Nettwerk Music Group Takes On RIAA Over File-Sharing Suits
January 26, 2006

Canadian label/artist management group Nettwerk Music Group has announced it is taking on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the controversial battle over suing individuals for illegally downloading songs online via file-sharing networks. "Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem," Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride simply said in a statement.

Teenager Elisa Greubel recently contacted Nettwerk client MC Lars, whose new track "Download This Song" tackles the file-sharing issue, on his Web site, writing, "My family is one of many seemingly randomly chosen families to be sued by the RIAA. No fun. You can't fight them, trying could possibly cost us millions. The line 'they sue little kids downloading hit songs,' basically sums a lot of the whole thing up. I'm not saying it is right to download but the whole lawsuit business is a tad bit outrageous."

In response, Nettwerk has agreed to pay all legal fees for the Greubel's family, which is challenging the RIAA's suit. Chicago lawyer Charles Lee Mudd Jr. will represent the Greubels. Mudd has represented multiple individuals who have been sued by the RIAA since 2003.

"Litigation is not 'artist development.' Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love," added McBride. "The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests."

Mudd added, "Many of the individuals targeted by the RIAA are not the 'thieves' the RIAA has made them out to be. Moreover, individual defendants typically do not have the resources to mount a full-fledged defensive campaign to demonstrate the injustice of the RIAA's actions. Today we are fortunate that principled artists and a management company, Nettwerk Music Group, have joined the effort to deter the RIAA from aggressive tactics -- tactics that have failed to accomplish even the RIAA's goals."

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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