Of penises and paranoia…

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And so to the rest of your correspondence this week. Let us begin on a reasonably light note:

I really have to comment on your story Californian sues penis pill spammers for fraud. Mr Horton cannot possibly win this case as it's clear that the drugs did, in fact, work. He is clearly the biggest cock in America.

Indeed. Droll, most droll.

However, claims by Intellect that the Public sector has IT companies ‘over a barrel’ didn’t really hold much sway with the readers, eliciting the following from one reader, who asked not to be named:

Oh, cry me a river!!! When the economy turns, and when the economy was better, the situation was completely reversed. Tell those overblown whiners to look closer in the mirror - perhaps had they not held us hostage to their contemptual contracts first we would not feel any reason to reply in kind.

So there.

Also failing to elicit sympathy from Reg regulars was the BPI.

I read your article on the register BPI forces CD Wow to drop price surcharge claims and I must confess to being completely confused or even more incensed now - I'm delaying which of these I truly feel until I'm given all the facts, then I'll make my emotional decision.

As someone that's been following the developments of CD-WOW closely, each new piece of news seems to add further mystery/contradiction. After the initial news report I wrote the BPI and explained to them exactly how I thought about them, and their practices in what is an emerging global market place. How trying to enforce price control in other countries amounted to nothing more than out-dated colonialism and how it would be a myopic self-defeatist policy only seeking to fuel the threat of illegal music downloads.

Today your article seems to indicate either that CD-WOWs price increase is nothing to do with the BPI and in fact my [then] cheap CDs have increased in price because they were at an artificially low price OR CD-WOW is now being muzzled by the BPI in order to protect the BPIs image. The former is business the latter amounts to fascism!

Please, what's going on? Did CD-WOW establish that in a [global] free market the price of a new chart album was £6.99 (which was the price of most albums before the intervention of BPI) or has this whole media storm been nothing more than a smokescreen to protect the image of CD-WOW in light of increased prices?

Yours totally confused,

Will Bakali

And Will was not the only one with a few things to say about the BPI.

Dear El Reg,

The record industry makes me laugh; I was just reading your article about how the BPI slapped a court injunction on CD-Wow.

I'm guessing the injunction was the result of a public backlash against the BPI. Heaven forbid! An industry cartel artificially maintaining high prices and the customers complain?

If the BPI can't face its name getting dragged through the mud, then maybe, just maybe, it shouldn't go and undertake rediculous legal action that eliminates supply chain competition and gives customers a raw deal.

Slapping the injunction on CD-Wow won't change a thing.

We also covered some recent figures from the self same industry body in Legal Net music romps ahead of DVD, vinyl, tape.

‘Downloads, both illegal and legal, have taken a bite out of the singles market.'

Prove it, or don't print it. I seem to remember the singles chart in dire trouble long before Napster.

It's like the airlines blaming 9/11 for their pre-9/11 difficulties.

And then you let this go unchallenged: “It is unfair to say that the industry has been dragging its feet, but creating an environment where artists can get paid for downloaded music has taken time.”

The music industry is staffed by absolute idiots, and has undoubtedly dragged its feet. I talked to one big-label exec, a "Head of New Media" in 2002 who thought CD copy-protection was the way forward.

Artists have been able to be paid for downloaded music since the invention of the MP3. The environment is the Internet.

What the BPI are really saying is: “We are so proud we won't admit we have dragged our feet, and creating an environment where labels can get paid for downloaded music and pass on a tiny percentage to the artist after recovering all their costs has taken time. Also we had to refurbish our office with a nice new glass reception area and that took time too.”


We feel Mark raises a fair point here, although the importance of a nice shiny reception area cannot be overstated.

On a slightly more serious note, referring to our story that Chinese teenagers find Net just too damned attractive:

Given that it's China we're talking about, "invisible pairs of eyes" may well be on cyber-watch for any treacherous web-browsing.

Someone should remind Dr. Yu of the old saying: "It's not paranoia if they ARE out to get you!"


And finally, in reference to last week’s letters:

The programmer is right (06/02/04). Why give them free PCs so they can train up to take our jobs?

In fact why give them food aid. That way they don't grow up at all and there's no need to give them PC's.

And the really resilient ones who make it to school age, well we can keep our books as well. What the hell do those Peace Corps teachers think they're doing, giving away our jobs like that.

Brendan Eales

The above is

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