsuits would not deter students
"I don't think scaring people is going
to make people stop - some people
will stop, but many won't. I think over
time, people will begin to counter-sue or
find loopholes. People will always find
ways around it," Pappas said.
Pappas added, "I kind of see where
they are coming from. But, I also heard
that CD sales from college students
haven't really changed. Some statistics
show that there hasn't been much of a
decrease, if any. If that's the case, what
would it matter if we're sharing files, if
they're not losing money to begin with?"
According to its own research, the
RIAA claims the music industry has
gone from a 40 billion business in 2000
down to 32 billion in 2002.
LSA junior Cianna Freeman said
the RIAA's new position has more to
do with their greed and the lack of
quality music in the market, than with
protecting copyright laws.
"This is ridiculous,"Freeman said.
"They are making millions of dollars
off of us. If your CD is good, then it will
be bought....The last CD I bought was
by Aaliyah, because it was good. I lis-
tened to it online first, I liked it, then I
went and purchased it," she said.
"Their tactics are over the top to say
"Their tactics are over the top to say the least.
Let me know when someone is not eating
because we haven't bought your CD ... These
new tactics by the RIAA only make me want to
be more rebellious."
- Cianna Freeman
the least. Let me know when someone is
not eating because we haven't bought
your CD. ... These new tactics by the
RIAA only makes me want to be more
rebellious" Freeman added.
Some people are calling for a boycott
of the music industry. Bill Evans, the
founder of a website boycotting the
RIAA, said he has been busy building a
national grassroots campaign.
According to the official website,
the overall goal of the campaign is to
educate the public and prevent the
RIAA from controlling the music
industry via copyright laws.
Evans said the lawsuits could alienate
music customers from the major labels.
Evans added that if approached
from the correct angle, the RIAA
would be able to use file-sharing tech-
nology to its advantage.
"According to the RIAA's own
numbers there are 2.7 billion down-
loads per month.
If they were even charging five
cents per track, that is a whole lot of
nickel sales (that) would be up not
down .... but the RIAA has backed
themselves into a corner."
The RIAA maintains the legality of
its claims. They have sued college stu-
dents in the past, but now are also
targeting those with substantial on-
line music collections, not just the
hosts of servers.
The first round of suits could take
place as early as mid-August, according
to a written statement by the RIAA.
In the June 24 special edition issue, it should have been stated that the 6th Circuit
court has not yet issued an opinion on the case challenging the LSA admissions policy,
Gratz. v. Bollinger.
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