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Artists Unite Against Piracy

04:11 AM Thursday 7/13/00 | |

Metallica, Dr. Dre and the Recording Industry Association of America got some heavy-hitting backup from the music community in the battle over digital music downloading, just in time for a July 11 U.S. Senate committee hearing on the issue.

Artists Against Piracy, a musician-driven coalition hoping to play a role in determining how music is distributed on the Internet, announced its formation and launched a campaign with full-page ads in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Nearly 70 artists endorsed the ads under the banner "If a song means a lot to you, imagine what it means to us."

"Artists Against Piracy's primary goals are to create public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the value of music and to educate both the artistic community and the public about intellectual property and copyright issues as these issues pertain to music on the Internet," according to a press release.

The supporters include Aimee Mann, Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Blink-182, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Christina Aguilera, DMX, Faith Hill, Filter, Garth Brooks, Hanson, Herbie Hancock, Nanci Griffith, Sarah McLachlan, Sisqo, and Vertical Horizon.

The organization is led by Noah Stone, a recording artist who heads the GMEmusic.com Internet label for Gold Mountain Entertainment, a major artist management company.

"The advancements in technology have created exciting opportunities for artists online, but we believe artists ought to have the right to choose how and if their work is distributed on the Internet," Stone said. "The issue of compensation for and creative control by artists is important to all of us because it affects our careers, our livelihoods and our futures."

The coalition's announcement coincided with the appearance of Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Napster CEO Hank Barry, Roger McGuinn and others before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which is trying to determine what role, if any, government should have in regulating Internet copyright issues.