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"The Napster community represents a huge consumer demand for the kind of online music services Napster, rightly or wrongly, has offered and, to date, the major record labels have been unable to satisfy."
—Orrin Hatch
PRO-NAPSTER SENATOR HATCHES PLANS
Republican Hatch Challenges Decision On File-Sharing, Calls For Hearings, Possible Legislation
The leaders of our government have a bully pulpit, and use it to speak out on behalf of the issues most vital to the survival of our democracy.

Like, um, getting mad tunes for free off the Internet, dude.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)—who for some time has championed Napster and attacked both the cultural and economic influence of the major record companies—intimated yesterday that he might attempt to counter Monday's Appeals Court decision (see hitsdailydouble.com story, 2/12) on several fronts.

Hatch took to the floor of the Senate to express his concern about the decision, call for yet more hearings on digital music distribution, threaten possible legislative action against the litigiously triumphant industry and outlaw Strom Thurmond playing his Black Oak Arkansas MP3s during recess.

He also spoke approvingly of Bertelsmann's attempts to work with the file-swappery to develop a licensed, secure version of the service.

"The Napster community represents a huge consumer demand for the kind of online music services Napster, rightly or wrongly, has offered and, to date, the major record labels have been unable to satisfy," the Senator proclaimed.

One Napster user emphatically agreed and added that he and his friends also represent a huge consumer demand for the kind of mind-blowing weed his pot dealer, rightly or wrongly, has offered and—to date—the local 7-11 has been unable to satisfy.

Napster CEO Hank Barry, cheered by Hatch's efforts, issued a statement in support. "On behalf of Napster, I want to commend Senator Hatch for his ongoing leadership, his decision to hold hearings, and his willingness to offer assistance to reach a resolution between Napster and the major recording companies," it reads.

"I have contacted the RIAA about how to best work with Senator Hatch on moving forward toward an agreement, which we have been seeking for nearly a year," Barry's statement adds. "Our alliance with Bertelsmann can and should stand as a model for reaching a overall agreement on a membership-based business model that benefits music lovers, artists, songwriters and rights-holders alike."

Not wanting to alienate Democrats, Barry also stroked a member from the other side of the aisle: "I want to commend Senator Leahy [D-Vermont], as well, for recognizing the need for balancing the interests of all involved. As Senator Hatch suggested, it is in the public's interest to resolve this matter in a way that does not shut down the Napster service. Now, whom do I make the campaign contribution check out to?"

 

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