Music Industry Tightens Squeeze on Students; Campus Network Access Targeted
This article provides information focusing on the RIAA’s new tactic in its “never-ending effort to crack down on pirated music”. Mainly, that the RIAA is reaching new levels in their attempts to end piracy by singling out universities as being either heavily trafficked schools or effective in preventing file-sharing among their students. Those with the most file-sharing are Ohio and Purdue, and the RIAA seems to believe that by pressuring these schools, the number of peer-to-peer sharing among students will decrease. On the other hand, UCLA is one school whose policies against illegal downloading is approved by the RIAA. UCLA has suspended students who repeatedly break the school’s policies, giving the RIAA strong support. At schools where students are active downloaders, those caught receive letters from the RIAA warning them about a possible lawsuit since they practiced illegal downloading. Although peer-to-peer file sharing continues, the article states that lawsuits have been an effective tool by basically scaring students out of file-sharing.
On the one hand this article supports my argument because the author demonstrates the severity of the RIAA’s threats. However it also shows that lawsuits and the school’s involvement in these cases does make a difference, even if only by scaring the students. It also presents information describing how differently universities have responded to the file sharing. UCLA presents an interesting and very different response by suspending those students who are repeatedly caught participating in peer-to-peer file sharing. This information about UCLA's policies would be valuable as comparison for schools who are either against monitoring file sharing among students, or even those which seem to be doing the bare minimum.
Sustainable consumption is gaining in currency as a new environmental policy objective. This paper presents new research findings from a mixed-method empirical study of a local organic food network to interrogate the theories of both sustainable consumption and ecological citizenship. It describes a mainstream policy model of sustainable consumption, and contrasts this with an alternative model derived from green or ‘new economics’ theories. Then the role of localised, organic food networks is discussed to locate them within the alternative model. It then tests the hypothesis that ecological citizenship is a driving force for ‘alternative’ sustainable consumption, via expression through consumer behaviour such as purchasing local organic food. The empirical study found that both the organisation and their consumers were expressing ecological citizenship values in their activities in a number of clearly identifiable ways, and that the initiative was actively promoting the growth of ecological citizenship, as well as providing a meaningful social context for its expression. Furthermore, the initiative was able to overcome the structural limitations of mainstream sustainable consumption practices. Thus, the initiative was found to be a valuable tool for practising alternative sustainable consumption. The paper concludes with a discussion of how ecological citizenship may be a powerful motivating force for sustainable consumption behaviour, and the policy and research implications of this.
This article analyzes how the internet works in terms of memetics. In this way of viewing things, each user and website is a different agent or node in the network: not aware of the underlying structure of the network, but instead only concerned with its immediate links within that network. Marshall takes a bottom-up approach and applies memetics to each level. At the operational level, the internet is a series of linked memes through which information and messages are routed through agents that have a specific purpose but do not know the intentions of the central controller. At the service level, agent are interfaces designed to achieve certain goals through interacting with other agents. In the example Marshall gives, a search engine for online stores has a goal of interfacing with other agents (the online stores) and processing the information. At the user level, the internet memeplex is able to transmit information quickly and ignore real-world boundaries. Thus users are able to indicate what information they want to receive, and then get it through the network. Marshall concludes that the memetic support system embedded in the internet make it more efficient and allows each additional layer to perform more useful and complex operations efficiently.
Although the aim of this paper is sound, the connection between each level is not discussed in any amount of detail. The clearest points are the discussion on virtual communities and general overview of how the internet can operate as a series of memeplexes.