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RIAA chief Rosen loses Oxford debate on P2P

'This house refuses to buy music for King and Country.' Well, not quite...

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RIAA chairmam* and CEO Hilary Rosen suffered a heavy defeat at the Oxford Union last week, when the motion she was proposing, "This House believes that the free music mentality is a threat to the future of music," was rejected by 256 votes to 72. The Oxford Union, you may recall, is the debating club that produces top politicians, and where once upon a time toffs voted against fighting for King and Country. So Hilary and her camp (Jay Berman of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, and Chris Wright of Chrysalis) may have incorrectly anticipated the audience being rich enough to disdain P2P.

The Oxford Union does however seem to have gone downhill since the 30s - apparently they're letting in the likes of Dave Green of NTK. Dave allegedly has a tape recording of the event, which will go online if the quality is good enough, and the Oxford Union itself took a video.

Until either of these is available, there's a reasonably detailed report here. Highlights include Hilary claiming no copy-protected CDs have been released in the US (which may actually be true, if she agrees with Philips that copy-protected CDs are not Compact Discs), and rather rashly asking an audience of students if they downloaded and burned music, and if they bought more music because of it (yes, and yes, amazingly).

Successful in opposing the motion were Wil Harris of Keble College, who opened, Ronnie Gurr, Nick King of Neilsen Entertainment International, and Chrysalis co-founder Doug D'Arcy. Full speaker details here, where you'll also glean the information that it was sponsored by NatWest bank. ®

* Joke alert - don't write.

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