Courtney Love, in 2000 during the Metallica v Napster controversy, spoke out against her perceived record company contract injustice, stating that the labels make millions and own the copyrights forever, while the artists get next to nothing in profit. She tells us that these actions by the record companies are the true piracy, and that great artists die in poverty, never having received a dime from sales. “Artists pay 95 percent of whatever we make to gatekeepers because we used to need gatekeepers to get our music heard.”
“I think Metallica is being given too much grief. It’s anti-artist. . . An artist speaks up and the artist gets squashed. . . It’s not piracy when kids swap music over the Internet . . It’s piracy when those guys that run those companies make side deals with the cartel lawyers and label heads so that they can be “the labels’ friend,” and not the artists’. . . New technology that exposes our music to a larger audience can only be a good thing. Why aren’t these companies working with us to create some peace? There were a billion music downloads last year, but music sales are up. Where’s the evidence that downloads hurt business? Downloads are creating more demand.”
Love believes that the mp3 websites should pay artists directly, and that the labels have no place in this. She insists that she is not afraid of the technological changes, but that we must grow with it and support the artists.
Read the entirety of the address here. Warning: It’s long.