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Code Orange 

Now along with Code Orange alerts, citizens have to be on guard against another threat: the Recording Industry Association of America ("Give me downloads or give me death!" July 31). They've decreed that no P2P file-sharer shall be safe in the haven of his or her home -- that those who warehouse multiple discs (WMDs) of mp3s will be hunted down and prosecuted. While this policy preaches morality, it also penalizes it. Copy and hoard files, and you're safe. But rue the day if you share them.

Millions of Americans believe in the inalienable right to share content. Restrict it, and the whole communication revolution goes into the toilet. Yet an artist's work must be protected. What's the solution? Compromise. Limit the amount of time a work is protected. Then open it to P2P sharing. This would put the industry back in favor with consumers. And that translates into profits.

Dictums from corporate giants won't work. (Remember Napster?) If the RIAA continues on its collision-course with its customers, one thing is certain: The opposition will go underground. File sharing will become a clandestine activity and the industry will be the loser. And I will give up my P2P activity only when they pry the mouse out of my cold, dead fingers.

-- Jere Swain, Atlanta

Any publicity is good
(In response to "Give me downloads or give me death!" July 31): I think mp3 and mpeg trading is the same as if I make a mix CD or tape of my favorite songs, from albums I bought, then make a copy for a friend. How is that destroying the recording and film industry?

Come to think of it, if I loan my car to someone, will the auto industry try to sue me? If I loan a book to a pal, will I get a letter from the publishing industry telling me to cease and desist? Are public libraries perpetrators in some plot to destroy the publishing, film and music industries? If the books, music, movies and whatnot were bought for -- or donated to -- the library, and I can access them for free, how is that so different from file sharing?

I don't get the logic in going after some college kids for sharing music or movies they love with friends, or even strangers. You'd think the industry would appreciate the word-of-mouth endorsement.

-- Glen Sutton, Atlanta

FYI: You ain't all that
I am writing in response to a disturbing article/interview on DJ FYI (Nightshift, "DJ with a cause," July 31). I felt that the Atlanta music scene -- not only the underground -- was misrepresented. I feel insulted by the comments that FYI made regarding the scene. Did the reporter ask FYI why he decided to "re-emerge"? Does FYI think he is Atlanta's godson? I think not.

Yeah, we DJs make some pocket change here and there, but we mainly do it for the love of it, and the great network of friends that develop with other DJs and partygoers. If he were a part of this scene, like the 40-plus DJs I can list off the top of my head, he would know about MJQ's "No Static at All," Frequency's "Vinyl Fever" or clubs like SoL Fusion and the Mic Club, which play "good music."

I think the line between underground and commercial is blurred. What differentiates underground and commercial music is which one gets more spins in clubs and on the radio (see Common's "The Light" and Talib Kweli's "Get By"). Just because a tune gets played on the radio doesn't make it commercial or less desirable.

Tony Ware mentioned Peanut Butter Wolf at MJQ and Breaklanta at the Atrium in his RedEye column (July 31). Those are prime examples of good events in our scene.

-- DJ Rasta Root, Atlanta

Gullible Zell
Thank you for the recent column on Zell Miller (News & Views, Weekly Scalawag, July 31). He truly is not the politician or man he previously appeared to be. It is easy to believe rumors that there is a position promised him by the Bush administration when he finishes up his role in Georgia. If nothing else, Miller surely believes a moral, Christian president rather than a corporate raider is leading the country.

-- Peggy Davis, Atlanta

You're the weird one
Scott Henry: I am not some ardent supporter of Zell Miller, but I must take exception to a point made in the article (News & Views, Weekly Scalawag, July 31). You state that Attorney General Bill Pryor is anti-abortion, a devout Christian, an advocate of school prayer, supports the public display of the Ten Commandments, etc., and that this makes him "so far out of the rational mainstream that pushing him back under his rock should be a no-brainer." Well, Mr. Henry, you need to wake up -- the vast majority of Americans agree with all of these things. Perhaps you are the one who is out of the mainstream.

-- Chris Watford, Roswell

Honor him another way
Naming the Atlanta airport for the late Mayor Maynard H. Jackson would be like naming the Atlanta Olympics for former Mayor Bill Campbell. The planning and design of the present airport facility had been in development several years prior to Jackson's involvement in its design and construction. A fitting tribute to Mayor Jackson's memory would be to continue to affirm his method of contract compliance that was established here and emulated throughout the country.

-- John Evins, Atlanta

"F" for plan
Your recent cover statement regarding President Bush's education plan suffered badly from punctuation errors ("Finishing first," July 24). And you call yourself a real magazine! The statement read, "What Bush could learn from two schools," but it should have read, "What!? Bush could learn from two schools?" The Bush administration isn't interested in learning. He knows quite well that the outcome of his plan will be exactly what Rochelle Renford's article accurately implies: White schools get the money and the successes, minority schools get punished.

And you must also work on your acronym recognition. While the article states that NCLB stands for "No Child Left Behind," that is merely the name used to sell the plan to the American people. The real name is "No Classroom for Latinos and Blacks," as the article also shows clearly. Anyone who wonders if this is the real agenda can merely look at the dropout rate of Latinos and blacks in George Bush's home state of Texas, after his government initiated the TAAS testing system.

-- Richard Williams, Marietta

Love thy neighbor
Thank you, John Sugg, for hopefully shedding some real light on the "homosexual agenda" -- especially for those who are so frightened by what, during a small fraction of my life, should happen to stimulate me sexually (Fishwrapper, "Gays never threatened my clan," July 24).

In more ways than they will probably ever know, these perverse thinkers have done much to damage my life and many other homosexuals' lives, and dashed any hopes for loving families of our own. Were I to be a parent, with God's help, my children, be they heterosexual or homosexual, would know right from wrong and know the true meaning of "love thy neighbor," a value my own parents, wedded 50 years ago, have tried to instill in me.

-- Ron Otis, Smyrna

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