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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Friday, 5 September 2003


The Daily Telegraph reports that Universal, the world's largest record company and owner of the A&M and Island Def Jam labels, has started to reduce the prices of its CDs in the US by nearly a third. This move, which reflects the battering online copying via Napster and Kazaa has inflicted on traditional product sales, will reduce the price of most CDs to around $10. This decision could have repercussions in Britain, where CD prices are traditionally higher. It will bring down the cost of CDs by Eminem, Elton John, U2, Mary J. Blige and Limp Bizkit, but does not cover classical, Latin music and multi-CD box sets.

Doug Morris, Universal’s chairman, said: "We are in the middle of a terrible situation where our music is being stolen. We need to invigorate the market, and as an industry leader we felt we had to be bold and make a move". The price cut is part of a strategy that includes legal and technical assaults on the pirates. "We are making a very bold, strategic move to bring people back to music stores", he added.

The law-abiding and music-loving IPKat welcomes the cuts and looks forward to seeing them implemented in Europe. Resolutely opposed to the price differential between US and European CDs and the failure of the European Commission to do anything about it, he has built a large CD collection comprised almost entirely of special offers, low-price labels, imports from the US and birthday presents. Pirates have known for the past forty years that high retail prices provide the perfect medium for pirates to flourish and the IPKat is glad that at least one major record producer has woken up to the fact.

Soften a bizkit without making it limp here or here
Over 700 hits for Mary J Bilge (sic) here
How CDs work: click here
Don’t buy CDs here
Exploding CDs here
Things to do with your old CDs here

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