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Author: Hatch is record industry's 'Senator Fido'

Published August 6, 2012 9:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Internet-music guy and first-time novelist Rob Reid has a beef against Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Reid's new book is a science-fiction comic novel, Year Zero, about an intergalactic threat to the Earth – prompted because the rest of the universe has fallen in love with Earth's popular music.

In the book, two aliens visit a lowly copyright lawyer named Nick Carter (whom the aliens mistake for the Backstreet Boy of the same name) to seek licenses to the music the universe has downloaded, to avoid a calamity. The aliens explain that other aliens are planning to destroy the Earth to avoid paying the universe-bankrupting fines for violating U.S. copyright laws – which Reid calls "the most onerous copyright laws ever created by any society anywhere in the universe since the Big Bang."

Among those on Earth standing in the way is a lawyer and record-industry lobbyist named Judy Sherman. At one point in the book, someone mentions Sen. Hatch (helpfully identified in the footnote as "R-Utah"), and Sherman responds, "Senator Fido?"

In an interview with NPR's "On the Media" that aired this weekend, Reid – who founded the online music site Listen.com (which later morphed into the music-sharing service Rhapsody) – explained the Fido reference:

"This character fancies himself to be a songwriter. And so, music-industry lobbyists like Judy are able to manipulate him through this little fantasy of his. And, from my own interactions with him over the years, I accrued quite a collection of Orrin Hatch CDs, actually. And it is firmly believed in certain circles that the music-industry lobbyists have played to Mr. Hatch's songwriting pretentions to great effect."