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Band News (more headlines) 04-25-2000

Artists, Managers And Industry Leaders Speak Out Against Napster April 2000

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"I am excited about the opportunities presented by the Internet because it allows artists to communicate directly with fans. But the bottom line must always be respect and compensation for creative work. I am against Internet piracy and it is wrong for companies like Napster and others to promote stealing from artists on-line." -- Elton John

“Artists, like anyone else, should be paid for their work.” -- Lou Reed

"Let's get the obvious out of the way: This is not just about money (as some of the more cynical people will think). This is as close as you get to what's right and what's wrong. Metallica have always been in favor of giving the fans as much access as possible to our music. This includes taping sections at our concerts, and streaming our music via our website. And while we certainly revere our fans for their continued support and desire for our music, we must stress that the open trading of any copyrighted material is, in effect, the looting of our art. And that is something that no artist can, in their right mind, condone. We are in the business of art. This is a walking contradiction if ever there was one. However, there is no denying it. On the artistic side, Metallica create music for ourselves first and our audience second. With each project, we go through a grueling creative process to achieve music that we feel is representative of Metallica at that very moment in our lives. We take our craft –whether it be the music, the lyrics, or the photos and artwork– very seriously, as do most artists. It is therefore sickening to know that our art is being traded, sometimes with an audio quality that has been severely compromised, like a commodity rather than the art that it is. From a business standpoint, this is about piracy- a/k/a taking something that doesn't belong to you; and that is morally and legally wrong. The trading of such information –whether it's music, videos, photos, or whatever– is, in effect, trafficking in stolen goods. Back to the obvious: Very successful recording artists are compensated extremely well for what they do. For every Metallica, however, there are an endless number of bands who rely on what ever they can get in royalties to survive. And while we all like to take shots at the big, bad record companies, they have always reinvested profits towards exposing new bands to the public (although sometimes not the RIGHT bands). Without this exposure, many fans would never have the opportunity to learn about tomorrow's bands today. Napster and other such sites were obviously not conceived to lose money. They, like the labels, must make money or they're out of business. And whatever money they are generating from their site is dirty money. It's being taken out of the hands of the artist and the record labels and put into the hands of another corporation." –Lars Ulrich, Metallica

"We are and always have been very protective of our music with regards to usage or
licensing in advertisements, film soundtracks and so on. This is something we take
very seriously. We cannot allow other businesses and entities to misappropriate
our music to represent or advertise what they do in any way. Although we have
been active in our support of digitally downloadable music, it's another matter
entirely when businesses abuse that access -- especially in a manner that could be
misconstrued as an endorsement of their products." -- Mike D., The Beastie Boys

“As an artist and songwriter I believe that this is an issue that needs to be looked at and taken very seriously. In what other industry can someone take a product, not created by themselves, make money from the use of that product and not compensate the original creator? Someone needs to take a stand and protect the songwriters and artist.” -- Victoria Shaw, country music singer/songwriter

“I think the fact that Napster is stealing recorded music is something that we have to stop. It’s taking money out of my kid’s mouth. That’s the way I look at it. It’s wrong. It’s inherently wrong. It’s stealing.” -- Art Alexakis, Everclear

“Many artists have spent their lives honing their craft and now some anonymous person in a little dark room with a computer somewhere is able to collate that lifetime’s work and pass it around the world for free. It’s just not on. Stealing is stealing regardless of what name you choose to call it. You get people saying ‘I’ve been a fan of yours for twenty years, I’m entitled to have it for free’. Well I’m afraid you’re not. That’s no different to me than going down to the local greengrocers and saying ‘well, I’ve been coming here for twenty years and so I’m going to help myself to all your fruit and vegetables from now on thanks very much.” -- Matt Johnson of The The

“As a band, we are incensed at the amount of disregard Napster has toward how musicians make a living. We only get paid from our recordings if they are bought in legal ways. By disregarding copyright laws we lose out. We are a ‘baby band’, struggling to stay alive financially. Every dollar we lose to “fans” stealing our music hurts...if folks knew that the majority of the major label bands are not making any income from their recordings...and losing money by touring, they would be astounded and a bit more sympathetic to the artists. What is supposed to set the industry free is killing it.” -- The Push Stars

“There are laws against piracy in this country, and unless we enforce them, how do we expect any other country to care about protecting our rights from piracy?” -- Denyce Graves, RCA Victor Red Seal, Classical recording artist

"Everyone I know is excited about all the possibilities the Internet has to offer. As a musician, the Internet has made it possible for me to share my music with people that could have never been reached by conventional methods. It has been taboo for artists to speak out concerning the business side of their music. The fear has been that the buying public, as well as other artists, would perceive this concern as greed, and that the artists’ sole purpose for creating was the money. This perception has silenced many artists concerning MP3 and Napster. The silence must end. As a child I created music to express my inner thoughts and feelings, and that purity has stayed with me throughout. The day I decided to share my music with the world, was the day I decided to walk the fine line between art and commerce. I have been blessed in that I do what I love and can support my family with what I create. When my music is given away, as taboo as it is for me to say, it is stealing. I need not defend my motives for making music, but the distribution of my music has made me business conscious. I have decided to sell my music to anyone who wants it, that is how I feed my family, just like a doctor, lawyer, judge, or teacher. Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but my music is like my home. Napster is sneaking in the back door and robbing me blind." -- Scott Stapp, lead singer/ lyricist for Creed

“It’s high-tech bootlegging, with artists definitely losing revenue. I appreciate that people like my music enough to download it. But we need to join forces and fight this.” -- DJ Scratch, artist/producer Billboard, April 15, 2000

“[Napster] is particularly discouraging to young artists and songwriters trying to get their foot in the proverbial door of the music business. I suppose it should be a compliment that people dig your music so much that they’re swapping it online. But thievery is thievery. If you dig an artist that much, then you should want to help keep that artist alive by purchasing the actual recording.” -- Anastacia, Daylight/Epic recording artist Billboard, April 15, 2000

“If artists don’t get paid for making music, how are they supposed to survive? Stealing from an artist is not the best way to show your appreciation for their work.” -- Aimee Mann Entertainment Weekly, March 31, 2000

“Artists should be compensated for the work that they do.” -- Deborah Harry of Blondie Salon, March 25, 2000

“No matter what you do for a living you should get paid for your work, whether you’re washing dishes or recording songs.” -- Bif Naked Salon, March 25, 2000

“Nobody wants to look the artist in the eye and say, ‘Giving your music away for free is going to make you lots of money’ – not while keeping a straight face, anyway.” -- Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses Salon, March 25, 2000

“Artists should be compensated for their work and protected against a technology that allows copyrighted music to be illegally downloaded. But Napster and technologies like it are just a part of the overall problem. Intellectual property in the Internet Age must be staunchly protected. Without meaningful safeguards, the livelihood of the creative community is at risk.” -- Mike Greene, President and CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

“…We send them [artists] to Napster and they see all their work being given away for free, and they’re stunned and horrified. What disturbs me the most is that artists are never discussed. Artists just seem to be a ping-pong ball whacked back and forth and nobody gives a fuck about them…And it turns out Napster’s no better than the record companies. In fact, they’re worse, because they’re offering nothing and taking everything. Napster’s the tip of the iceberg. The broader question is intellectual property on the Internet. Intellectual property should be valued and protected or we’ll go down. And not just music either. Why would anybody sit down and write a novel it it’s going to be pirated for free the first day it’s released. If nobody values intellectual property, then we’ll all be in the insurance business.” -- Ron Stone, Gold Mountain Management (represents Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman, Ziggy Marley and others) Salon, March 25, 2000

“The artists, writers, and labels aren’t being compensated. It’s certainly not the way copyright laws were set out to work… when managers and artists and labels have no control and it’s a free-for-all out there, it’s problematic.” -- Mike Robertson, Mike Robertson Management (represents Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Wade Hayes, BlackHawk and others) Billboard, April 15, 2000

“All of a sudden a song could get out without the act’s knowledge or the label’s knowledge, and all the hard work that’s been put into the project is then lost.” -- Ken Crear, Creative Management Group (represents Next, Sisqo, Mary Mary and others) Billboard, April 15, 2000

“Napster is robbing me blind.” -- Chris Robinson, Black Crowes Salon, March 25, 2000

“It pisses me off and I resent it. I spent $15,000 on my Web site. I paid a publicist for a year and a half out of my own pocket. And now some kid’s going to tell me my catalog should be free? They’re just entrepreneurs setting themselves up to make a ton of money off other people’s work. Where’s the compensation for the artists? I know people using Napster are chuckling about kicking big, bad record labels. But as evil as the record companies may be, at least they’re paying for your recording budget, and at least they’re promoting you, and paying for tour support. We can make a new model—yeah right. It’s laughable. Those people have no idea how the music business works. Because unless you’re Alanis Morissette or Dave Mathews, you’re not making money on the road. It’s all I can do to break even on tour. And the only reason to tour is to promote the sale of my CD.” -- Jonatha Brook Salon, March 25, 2000

“Our label is behind us from the start. They work hard for every nickel they make off us. They deserve to be paid. It’s a no brainer. If it’s not scanned, then the label at the end of the year says so long, and all of a sudden our careers are over, and I’m back at McDonald’s. -- Morgan Rose, Sevendust Salon, March 25, 2000

“If Napster had out best interest in mind then they would ask our artists. Nobody at Napster has ever called to ask our permission. Artists say ‘Ask me.’ Explain what it is and ask if I want to participate. But Napster doesn’t give them an opportunity. They’re basically saying fuck the workers. Let them work their asses off and we’ll give it away for nothing. The bigger the lie the more you get away with, I suppose. There’s no question Napster’s going to lose in court. The only question is how much money in damages they’ll have to pay. I hope it’s enormous because then the big money investors, which Napster needs, will walk away. -- Cliff Burnstein, Q Prime Management (represents Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica) Salon, March 25, 2000

“Investors are going to realize it’s a theft business and ask, how does it make money? It doesn’t. It’s all very well to say music should be free, but the reality is if you don’t pay the artists, the road crew, the musicians, the recording studio, if there’s no money in music, there’s not going to be much music left. How many people would be doctors is they had to work for free? What if we said, ‘Hey, the airlines are ripping us off and we don’t want to pay for tickets, we’ll just steal them.’ Guess how long the airlines would last? If it becomes free, then it becomes extinct.” -- Miles Copeland (manager for Sting) Salon, March 25, 2000

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out that this Napster was linking thousands of people to the new Notorious BIG album “Born Again,” a week before it even hit the streets. This album is a labor of love from Notorious BIG’s friends to the man, his kids, the rest of his family and everyone else whose lives will never be the same since BIG passed. BIG and every other artist Napster abuses deserve respect for what they give us.” -- Sean “Puffy” Combs, CEO, Bad Boy Entertainment, Inc.

“Dixie Chicks and Senior Management are huge fans of the Internet and its possibilities. While there are great efforts being made to ensure that the rights of the artists and songwriters are protected, Napster's apparent way of doing business sets those efforts way back. If the Internet thieves are not stopped or better regulated, it not only robs current artists but might have even more serious repercussions for the next batch of artists. I support and applaud the RIAA on their efforts to make sure that Internet companies are not stealing the rights of the people who make the music.” -- Simon Renshaw, Senior Management (personal manager of the Dixie Chicks)

"The band's music comes from the heart, and knowing how much hard work goes into making that music, this type of Web site makes us sick." -- Rusty Harmon, Fishco Management (represents Hootie & The Blowfish)

"Copying and distributing music illegally is the ultimate discrimination. It sends a message to our neighbors who create musical art that what they do, who they are, is not important enough. Does it matter? I can think of several stories where the rights of a particular group of people were deemed unimportant. None of them have a happy ending. Therefore, I strongly urge the operators of NAPSTER to use their technological acumen to bring an end to the trafficking of pirated musical works." -- Frank Breeden, President, Gospel Music Association, Inc.

"With the increasing accessibility of on the Internet, and the new technology available on it, there must be a matching increase in responsibility. Without public accountability, this responsibility reverts to groups like the RIAA to seek out those who are misusing the advances in technology and to the courts to adapt and enforce the law. Napster is allowing people to disregard copyright laws because they were not written in the spirit of today's technology. These copyright laws are the only things that protect what musicians do for a living; write songs. Napster is allowing people to steal these songs." -- Jeff Cameron, Jeff Hanson Management & Promotions (represents Creed and other artists)

“Napster is undermining the efforts of creators and innovators of all kinds who are at the forefront of the electronic marketplace.” -- Robert Holleyman, President and CEO, Business Software Alliance

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