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| Tue Feb. 27, 2001 4:00 AM EST

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Press buys recording industry's bogus line

Members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are surely beaming after the invaluable press they received around the nation yesterday -- free of charge -- thanks to the Associated Press. SLASHDOT points out that an AP story picked up by many national outlets erroneously claims to have proof that Napster hurt record sales in 2000.

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2/21 - Marx for the anti-globalist The AP indictment of Napster hinges entirely on one single piece of evidence supplied by the industry: Sales of CD singles fell 39 percent in 2000. AP fails to report, however, that CD singles account for a measly 1 percent of the RIAA's profits. Sales of full-length CDs, which make up 92 percent of the RIAA's profits, increased 3.1 percent, or $400 million over 1999. (In 1999, Slashdot happily points out, Napster seems to have dramatically helped the RIAA -- it cost the industry "negative $1.4 billion.") SLASHDOT goes on to look deeper in the numbers and finds more important info glossed over in AP's story.

The AP report, which "reads like it might have been ghost-written by someone from the record industry," may well help the RIAA in its ongoing fight with Napster. Since the beginning of the fracas, the industry's maintained that Napster has illegally cut into its profits and caused it "irreparable harm" by letting people trade music online.

Read the SLASHDOT article here.

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