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"The reason I agreed to be honored is because it’s an opportunity to help."
ROSEN TO THE OCCASION
RIAA President/CEO Hilary Rosen Gets "Children’s Choice" Award, And Not Just For Talking to Us
Fighting the good fight, RIAA President/CEO Hilary Rosen is an outspoken advocate of artists’ rights and the music industry’s top crusader for copyright protection. During her reign, Rosen has forcefully fought against Napster and MP3.com in their illegal forms and lobbied hard against censorship and for First Amendment issues. The 14-year organization vet, named to her post in 1998, has taken the lead on the frontiers of new technology and digital content.
     On Nov. 11, Rosen will be honored with the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund’s 2001 "Children’s Choice" award. "It’s terrific to have some of our best young artists coming together to support their peers," she says. "This event is by the kids, for the kids and all about the kids." Another thing strictly for the kids is the following conversation with HITS’ resident schoolboy Marc Pollack "Wanna Cracker."

For the entire interview click here or on the handy-dandy "Doubletalk" button above.

What does the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund "Children’s Choice" award mean to you?
I recently visited the Children’s hospital. I had never been there before. The kids were just amazing. They have wisdom beyond their years and a grace in the face of unbelievable challenges. The reason I agreed to be honored is because it’s an opportunity to help. Meeting kids and experiencing that environment at the hospital was very life-affirming.

How involved in charity work are you? Have you been involved in fundraising for the Bogart fund before?
I’ve always done a great amount of work for civil liberties, AIDs and other social causes. I’ve never been involved in children’s issues, though. I guess being a new mom has changed that for me, because I was moved at the hospital in a way that I haven’t been in a long time. My kids are young, and they probably have, today, a better chance of getting cancer than they do anthrax. That’s a terrible analogy, but it’s true. So it’s nice to be able to work on an issue that feels so close to home. I have a friend whose daughter died of neuroblastoma. One of the wonderful things that the Bogart fund has done is, through their research and funding, allow Dr. Siegel and his team to increase the survival rate for kids with the disease from 15% to 55%. That might not have saved my friend’s daughter, but I know it will save a lot of others.

What’s the general state of the industry as you see it right now?
There’s no doubt that we’re facing a unique series of concurrent problems. While I think business will get better, we have this sort of unique confluence of marketing and independent promotion costs that have spun out of control. Retailers are getting more margin and excitement from positioning dollars and blank-CD sales then they get from selling music. There is also a ridiculously consolidated radio program list. There are fledgling businesses like webcasting that want to make money and prosper without paying artists, record companies or songwriters. Parts of the computer and technology industry are selling equipment that encourages people to copy music they haven’t bought. And maybe most importantly, you have a core fan base which has been losing its belief in the value of buying music. Despite all that, the music industry still has the potential to grow out of this with good, positive business strategies and a better economic climate. A particular problem we have this Christmas season is that the media is so focused on the security and national safety issues—not inappropriately—but it makes it very hard for publicity and promotion campaigns to come through. It’s hard for artists to get booked on TV shows and for the promotion of new music and new artists. It’s hard to break through the media din right now. But I believe that’s short-term.

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