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Minnesotan woman in karaoke bust

Friday, Tracy Anna Brock of Burnsville pleaded guilty in the federal court to reporducing and uploading copyright-protected karaoke tunes onto hundreds of hard drives and selling them on ebay.

The first article I read is from the Pioneer Press and can be found at http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_5735351

The reporter shows timeliness by simply stating that Brock pleaded to the felony on Friday, showing it's newsworthy. The event doesn't directly affect the reader or everyday person, however the article notes the impact on Brock herself:

**Brock faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines when U.S. District Judge David Doty sentences her.**

It also gives information on the rights of businesses, which incinuates the impact doing something like this will have on you:

**Businesses can file civil suits seeking to protect their property, but federal authorities also are targeting thieves for criminal prosecution. Convictions can translate into prison time and huge fines.**

This article does show proximity, since Brock is a Minnesotan (from Burnsville). Regarding the supplemental values, the reporter shows some currency in the article:

**The bust is part of the Justice Department's broader initiative to combat online auction piracy. Brock sold her illicit goods on eBay and other online auction sites, where illegally copied music, movies and software are widely available.**

By mentioning that this is an "initiative" of the Justice Department, it shows that this problem has been a trend and a subject that needs to be taken care of.

The second article I read is from the Star Tribune and can be found here: http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1139222.html

This article concentrates on the actual event of Brock being brought to federal court and charged, not the broad topic and attempts by the government to control scams like this. The article does have timeliness, however it doesn't come until the third paragraph:

**U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose said in a news release Monday that it is the "first ever criminal conviction related to infringement of copyrighted karaoke music and is part of the Department of Justice's broader initiative to combat online auction piracy."**

This sentence in itself more than one news value (in addition to timeliness). It shows that the event has novelty, being the "first ever" of something. It also shows currency because of the "broader initiative" that it mentions. The article also mentions the impact that this had on Brock herself, similar to the first article. However, the reporter for the Star Tribune mentions something that the Pioneer Press does not:

**"I'm here to plead guilty of conspiring to violate copyright laws," said Brock, who has agreed to help prosecute others involved in the conspiracy in a deal that will spare her additional charges.**

That is almost more of sentence for human interest - it could make the reader go, "huh." The fact that Brock admitted to everything she did adds to this, as well.

I think that this story itself is very intruiging and both articles did a pretty good job reporting it. I think the second article from the Star Tribune is more interesting because it talks about the specific incident rather than the whole topic. However, I feel that the two articles just took different approaches to the issue. I just prefer the second.


As much as I think the story is interesting it was poorly done. Copying songs is aganist the law, let alone copying hundreds of thousands of songs. The lead paragraph is pitiful. Reporter Dan Browning is almost trying to crack a joke about Brock's situation.

The woman is going to spend 18 months in a federal prison and in his lead paragraph he writes, "What's the difference between a wannabe diva pretending to be Sheryl Crow in a karaoke bar and someone who simply copies and sells the music without permission?" Finally at the second paragraph the readers are informed the important information.