“Always happy to talk to the press. As the band’s manager, I’m quite concerned about this entire Napster issue.”

“The band’s drummer testified before Congress a couple of days ago. He said that song trading is akin to stealing, and that people who trade in the band’s songs should be… let’s see… it’s in my notes, ‘horse whipped, flogged, keel hauled, drawn and quartered.'”

“Every time someone downloads an unauthorized copy of a song, say from Foghat, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack or Fuel, they’re taking money from musicians. There was a good op-ed piece about this in today’s New York Times. I can fax you a copy.”

“Thanks. What do you think should be done about online music piracy?”

“We recommend that the Internet be shut down until we can come up with appropriate safeguards, so music by acts like Emmylou Harris and Richard Thompson will be protected. Did you see the band’s interview on Good Morning America?”

“No, I must have missed it.”

“I’ll overnight a video tape. I taped over another show so don’t be surprised if you see Ron Jeremy’s face pop up.”

“So what you’re saying is that technology must not be allowed to facilitate the copying and distribution of intellectual property.”

“If acts like Baby Jason & The Spankers and Nine Days are to continue producing songs, then their copyrights must be protected. There was a very good position piece on this in last week’s Time. I can Xerox a copy and send it to you.”

“What about small, indie artists who distribute their own song files?”

“They’re not on major labels, so they don’t count.”

“But isn’t song trading on the Net the hi-tech equivalent of exchanging tapes through the mail?”

“We’ll be talking with the Post Office, FBI and NSA next week. This whole song trading scene has definitely gotten out of hand. There was a good discussion on NPR’s All Things Considered. I have a tape of it right here. I can play it for you over the phone.”

“Thanks, but I think I have enough for my story.”

“You just have to understand. We’re talking about the careers of artists like Iris Dement and Bonnie Raitt. If that means massive lawsuits, phone taps, postal inspections or the violent dismembering of copyright infringers, so be it.”

“That’s a great quote for the end of the story.”

“Thank you. I heard someone on Nightline say that earlier this week.”