Media chiefs express fears of digital piracy

Wednesday, 11 June 2003, 2:34 PM EST

For all of the new ways that digital technology and high-speed Internet connections are making music and movies available, many of the nation's media giants remain profoundly fearful that online distribution will open the door to massive piracy.

At the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual meeting here yesterday, AOL Time Warner chief executive Richard D. Parsons and Viacom Inc. president Mel Karmazin -- appearing with the heads of Microsoft Corp. and Comcast Corp. -- said solutions are urgently needed but may take considerable time to be developed.

The issue for consumers is the pace at which they will get lower-priced access to buying, not just renting, tens of thousands of movies and music albums as an alternative to buying compact discs, DVDs, and videotapes.

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