- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2001

Swatting Milosevic on his own turf

The ongoing Balkan operetta never fails to amaze me ("Exit Belgrade butcher," Op-Ed, April 4). Former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic is now behind bars after a dramatic SWAT team style raid perfect for the evening news.
While I am no apologist for Mr. Milosevic, the quagmire that is developing in Eastern Europe is downright scary. Helle Bering fails to note in her column that while one megalomaniac will be on trial for his dream of a "Greater Serbia," across the border in Kosovo another dream of "Greater Albania" is flourishing. As someone who watched in horror as my Air Force dropped bombs on the "former Yugoslavia," I ask why nothing is mentioned about the violence against ethnic Albanians and "ethnic cleansing" currently afoot in Kosovo? Macedonia could slip into this quicksand as well, yet political correctness has kept the media silent on the issue.
Hectoring for a Milosevic trial at The Hague will ultimately undermine American rights abroad. There is nothing the global elites desire more than a world court in which U.S. citizens must answer to a new world order that overrides their own Constitution. Mr. Milosevic should be tried on his own turf, and Secretary of State Colin Powell must stop encouraging this misguided idea of international justice.


Debunking the digital 'doomsday scenario

A legitimate on-line music marketplace one that holds tremendous potential for both businesses and consumers alike must have at its core a respect for intellectual property rights. The recording industry has found tremendous success in the past year in helping to grow an on-line space that achieves the delicate balance between access and protection.

Safeguarding our nations creative works is not an attempt to control their consumption, but rather enable it. That being said, the doomsday scenario that your recent editorial, "Hollywood squares," portrays of our digital future couldnt be more wrong (April 5).

It ignores the plain facts evidenced by deals cut in the marketplace this past year and by five major technology deals all of them nonexclusive that were announced just last week. Real Networks, Yahoo and Microsoft have all announced new open platforms for competitive subscription services to be launched within months with major record companies. Rioportand MTV announced a deal for digital downloads with all major record companies. HitHive and a major record company announced a platform for bringing digital music to cell phones. And all of these are just beginning to shape the new marketplace where music from all major companies and many independent companies will be available on numerous sites that aggregate content.

The editorial paints a picture of a world in which consumers are only allowed to pay each time they read a page, or listen to a song, instead of acknowledging such a business model as merely one more choice for consumers. We already have pay-per-view on cable television right now and it has been greeted enthusiastically by consumers who see it as an additional option from which they get to choose. The operable word here is "choose." And to the consumer's benefit, with the advent of new technologies come additional choices. The option of pay-per-view hasnt taken away from HBO, basic cable or free broadcasts its enhanced the consumer experience beyond those services.

So it will be with the digital music market of the future. Digital rights management technology will, and in many instances already has, enabled multiple new business models that will expand, rather than contract, consumer choices. The music fan of the future will have the option of deciding when, where and how to acquire their music, and will have a choice of price points and distribution sources.

However, the magic of digital technology in the Internet age will only be applied to the music marketplace if legitimate businesses can succeed on the Internet. If the Internet becomes nothing more than a haven for pirates of music, movies, books and software that opportunity will be squandered.

Napster is the epitome of what can destroy a legitimate on-line marketplace. Its "business" and make no mistake about it, it is a business is giving away other peoples property for free. Thats piracy, and the courts have overwhelmingly confirmed that what Napster is doing is illegal. We look forward to welcoming Napster into the legitimate marketplace. However, it must be able to provide a legitimate service something it have not yet provided to date.

Napster would be well-served by studying the extensive market that already exists on line along with the new deals and partnerships announced this week. Americas record labels are licensing innovatively, constantly and aggressively.

So to say that efforts aimed at protecting copyright is hindering the consumer experience, is not only misleading but flat-out wrong. Consumer choice is greater than ever, proving that a balance between intellectual property access and protection not only can be found but already has.


Senior Vice President

Government Relations & Legislative Counsel

Recording Industry Association of America


Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide