Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Napster's Clones Won't End until Prices Drop

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Napster's Clones Won't End until Prices Drop

Article excerpt

Thank you for your editorial about Napster (Law and the Wild, Wild Web, July 28). In most such pieces, the starting premise for argument seems to be that an artist has both a right to be paid for use of intellectual property and the right to defend that property from copyright infringement.

Why? Didn't we all learn to share our great ideas with each other back in kindergarten? Shouldn't the satisfaction of helping and entertaining others be sufficient compensation for our efforts?

Regardless, the Napster controversy does not indicate consumers are interested in willfully infringing on the rights of artists. Rather, they have grown weary of subsidizing the endless stream of middle men, promoters, and attorneys who artificially drive up the cost of the finished product.

As long as high-profit-margin publishers, and record and film companies, continue to sap the budgets of relatively plebeian fans, consumers will continue to develop alternate delivery systems - such as Napster. While legal obstacles can be erected to thwart those efforts, the moral implications in doing so are far less clear.

Rick Robbins Austin, Texas

Tying PNTR to security issues

Regarding your July 27 article "Remember that China trade bill? It's not a law yet.": The importance of the Thompson-Torricelli amendment to the pending permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) legislation should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Lacking in the original House version of the bill, the Senate's version would predicate PNTR on China's proliferation transgressions in the fields of missile and nuclear technology.

In the last month, evidence has surfaced that China provided Pakistan with the missile technology it needed to produce a new generation of ballistic missiles capable of reaching well into neighboring India.

Additionally, last year's congressional report on China's theft of US nuclear secrets, assembled by Rep. Christopher Cox, cited Pakistan as a prime beneficiary of China's ill-gotten nuclear gains. …

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