Illegal file sharing isn't theft; it's copyright infringement
Regarding the June 29 editorial "Peer to Peer Justice": It is sad to see the Monitor joining the ever-growing chorus of content providers and copyright owners who can't refrain from referring to illegal file sharing as "stealing."
Calling file sharing stealing requires that one show a measurable loss, not just a theoretical loss, to the creator. This is especially troublesome because even when files are purchased legally, an overwhelming amount of the reward goes to third parties, and not entirely to the creator.
The moral effect of illegal file sharing is the effect on one's character when one begins to believe that it is OK to take what one has no right to have.
Illegal file sharing is not theft; it is copyright infringement. There are both moral and legal differences that should not be ignored.
In response to John Hughes's June 29 article "Islamic women rise up": As right as Hughes is in his analysis of the changing attitudes of Muslim women toward their second-class position, he ignores, as do most feminists and experts on the Middle East, the doubly deplorable condition of non-Muslim women living in Muslim-dominant societies.
Assyrian women - Christians who have resisted conversion to Islam for 14 centuries in such countries as Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria - are subjected not only to laws that discriminate against women, but also to laws that discriminate against non-Muslims.
Coauthor, "The Assyrian Experience"
It was with great sadness that I read what is happening in Nepal in the June 28 article, "Nepal's children forced to fight." I visited that beautiful country twice some years ago. I was struck by the wonderful spirit - not necessarily religious - that Nepalese people had toward life and others. I felt that spiritually, they were centuries ahead of us in the West, although very poor. They needed more modern medicine, education, and development to improve their physical lives, but it would seem that modern influences have stolen their wonderful spirituality, understanding of life, and way of living with others peacefully.
New Farm, Australia
Eating whale, eating chicken - same wrong
In response to the June 23 article "Japan to double whale catch": Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering whales for their meat extremely repugnant. But perhaps we shouldn't be so swift to judge those who enjoy a good whale burger now and then.
I do not condone the slaughter of whales for human consumption. It is a repulsive practice that should not be allowed in civilized society.
But we delude ourselves if we believe our culture is any better than Japan's when it comes to the treatment of animals.
We need to remember that our chicken nuggets and bacon cheeseburgers were once living, feeling animals before we paid someone to turn them into our lunch.
Regarding the June 27 article, "Active-adult havens for a new breed of (not quite) retirees": I am nearing my 77th birthday and will celebrate it here in Guangzhou, China, where I have been teaching English at a school for the handicapped for the past three years.
Retire? My biggest problem is trying to figure out what to do for my next career!
Leonard W. Wolfe
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