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Would Lower CD Prices Cut Internet Piracy?

May 06, 2003

Re "4 Pay Steep Price for Free Music," May 2: Busting the college savings of four students is just more of the same from big business in America. Instead of pontificating about music piracy, why doesn't the recording industry explain why the public should shell out 18 bucks for a new CD? If pricing were set by market forces instead of by some kind of industrial collusion, CD prices could be lower and individuals might be less inclined to pirate songs over the Internet.

I am no fan or defender of copyright infringers. But why should I feel any sympathy for fat record company executives who support their extravagant lifestyle by ripping off the public?

Dan Tauber

Palo Alto

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A May 2 letter writer couldn't be further from the truth when he states that the music industry declared war on its own customers. The truth is that the war started when the first "customer" downloaded the first MP3 or music file without paying for it, thus depriving the musicians of the royalties they deserved for creating their work. The people referred to as customers, who are actually high-tech shoplifters, fired the first shot in this war by stealing music instead of paying for it.

If your letter writer's house were broken into tonight and several of his most valued possessions stolen, I wonder if he would be as compassionate toward the thieves responsible as he is toward these online thieves.

John Pattison

El Monte

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