This unreasoned fear, one heightened beyond circumstance, affects more than just writing teachers with technophobia or even writing teachers in general. It also affects students. In some ways, current students are the children of fear. They fear writing, and justifiably so, since the past ways of doing writing well have been stripped from them by overly-rigid and proprietary concepts of intellectual property that have become mainstreamed by organizations such as the RIAA. These students "know" that they must do original work or be plagiarists, but at the same time, they also "know" that all past knowledge is owned by others, leaving them no tools to work with. A free-floating originality that is not based on what came before is daunting and nigh on impossible. I'd be afraid too. From their perspective, they are stuck in an impossible situation. In "'It wasn't me, was It?' Plagiarism and the Web," Dànielle De Voss and Annette C. Rosati (2002) show this unreasoned fear in the anecdote from the title. When faced with three students using downloaded papers for a class assignment, Rosati was surprised when, instead of only the asked-for plagiarizing students appearing at her office, she had a line of fourteen students, eleven of which asked variations of "It wasn't me, was it?" (pp.191-192). Devoss and Rosati call for composition teachers to embrace their "key role in helping students adapt to this space [the world wide web], and encouraging students' critical research and writing skill in this space" (p. 193). I would add to this that the teacher role must also be an active one, even a personable one. Using a mechanical construct that tallies originality as if it were a write-by-numbers painting instead of using writing teachers and their nuanced and individualized knowledge about their students' practices makes the whole situation even more distanced. Relinquishing the teaching spot to a plagiarism detection service only intensifies student fears about academic writing; letting a PDS "teach" by sifting through word strings and phrases invokes the "it takes a machine to fight a machine" metaphor, thus preventing students from taking on the responsibility for the learning and growing that they must experience in order to be independent writers. It also confirms their belief that writing combined with the internet and non-paper sources is too complicated for mere mortals to understand--if a machine is needed to tell if they "cheat" or not, then writing is very risky business and best avoided whenever possible. Next: Technophobia