PSU's File-sharing program should not be priority


To the editor:

After reading Monday's article on the University's plan to subscribe
to the Napster service, I have two concerns regarding the ethics of
the student body and thoughtfulness of the administration.

The quotes from students in the article focus on reducing theirs and
the University's liability regarding intellectual property misuse.
While I agree that is a great benefit, there is no suggestion that a
commonly held opinion among students that they are entitled to steal
from businesses when they disagree with the seller's management
practices has been corrected. I hope that I am mistaken about a
widespread opinion that they have a god-given right to "kazaa" Peter
Weir's "Master and Commander" because there is no iMax theater in
Happy Valley or "warez" Iggy Pop's "Skull Ring" because the artist
receives only pennies of each legitimate purchase.

During difficult financial times, I am deeply trouble that the
University administration would impose the cost of an entertainment
service on all students via their technology fee. It is particularly
worrisome given that our state legislature has such a socially
conservative leaning as evidenced by the controversy surrounding the
Sex Faire a few years ago and that so many taxpayers find so much of
the material on Napster to be immoral and offensive. The University
has not adequately explained why the cost for this new entertainment
service could not be born by those who can and do use it. The
administration has not exercised the same restraint when dealing with
controversial subject material that it not long ago asked of student
organizations.

Thank you for your continued coverage of intellectual property issues
and the Penn State community.

John Groenveld
165 Applied Science Building

PSU's File-sharing program should not be priority