Rosen routed at Oxford Union debate
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: p2pnet.net - October 30, 2002
Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA (Recording Industry
Association of America), was thoroughly thrashed during a heavy-weight
discussion on digital music.
The occasion? An Oxford Union Debate at Oxford University in the UK. The
proposition? "This House believes that 'the free music mentality is a threat
to the future of music'."
It was October 24 and Reach Out was among those gracing the hallowed halls
of Oxford University convinced, we have no doubt, that she'd soon have those
Brits reeling under her carefully seasoned (or is it reasoned?) arguments
that everyone who downloads music from non-RIAA approved sites IS A
CROOK if not a PIRATE and SHOULD BE THROWN IN JAIL at the
Didn't happen. Not that Reach Out was lacking support.
Among her pages during the joust were Jay Berman, Reach Out's oppo in the
UK, and Chris Wright, Chairman and co-founder of Chrysalis Records.
Sadly, however, the final vote was:
Ayes - 72
Noes - 256
"Rosen saying 'Actually, no copy protected CDs have been released in the US'
"Rosen asks 'Put up your hand if you download and burn music' (most hands go
up). She then asks 'Keep you hand up if you buy more music because of it'
(many stay up). She gets worried and immediately asks some different and
confusing set of people to put their hands up, causing everyone to look
miffed, and everyone putting their hand down)
"Rosen nodding like a pigeon for most of the time
"One of the proposition reading out several verses of 'Thank you for the
music' by Abba. We got the point after the first verse, but we then started
to wonder if he had permission from the rights holder, or was he simply
claiming 'fair use'?
"The proposition trying to defend the vast profits they make on many CDs
sales, and trying to make themselves look philanthropic about many of the
artists they take on.
"The proposition claiming "you can't have/make music without the music
industry" and then not letting anyone speak to point out the inaccuracy of
"Rosen almost voting against the motion (you vote by walking out the correct
door, and she wasn't paying any attention).
"One of the opposition speakers telling us about his recent music shopping
experiences (including how he'd been in HMV buying a couple of CDs, and the
people in front of him in the queue who were buying several CDs were also
talking about how to download various P2P clients).
"Jay Berman probably being the best proposition speaker, and coming out with
the insightful 'Each generation has had their own music. For your generation
it's filesharing. And I think thats a pretty terrible thing.'
"Us clapping and cheering Hilary Rosen and friends as they left, and them
appearing not to get the sarcasm"
For more - not to speak of a good laugh - go here: