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An Internet Jukebox Could Be a Hit

January 31, 2003

I sympathize with Lamont Dozier in his plea to make sure creative works are not stolen ("Baby, Baby, Where Did Our Royalties Go?" Commentary, Jan. 26). When he was making all those hits for Motown, the usual way to buy music was two songs at a time -- on both sides of a 45-rpm record. Usually we were buying the "hit," but sometimes you got two winners for the price of one.

I would gladly pay a dollar a song to be able to download only songs I want and not have to buy a one-hit CD for $18. The sooner the music companies figure this out and find a way to make pay-per-download work easily on the Internet -- and not try to control how they are listened to -- the sooner I think many listeners will stop trying to steal.

Andy Pearlman

Marina del Rey

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After buying all the hit 45s and LPs back in the '60s, and after buying all the CDs of "the same" 45s and albums, incredible as it may seem, I'd be only too happy to download the same Motown songs I've owned for all these decades for the 8 cents a tune that Dozier claims he's being cheated out of. Unfortunately, the record companies won't let me do that. For example, if I wanted to compile a CD with 25 versions of "Where Did Our Love Go?" sung by different artists, the companies would have me go out and purchase 25 CDs at a cost of $500. No, thanks. If I downloaded Dozier's tunes free it would save me the hassle of playing the 45, LP or CD I already paid for and copying them to my CD recorder or, in the case of the "Where Did Our Love Go?" compilation, paying $500 for what would turn out to be one CD.

Lou Cohan

Cypress

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