Agence France Presse reports Jackson statement verbatim except for ‘Apple’ reference

“Pop superstar Michael Jackson on Monday hit out at a proposed new US law that would make the musical piracy on the Internet punishable by a possible jail sentence. The self-styled “King of Pop” feels that, while he would like to see the practice of stealing music off the Internet stamped out, the legislation against the downloading of copyrighted material was too harsh,” Agence France Presse reports.

“‘I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans — mostly teenagers — in jail for downloading music,’ he said in a statement from his Neverland Ranch in the western state of California. ‘It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail. Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws, and we should look to new technologies … for solutions. This way, innovation continues to be the hallmark of America. It is the fans that drive the success of the music business,’ the ‘Gloved One’ said,” AFP reported.

Jackson’s complete sentence from his press release read, “Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws and we should look to new technologies, like Apple’s new Music Store for solutions.” But, as you can see above, Agence France Presse, for some reason, placed ellipses (…) in Jackson’s statement exactly in place of the phrase of Jackson’s quote, “like Apple’s new Music Store.” Other than truncating Jackson’s hope that, “It is the fans that drive the success of the music business; I wish this would not be forgotten,” to “It is the fans that drive the success of the music business,” and adding “mostly teenagers” to another line from Jackson’s press release, AFP reported the entire text of Jackson’s statement verbatim except for Jackson’s specific reference to “Apple’s new Music Store.”

How odd. Why did they choose to drop only this five word section that referenced Apple’s iTMS? Was it simply a space consideration, perhaps just an oversight, or was there some other reason?

Jackson’s complete press release here.

The AFP version here.


  1. Conflict of interest is usually the issue. Perhaps AFP’s parent company will be one of the many iTMS-for-Windows competitors this fall. Who knows? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  2. Or, wait… maybe it’s because the iTMS doesn’t exist in europe yet! I appreciate MDN a lot, but maybe we’re a leetle too paranoid on this one…

  3. I work for AFP and I can assure you there is nothing fishy here. Our LA Bureau received the original press release and called Jackson’s spokesman for an interview. For our piece we worked from quotes given by the spokesman and not from the PR release. You’ll notice in the AFP story there is a lot of extra detail than in the orginal Jackson release. At no point did this story pass through the hands of a French person. It’s mostly American. Another point Macs are big in AFP and on the increase. Personally I am a little pissed that we don’t have ITMS in Europe . Hope that clears things up a little

  4. Timdog69,
    The term ’email’ wasn’t banned- the French just came up with a French version of the word because it was an English word, not because of its ‘Americaness’. How do you ban a word anyway?

  5. … maybe because barely anyone outside of the US knows what the fuck “itunes music store” is? …

    That’s exactly why it should still be in the story. It talks about innovation, so the first true success in the field, iTMS deserves a mention don’t you think ?

    As of iTMS not being known outsideAmerica, that’s rubbish. Just about every mac fan knows about it. I imagine there are lots of Americans who have never heard of it or registered it because it is Mac only right now.

    Jackson specifically mentions iTMS because he sees it as a model that has already been shown to be successful and leads the way.

    I don’t know whether this is an anti Apple thing or not, but it was a mistake to remove it. It reads now as though there is no existing working model. no current solution, for legal downloads.

  6. This is basic journalism 101. They reserve the right to take out anything they deem to be free advertisting. That said, I don’t think it was warranted in this case–it really removes the gist of his comment, and it’s not like he just tossed in a brand name as an example–it’s the MAJOR CHANGE in the industry that they edited out.

    The wacky French do it again… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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