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RIAA Tries to Rebut Oxford Debate Stories
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: - November 4, 2002

Deeply stung by chairman Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen's ignominious defeat at the recent Oxford University 'Free Music' debate, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) emailed Declan McCullagh of Politech fame in an attempt to re-align reality.

According to the RIAA, "Reach Out Did Good," all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

- - - - - - -

Subject: Re: FC: Hilary Rosen loses Oxford digital-music debate by 3-1 margin
To: Declan McCullagh
From: RIAA

Dear Declan,

We think readers would be best served by reading an unedited transcript of the debate once it's available. That would be more informative than this inaccurate, misleading and one-sided selection of excerpts. Perhaps this is a case of an eager reviewer letting his beliefs overcome his eyes and ears.

The "free music" debate is a vigorous one, and anyone of us could easily make a case to our friends and allies. It's less easy to take that case to the places of where disagreement may greet you. Ms. Rosen works to educate many audiences about the issues associated with on-line music and the need to develop the legitimate market and simultaneously oppose piracy. We don't shy from a hearty give-and-take and no one believes that the skeptics will be convinced overnight. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, "It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good."

Ms. Rosen went to one the world's most prestigious educational institutions to participate in a debate in a classic setting. At Oxford debate is sport. And this issue was a great one for the students. This particular audience of students deserve credit for offering thought provoking and challenging questions. But in the end, despite the antics, the opposition (Oxford debates have proponents and opponents) never really answered the most basic and fundamental question: why are they entitled to get someone else's labor (free music) for free? On that question, they and indeed the audience, were silent.

-- The Recording Industry Association of America.

Watch this space ...

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