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"We must find a way to apply our copyright laws while at the same time adapting to and utilizing new technologies to deliver media to consumers in an information age."
—The Dubya on Napster

GORE, BUSH WEIGH IN ON NAPSTER… SORT OF

Presidential Candidates Go Out On A Limb,
Ride Fence, Claim Victory
It's election time and we've been presented with presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore's respective stands on health care, foreign policy and social security but we haven't yet heard their positions on such truly important concerns as Napster and copyright infringement.

Fear not. In a question posted Tuesday (10/17) morning on the Rolling Cyber Debate hosted by political information Web site, Web, White & Blue, a reader identified as Mary of Front Royal, VA, asked the candidates their views on file sharing and intellectual property protections, online news agent CNET reported.

"Where would your administration draw the line regarding freedom to access content vs. copyright infringement?" Mary queried.

Gore and Bush each gave a quick three-paragraph response calling for a compromise that would allow Napster-like technologies to flourish while compensating artists' creative work, the agency reported. "The duo really went out on a limb over this issue," a reader said.

"I think that protecting a songwriter's intellectual property or any artist's creative rights is really important," Democratic candidate Gore said while complimenting Napster as a terrific innovation. He concluded with comparisons to the "huge controversy" that erupted "years ago" when he invented radio…er…rather, when radio was invented.

Meanwhile Republican candidate Bush wrote, "The Napster case typifies some of the thorny questions we'll face as our nation shifts from bricks-and-mortar economy to one where our most valuable commodity is information and creative content."

As expected, both candidates pretty much skirted the controversial issue, which is currently a top priority in the music community. But Bush deserves accolades for dropping such overused industry catch phrases as "bricks-and-mortar" and "creative content" in his answer.

To that end, Bush added: "We must find a way to apply our copyright laws while at the same time adapting to and utilizing new technologies to deliver media to consumers in an information age."

Pretty safe, huh?

Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan has not yet posted an answer, and Green Party member Ralph Nader has turned down requests to participate.

The cyberdebate runs through Election Day, Nov. 7, and is updated every 30 minutes Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The candidates have yet to answer the other pressing music industry question, which was posted by HITS' Roy Trakin. "When will the judicial system set my good friend Suge Knight free?" he asked.

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