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"We [the major labels] invest billions of dollars every year worldwide to find people with talent, to bottle what they have and distribute it widely. That's not changing."
—BMG President Strauss Zelnick
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ZELNICK SAYS NEW MEDIA, TRADITIONAL BIZ CAN CO-EXIST

BMG Prez’s Speech At eMediatainment World Forum Blames Spread Of Online Piracy On Labels

BMG Entertainment President and CEO strauss zelnick',390,400);">strauss zelnick',390,400);">Strauss Zelnick told a forum Thursday (6/29) that digital music companies, including Napster, will never displace the major labels.

"We invest billions of dollars every year worldwide to find people with talent, to bottle what they have and distribute it widely," Zelnick said. "That's not changing."

Zelnick, speaking at the eMediatainment World forum, said MP3.com Chairman michael robertson',390,400);">michael robertson',390,400);">Michael Robertson was wrong to assume record companies would not fight to protect their copyrights. "It was a very costly mistake," he said.

To that end, MP3.com agreed to pay BMG and Warner Music Group to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit earlier this month (hitsdailydouble.com, 6/2). The other majors have yet to follow.

Zelnick said his company would vigorously defend its copyrights while still pursuing legal ways to sell music online, either by itself or in partnership with other companies. He likened Napster, the popular online music file-sharing program, to shoplifting and said those that download from such sites should be prosecuted.

Zelnick largely blames the spread of music piracy over the Web on the record labels because they have not moved ahead fast enough in the changing climate. "Most people don't want to steal," he said. "Shame on us for not creating legitimate alternatives."

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