“Coming right up. Say, aren’t you the head of that organization that represents the major record labels? The RI… uh… IRA or something?”

“Or something. Yeah, that’s me.”

“That’s got to be a tough job. What with recording artists like Don Henley asking for better deals and all.”

“It’s no cake walk, believe me. Everyday another crisis.”


“Uh, uh. If the recording artists aren’t gripin’ about seven year statutes, they’re screaming about accounting practices and royalties. I’m telling you, it never stops. Hrrmph! Musicians. Sometimes I think we’d be better off without them.”

“Surely you can’t mean that. Life would be pretty boring without great bands like Guns N’ Roses and Goo Goo Dolls.”

“I suppose your right. I just wish they could be more agreeable. After all, we’re the recording industry. We know what’s best for them.”

“Of course you do. Everybody knows that.”

“But it doesn’t make my job any easier. Then there are the online music services. They’re always complaining about licensing fees so that they can stream Shakira or John Mellencamp. And on top of it, there’s the Justice Department sniffing around for so-called anti-trust violations. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.”

“I know the feeling. Plus, you have all those file-swapping programs like Kazaa and Morpheus to deal with.”

“Ooohhh… Don’t get me started on music piracy or I’ll be here all night. I hate it, I tell you. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it!”

“Take it easy. Calm down.”

“I’m sorry, but song-trading is a very personal subject with me. Whether it’s Napster, FastTrack or Gnutella, it just burns me up the way they try to make a buck off of Paul McCartney or Bruce Springsteen without paying for the music.”

“I heard on the news that file-trading has cost the labels millions of dollars.”

“That ain’t the half of it. Sales are down. Illegal downloads are up. Every time someone trades a song by Jewel or Dismemberment Plan, that’s more money going out the window.”

“So, the file-trading companies are costing you some dough, eh?”

“They’re definitely a problem, but we can handle it. Most people who trade songs by Brian Wilson, James Taylor or Cher eventually buy the CD anyway. We lose a few bucks, but nothing we can’t cover.”

“Then why…”

“Why all the complaining about lost revenues due to file-sharing? Heck, you’d complain, too, if it cost you millions of dollars every year.”

“But you just said…”

“Oh, I wasn’t talking about the song-traders.”

“You weren’t?”

“Oh, no. I was talking about lawyers. Do you know how much it costs to sue someone these days? Heck, our lawyers charge up to $500 per hour just to take our calls. Sometimes I get so angry about it I want to grab my baseball bat and crack a few heads.”

“Hey, simmer down. Would you like another glass of wine? On the house.”

“No, thanks. Another glass of wine isn’t going to solve this piracy problem.”

“Just thought I’d ask.”

“Better give me the entire bottle, instead.”