Letters to the Editor

Education needed about Uganda

Dear editor,

On April 28, 2007 more than 67,871 people gathered in 15 cities across the country for an event called Displace Me. The goal was to gain media attention and raise awareness about the Invisible Children of Northern Uganda, as well as persuade the United States’ government to take action. The Invisible Children organization began in response to a documentary made in 2003 by three young Americans in Northern Uganda.

Civil War has been raging in Northern Uganda since 1986 when the Lord’s Resistance Army began its attempt to overthrow the Ugandan government. The LRA is infamous for abducting children to serve as child soldiers. According to the film, as many as 50,000 children have been abducted during the 21 years of war.

Ten years ago, the Ugandan government forced the people of Northern Uganda to flee their homes and reside in Internally Displaced Person camps because they simply could not provide them protection any longer.

Not only are Ugandans dying from the violence of the LRA, but malnutrition, malaria and AIDS have taken a toll on the displaced population as well.

During Displace Me, participants in all 15 cities were asked to spend the night in a mock displacement camp. Huts were constructed from cardboard and only water and crackers were consumed in order to simulate the camps. During the evening, footage from Uganda was shown and each city had a key speaker. Letters to senators were also written and videos of the event will be shown on the senate floor if permitted.

I attended Displace Me in Pittsburgh, where even the damp weather did not affect the turnout. Students representing Ohio University, University of Dayton and Ohio State University were present.

I was disappointed that my companion and I seemed to be the only Kent State students in attendance.

Though Displace Me is finnished, the war in Uganda continues and so do the efforts of invisiblechildren.com. Log on to watch the documentary and learn how to become involved because as the Web site states, “Every war has an end.”

Alison Lucci

sophomore pre-magazine journalism major

RIAA’s current actions are unfair

Dear editor,

It’s official. The RIAA are a bunch of money-grubbing scoundrels who “somehow” got their business model into law. According to a new law, all webcasters must pay the RIAA’s SoundExchange royalty board, even if they do not play RIAA music. So if I record sounds of myself and webcast them without any RIAA involvement, then I must legally pay the RIAA regardless. (It doesn’t even have to be music!)

Contrast this with the RIAA’s attitude toward “downloading.” If you download a song without paying for it then they accuse you of stealing, when, in fact, downloading is just copying and when you make a copy there is actually more of what you started with. Moreover, no one is missing anything except maybe for their ethereal “expected profits.”

In any case, filesharing is not for profit and their SoundExchange is for profit. So, now it is illegal to share freely, but legal to extort fees for services never rendered? Add that to their vendetta of bullying universities into doing their dirty work for them, when the university has no legal obligation to do so. How is that for taking credit for something that isn’t yours, employing people without paying them and making a profit that doesn’t belong to you?

Edward Bowen

Instructor, Department of Mathematics