Avril's Management Company Challenges File-Sharing Lawsuit
Mon, 30 Jan 2006 10:50:26
Canada-based artist label and management company Nettwerk Music Group has joined the fight against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of consumers who wish to download music.
The RIAA has targeted approximately 16,000 individual file-sharers, and studies seem to reveal that the lawsuits have encouraged a decline in illegal downloading. Nettwerk's involvement, however, is indicative of a rift within the industry over the wisdom of criminalizing music consumers.
"Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem," said Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride. McBride and Nettwerk have come to the defense of David Greubel, who is accused of having 600 suspected music files on his family computer. The RIAA is targeting nine specific songs, including "Sk8er Boi" by Arista artist and Nettwerk client Avril Lavigne. The RIAA has demanded Greubel pay a $9,000 stipulated judgment as a penalty.
Nettwerk Music Group has agreed to pay all legal fees for Greubel, as well as any fines should the family lose the case against the RIAA. Chicago-based Mudd Law Offices will take on the legal battle. Charles Lee Mudd Jr. has represented individuals subpoenaed and sued by the RIAA since the suits began in late summer 2003.
"Since 2003 the RIAA has continually misused the court and legal system, engaging in misguided litigation tactics for the purpose of extorting settlement amounts from everyday people -- parents, students, doctors, and general consumers of music," Mudd said.
The RIAA issued a statement saying, "Stealing another person's property is theft, it's against the law and breaking the law must carry consequences or no one will think twice. Theft undermines the ability of music companines to invest in the new bands of tomorrow and deprives labels, songwriters and musicians of their hard-earned royalties."
-- The ARTISTdirect Staff