Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, December 8, 1999


Students' Council to students: We're sorry

No Napster is censorship

Virtues of Campus Rec

A unified, Canadian student voice?

It's time for Ontario to hit the road

Remarks devoid of real issues

Law doesn't really matter

Naughty or nice? The definitive list

No Napster is censorship

Re: "Napster taken off-line for students" Dec. 3

To the Editor:

Recently, it seems as if the university succumbed to the pressures of the music industry, filtering out Napster ports. This amounts to censorship.

The U.S. court of appeals recently ruled on a major lawsuit, saying that internet service providers are a conduit for information and not liable for defamation. This ruling stemmed partly from the fact that the ISP does not exert ANY editorial control on the information that flows through its facilities. Under pressure from the music industry's well-funded legal machine, the university has chosen another path.

Will they shut down Reznet because MP3s can be sent from one computer to another? Will they lobby the government to shut down Canada's CA* Net3, which is capable of sending thousands of legal MP3s from coast to coast in one second?

So long as laws exist, there will be people who break them. And it is these law-breakers who should be prosecuted, not those who provide the medium.

By exercising censorship, the university is actively taking responsibility for the information which flows through its facilities. It might be opening itself up to being assailed by more frivolous lawsuits and not preventing them. It is the responsibility of the music industry to stop those infringing on its legal property.

The university may choose to filter ports to prevent abuse of its resources, but this should not be because of pressure from the music industry. They have better things to do. Let the music industry do its own dirty work.

Ajit Krishnan
Computer Science III

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Copyright The Gazette 1999