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Here's one from the "Things I Would Have Blogged About Had I Not Been on Vacation" bin. In a Feb. 26 editorial titled " Have

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Maureen Dowd Exclusive: Young People Give Up Illegal Downloads, Now Paying for Music

maureendowdmusic.jpg
Here's one from the "Things I Would Have Blogged About Had I Not Been on Vacation" bin. In a Feb. 26 editorial titled "Have You Driven a Smartphone Lately?," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd writes about Ford's efforts to make talking/texting while driving as safe as possible rather than getting kids to stop using their phones while they're behind the wheel. "Telling younger people not to use a cellphone is almost like saying, 'Don't breathe,'" says one Ford exec. "So we've got to figure out how we make people safer . . . "

Dowd sees hope, noting:

Given that, however, we're talking about human beings who live in an A.D.D. world, wouldn't it be safer to try to curb the addiction, rather than indulging it? Nobody thought you could get young people to pay for music after downloading it for free, either, but they do.

Um, REALLY?!?!?!?

Yes, many people of all ages legally purchase music. But I do believe that record-label bean counters who have seen their sales drop in HALF over the past decade will take issue with your implication that the illegal-downloading plague has been slowed; and that now that kids have been broken of their illegal-downloading habits, they're primed to put their phones down, too.

This is the kind of seemingly benign statement (also see Sound Opinions: "The fact that (people) are purchasing 1.5 billion pieces of music every year . . . that's huge.") that perpetuates the notion that illegal downloading has become a non-issue. After more than a decade of hand-wringing, it is an old story, and it's become more fashionable to latch onto the uptick in vinyl sales and alternative business models than bemoan the continued problem of stealing mp3s.

But if you think kids are going to put down their phones thanks to some fancy new technology in their Ford, don't look to their downloading habits for the evidence.

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