Here’s a genuinely heartwarming story. The RIAA is after David Greubel of Arlington, Texas for having 600 downloaded songs on his family computer, and is trying to get him to pay USD 9,000 to settle out of court. Greubel’s 15-year-old daughter wrote an e-mail about the case to the punk rapper MC Lars (Download this song), and Lars passed the e-mail on to his management company, the Nettwerk Music Group, which also manages Sarah McLachlan, the Barenaked Ladies, and Avril Lavigne, among others.
Terry McBride, the head of Nettwerk, decided to help Greubel, and says he has the support of all the artists he manages (including those whose songs were found on Greubel’s computer). He has offered to pay all of Greubel’s legal costs to fight the RIAA and all of his fines if he loses. He says that he does not necessarily agree with downloading ripped songs (which happens to be legal here in Canada, where Nettwerk is based), but that suing fans is just bad business:
My hope is that this (Nettwerk’s support) will create a positive concrete conversation between the artists, their managers and the record labels as to what the future is . . . The fan is the future. Suing the fan is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Note: I don’t read Slashdot any more — I’m sure this is also there, so apologies for any duplication.
Nettwerk is a great label. I just posted an interview I did last week with Nettwerk’s director of Sales and Marketing, Erin Kinghorn. Erin talks about the culture at Nettwerk, as well as the careers of Sarah, Avril, and other Nettwerk artists. Check it out!
Thanks for the comment, Mack. I picked up the spelling correction as well.
Don’t apologise for any duplication. You don’t read Slashdot; care to guess if I do? That’s right, I don’t either. Phil Ringnalda lamented this effect in Planetary Damage; have a look. Or as Norm Walsh put it, stop worrying and learn to love the post. :-)