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Chinese democracy meets U.S. justice

Robert X. Cringely | Sept. 1, 2008
Is three years in prison for nine songs a fair penalty? Who else deserves some time in the pokey?

This truly is Chinese democracy in action. The ruling party makes the rules and breaks them when they feel like it. They selectively prosecute those they perceive as enemies, while failing to act on far more serious breaches of the public trust by their allies. I don't think I need to list the many examples we've seen over the last eight years.

There are lots of ways this situation could have played out short of bringing in the feds. Guns N' Roses' management could have accepted Cogill's decision to take down the files and been done. They could have asked him for a royalty fee equivalent to what radio stations pay and continued to stream the music to fans hungry for more GnR. Or maybe they should have just thanked Cogill for putting the band back in the spotlight, 13 years after they last staggered out of a recording studio.

What do you think? Is three years in prison for nine songs a fair penalty? Who else deserves some time in the pokey? E-mail me: cringe@infoworld.com.

 

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