These Ain't No Seafair Pirates

The Justice Department launched a major, international crackdown onInternet piracy last week, seizing hundreds of computers and arresting four people charged with illegally distri-buting copyrighted video games, software, and first-run movies. Those arrested allegedly belong to "warez" groups—cloak-and-dagger societies whose members swap stolen content online. Warez cohorts communicate with each other using encrypted messages and secret passwords, and compete to nab the newest and best quality digital goods. The nearest arrests to Seattle were in California and Colorado, but the phenomenon knows no regional or national boundaries. According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admitted last week's raids were "simply scraping the tip of the iceberg." LYNN JACOBSON

COVER YOUR EARS AND PAY YOUR COVER

Noise for the Needy, a local nonprofit that supports charities via concerts, and promoter NadaMucho have chosen the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter as the beneficiary of a week's worth of rock from July 11 to 17. The University District–area shelter is the city's only one specifically focused on emergency care for 18-25-year-olds, offering meals, showers, a place to sleep, and health care referrals. The NFTN concerts will take place at the Rendezvous, Sunset, Chop Suey, Neumo's, and other clubs. A sampling of bands: Post Stardom Depression, Kim Virant, Infomatik, Wesafari, RazRez, and the Cops. The complete lineup and ticketing information can be found at www.noisefortheneedy.org. RACHEL SHIMP

A TOWERING MESS

Ground Zero's Freedom Tower came under attack this week, and it's not even built yet. The New York Times called Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's latest design (unveiled June 29) "somber, oppressive and clumsily conceived." Bloomberg News dubbed it "a crystalline Popsicle." And Newsday said it conveyed a defeatist message: "'Here is what we are capable of,' the new tower mutters. 'It's the best we could do, under the circumstances.'" The latest design revisions were required by the New York City Police Department, which insisted that earlier plans left the tower too vulnerable to attack by car or truck bomb. Few observers think the current design will be the final one. As it is, the project is threatening to become a monument not to freedom, but to democracy: slow, contentious, and compromised. For a look at the current plans: www.renewnyc.com. LYNN JACOBSON

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