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Editorial Does LaMacchia No Justice

Your April 12 editorial "Software Piracy a Serious Crime" doesn't do justice to the David LaMacchia Defense Fund or its contributors. You state that "a number of questions will remain unanswered until LaMacchia goes to court. Until then, it is foolish for students to condemn LaMacchia as a criminal or to hold him up as a symbol of injustice. At the very least, those soliciting funds for his defense should carefully consider whether LaMacchia broke any laws before rallying to his defense."

In the same breath, The Tech seems to suggest withholding personal judgment and then applying it. How, pray tell, are people without any direct knowledge of the facts or expertise in this murky area of the law going to be able to say "whether LaMacchia broke any laws?"

We don't ask people to gaze into a crystal ball and predict the outcome of LaMacchia's case before donating to the fund. In fact, the fund takes no position on the merits of either side's case.

The David LaMacchia Defense Fund was organized to ensure that David LaMacchia '94 gets a fair trial. An unfortunate side effect of our common law system, where laws are made by decisions in particular cases, is that an individual involved in a constitutional test case is faced with the certainty of staggering legal bills as well as the possibility of imprisonment and fines.

We encourage those who want more information about the fund to send mail to "dldf@martigny.ai.mit.edu" or look at our Web page: "http://martigny.ai.mit.edu/dldf/ home.html."

David LaMacchia Defense Fund Trustees

Philip G. Greenspun G,

Natalya Cohen '95,

Liz Bradley '83,

Kleanthes G. Koniaris