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8-Tracks to Be Used to Thwart Illegal Downloading

LOS ANGELES (DPI) - With compact-disc sales down more than 14 percent for two consecutive years, the music industry now sees the illegal downloading of music as a profit-stealing epidemic instead of a minor nuisance. To end this trend, record producers across the country have agreed to release all 2004 songs in the 8-track format in hopes that the low quality and non-user-friendly format popular in the '70s will keel-haul future piracy.

"It's the perfect solution," said Chaz Martin of Columbia Records, one of several record producers who have banded together in response to the threat of illegal enjoyment of free music. "No home computer can take the bulky cassettes for uploading, and the sound reproduction is so poor it isn't worth stealing. And since most buyers 12 to 22 years old haven't seen 8-tracks, we plan to market them as a new technology named EXTREME 8. Their main benefit is the lower chance of losing the cassettes, as they are at least 20 times the size of MP3 technology."

Most teens were not as excited about the idea. "The sound is for shit on these things," said one youth on condition of anonymity. "I could just put a tape recorder in front of a speaker and rip off better music. I'll have to resort to waiting for a good song on the radio and taping off of that like my lame uncle used to."

But Martin and his colleagues expressed confidence in their plan. "They'll either buy our music or we'll make it sound worse every year," said Martin. "They'll pay one way or another."

(Reported by Buddy Fisher)

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