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May 27, 2008 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-05-27

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Tuesday May 27, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect theofficial position of the Daily's editorial board. All other
signed articles and illustrationsrepresent solely the views of their authors.
Spring tweaking
'U' privileges policy needs fine-tuning
The holiday weekend may be over, but for student
not enrolled in spring and summer classes, access
to certain University services will remain on per-
manent vacation. While the University tries to balance
the needs of all its students, this policy should be tweaked
so that students are entitled to services year-round.

No one feels that we are
anywhere near the end
of the humanitarian
relief period."
- United Nations Development Pro-
gramme director for crisis prevention
Kathleen Cravero, on the ongoing aide
crisis in Myanmar following a cyclone that
devastated the area in early May.

'sri -
7v yS

For the record

Come summer, students not
registered full-time at the Uni-
versity lose access to these
resources like work out facilities
and University Health Service,
even those already registered for
fall classes.
The University maintains that
students still have options. Dur-
ing the regular academic year,
students automatically pay a fee
which grants them access UHS;
During the summer, students not
paying full tuition can gain access
by separately paying a compara-
bly fee. The purported aim is to
help those students who expectto
need services that would exceed
this premium, while excusing
both summer residents without
extensive medical needs and
those home for the summer from
extra financial burden.
But these costs are far from
pocket change - UHS access
for the spring and summer, for
instance, costs $201 and access
to the CCRB costs $80 for the
duration of the warmer months.
For students flipping burgers for
minimum wage or sacrificing
salary for career experience in
an unpaid position, that's a hefty
price tag.
It's commendable that the Uni-
versity is trying to create a com-
promise that is fair for all parities
but its policy, which ensures that

the student body as a whole isn't
affected by these costs at the
expensive of some students, could
use a bit of an adjustment.
The University should con-
sider alternate models, like that
of the University of Minnesota.
Under such a plan, the fee col-
lected from students during the
normal academic year is adjusted
to cover similar services during
the summer.
Students might argue that they
shouldn't be held responsible for
services they can't take advan-
tage of, a point the University has
used as justification for the bal-
ance it has struck, arguing that
Minnesota, a largely commuter
campus, boasts more year-round
student residents who can take
advantage of such services.
But students should be looked
out for, even if they've temporar-
ily traded textbooks and tuition
for resumes and hourly wages.
The University admits that pro-
portionally few students stay in
the city compared to Minneso-
ta's campus, which means that
though less people have access
to services, the cost is also cor-
respondingly smaller. And if the
entire student body paid into this
expense, it seems likely that the
additional cost would be nomi-
nal. As the saying goes, many
hands make light work.

A recent editorial (Ripped off,
05/05/2008) imparts misleading
conclusions, justifying a response.
The Recording Industry Associa-
tion of America always welcomes
constructive criticism of its cam-
paign against illegal file-sharers,
but must clarify residual confusion
caused by these inaccuracies.
First, our college campaign is
an ongoing initiative and consists
of sending pre-litigation letters on
a rolling basis. It should be clear
that we send letters only when
we detect theft. We settle these
cases for far less than what the
law allows and far less than the
amount of damage to the music
community caused by this theft.
When we detect theft, we do
not know specifics about who
that person is. We don't know the
socioeconomic status of that per-
son, their zip code, what classes
they have that day, what they had
for breakfast, etc. What we have
is a unique identifier of an indi-
vidual's Internet account, linking

them to the illegal activity. We
target theft. Period.
Our litigation campaign is not
financially profitable, but we do it
in order to allow all those who help
bring music to the public - from
the artist and label to the so, nd
engineer to the truck driver at the
CD manufacturing plant -to get
fairly compensated for their hard
work. We also want to help the
legal marketplace reach its full
potential while communicating
that illegal behavior can and does
have consequences.
As the editorial accurately
noted, what we know for sure is
that all the information out there
- cited by notable and reliable
research organizations - regret-
tably points to the fact that far too
many college students steal music
online, at a rate even higher than
that of the rest of the population.
This theft translates into real loss-
es: thousands of layoffs within the
music community, dozens of artists
dropped from rosters, and count-

less others unable tobe signed.
Litigation came as a last resort
and is not a step we took lightly,
nor is it intended to be a silver-bul-
let solution to the problem. But the
fact remains that we will continue
to take appropriate legal action
againstthosestealingmusic online
as long as individuals ignore the
wide array of legal options, like
free downloads, social network-
ing and streaming services, and
products like podcasts, ringbacks,
ringtunes and more.
Finally, rules against illegal
file-sharing on sites like Limewire
- against whom we have a pend-
ing lawsuit - are clear: It is ille-
gal, and if you choose to use these
sites to get free music, you risk a
lawsuit, being disciplined by your
university and serious computer
damage. The question we have is:
Is it really worth it?
Cara Duckworth is the director of
communications for the RIAA. She is
writing on behalf of the association,

l ove JetiA,
& e"ioiri
N- eao



Editorial Board Members: Anindya Bhadra, Harun Buljina, Robert Soave

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