In the rough and tumble (en los avatares) of the student unon here in Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), the moral code is purely pragmatic(concerned with practical results, reasons and values).
Thou shalt(you should, -old fashioned; currently used only in religious context) no smoke-It will kill you.
Thou shall not take term paper off(trabajo) the Internet-it will get you kicked out.
Thou shall not use a fake(falso) ID-it will get you arrested.
And when it comes to downloading music or movies off the Internet, students here compare it with under-age drinking; illegal, but not immoral. Like alcohol and parties, the internet i easily accessible. Why not download, or drink, when "everyone" does it?
This set of commandements has helped make people between the ages of 18 and 29, and college students in particular, the biggest downloaders of Internet music.
"It's not something you feel guilty about doing," said Dan Langlitz, 20, a junior here. "You don't get the feeling it's illegal because it's so easy." He held an MP3 player in his hand. "They sell these things, the sites are there. Why it's illegal?"
Students say they have had the Internet for as long as they can remember (uso de razón), and have grown up thinking of it as theirs for the taking. The array of services available to them on campus has only encouraged that sense. Penn State recently made the student centre, known as the Hub(Eje), entirely wire less, so students do not even have to dial up to get(tener que marcar para obtener) on the Internet. Many course materials -textbooks excerpts, articles, syllabi- are online. Residence halls offer fast broad band access -which studies say makes people more likely to download.
Last year and again last week, the university sent out an e-mail message reminding students that downloading copyrighted music is illegal, and pleading(rogando) with them(je,je) to "resist the urge" to download. This year, all students had to take an online tutorial before receiving access to their e-mail accounts, acknowledging that they had read and agreed to university policy prohibiting the downloading of copyrighted material.
To students, the crackdown(sudden disciplnart action) seemed like a sudden reversal(parecía un cambio repentino). "Up until recently, we were not told it was wrong," said Kristin Evert, 19. "We think if it's available,you can use it. It's another resource."
Penn State has taken a harder line than mst other campuses. But whether(si) here or other campuses, students do not seem to be grasping(comprender) the moral message. Ann Morrissey, 19, confessed that she had not even listened to all the songs she had downloaded. "I have 400 songs, I listen to 20," she said. "I don't know why," she added, then laughed selfconsciously(rió timidamente), and answered herself, "You can, and it's cool to hand them." She, like others, does not see the harm done(el daño causado), and remains suspicious of the recording industry.
The university has sent warnings to a couple of hundred students. But on a campus with 42,000 students, punishment seems remote to many. "No one close to home has gotten on trouble," said Andrew Ricken, a junior. A common analogy -downloading music is like stealing(robo) a CD- does not sway(influencia) students.
At best, the new warnings seemed to have some students negotiating new rules. At a teble with friends, John Dixon was debating whether(si) he would be caught if he traded he traded songs only with his roommates on their local area network, off campus. Just to be safe, he is sticking mostly to downloading music from CDs. He is not sharing his files -not because he sees it as illegal, but because he hears that the record industry is going mainly(persigue, va detras de) after sharers(compartir), not downloaders.
Ms Wilson, too, is not sharing, though she has continued downloading. "That doesn't make it right," she said. "But it's not that big a deal, right?"