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Music label boss slams RIAA suits

Written by Ben Reid @ 21 Aug 2006 11:17 User comments (25)

Music label boss slams RIAA suits Terry McBride, the CEO of Canadian record label Nettwerk Music believes that the recording industry's continued litigation against P2P filesharers are hurting musicians and the music business in general.
Speaking at the first-ever Bandwidth Music and Technology Conference, McBride called on the major labels to cease lawsuits against individuals. "[The major labels] are using fear as a tactic [to] push these kids away from these P2P systems," McBride said. "You can't use fear to change these behaviors - it just isn't effective. These lawsuits have hurt my artists. We need to stop these lawsuits."

McBride, who launched the label in 1984 and whose line-up includes Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Dido, Sum 41, and Sarah McLachlan, feels so opposed to the, as he describes, "fear" tactics practised by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA), that he is prepared to pay the legal fees for one defendant. Elisa Greubel, a 15-year-old Texas girl, recently found herself dealt an RIAA suit for allegedly downloading 600 songs onto their computer. After contacting Nettwerk artist MC Lars, he solicited McBride's help.

Some of the songs Greubel was alleged to have illegally downloaded were from Avril Lavigne.

"Avril or any of my artists would never sue a fan," McBride said. "I want those fans to share that music. When [the original] Napster hit, we had the same knee-jerk reaction that everyone else did: 'Who are these kids, let's get them and sue them.' But after a while we realized that they were no different than I was when I was as a teenager, just looking to consume as much music as possible."

McBride believes the music industry should be embracing the advantages of p2p technologies, instead of trying to eradicate it. One such method is Snocap, a currently beta-testing Linx service, which gives artists the ability to sell their music directly, using online community sites such as MySpace.

McBride also believes that the price of digital music downloads through legal services such as the iTunes Music Store and Napster should be substantially lowered. "If the price comes down.. to between 25 and 49 cents a song.. the P2P marketplace will begin to go away," he said.

He also added,"you should never tell the consumer how to consume your music. You should make it available wherever they want. I don't want to dictate how people buy our music."

An RIAA spokesperson declined to comment on McBride's statements.


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25 user comments

121.8.2006 11:58

yes, someone on the outside of computers understands that the RIAA is only making p2p stronger

221.8.2006 13:25

Good speech from Mr. McBride.

321.8.2006 14:11

This guy makes some sense. The majors will fight Snocap more viciously than they are now fighting P2P. I mean really, a lawful way to completely cut the labels out of the picture? They will battle that one to their dying breath (hopefully).

421.8.2006 15:14

I'd pay 50 cents a song or even the 99 cents Apple charges if they had no DRM.

521.8.2006 21:36

This is INCREDIBLE.. wonder how long it will take before this guy sleeps with the fishes.. RIAA will see this as betrayal by one of their own. I am sick of DRM.. They want revenue for their 'artistic' effort, fine. They have no right to say how I 'appreciate' their work! Let them all go down the bowl like, who was that chick that had the anti-CD-Rom Audio CD?.. EXactly!

621.8.2006 21:38

I don't think that they (the songs) are worth that much. If I have to go through all the trouble of going thru the download process. Maybe 25 cents a song, but that's all I'd pay to make it all "Legal". And as far as the DRM, that can easily be taken care of!!!

721.8.2006 23:36

finally someone who understands what is going on i would be happy if somebody was doing a song by song service instead of a album by album service and if you charge 49 to even 25 cents per song you would have thousand of artists that would be happy because if the service didn't allow downloading of the entire album you would have people interrested in placing individual songs on the service for download then this still makes people go out and purchase the album and still keeps the music bussiness going

822.8.2006 09:16

i like him

922.8.2006 09:46

Good on him. A very good speech indeed, and the fact that he himself is a music label boss only heightens his argument. I think eventually..eventually we will see the end of these lawsuits.. -Mike

1022.8.2006 10:18

Another Point for Music Fans.. =]

1122.8.2006 12:19

The most enlightened person in the music business. Bravo!

1222.8.2006 12:59

This guy is thinking with his brain, if only there were more reasonable people like him in the music industry, we wouldn't need p2p.

1322.8.2006 14:32

Damn.....the only coment I can think of is the RIAA will sue him for slander 0-o

1422.8.2006 20:06

"you should never tell the consumer how to consume your music. You should make it available wherever they want. I don't want to dictate how people buy our music." That's very well said indeed.

1523.8.2006 05:17

This guy kicks ss, I like him

1624.8.2006 03:00

Nice speech and some good points there...I wonder how the RIAA will respond...most likey just ignore it

1725.8.2006 10:06

IT's going to be sometime before everyone will see from this guy's point of view. Thier greed is what blind folds them. This guy is just waking up to smell the coffee. I'm always going to dl for free. But 25cents or 50 for a song is not bad.

1825.8.2006 11:48

The RIAA will probably say something along these lines: "We have no comment on the speech by Mr McBride. However weare issueing writs and subpeonas in District court against Mr Mcbride for illegaly preventing us from bleeding the public music user dry and sending them into bankruptcy for disseminating music into the public domain" I say we need more Mr McBride's in the music industry and less RIAA

1925.8.2006 14:05

When big business will hire and fire at the drop of a hat, denying workers rights and wages..when big business has such immense political ask me if I think people have respect for these so-called pillars of the (business) community. No, I don't think they do.

2026.8.2006 03:28

I love it when he stated "Avril or any of my artists would never sue a fan" True artist would never do that, since we are the ones who put them there. The RIAA dont represent the artist at all, only the music label and the greedy owners of it.

2128.8.2006 02:16

My hats off to the guy !!

2228.8.2006 11:19! 25 cents a song! No DRM! Totally legit!

2328.8.2006 16:19

holy heck, i just made a new best friend :D hats off to mr.mcbride. i agree $1 a song is silly. $25 a song, with at LEAST 75% of that going to the artists is great. what do the labels need anyways? they are there to MARKET it to us. and the internet is bleeding that dry since anyone intellegent will know how to find bands. plus doing what mr.mcbride said wont elliminate it. but it will go back to the way it used to be. "hey man? have you heard this band?" *hands the cd over* (later) "dude this cd kicks butt!" *goes to buy other cds by them, and tells all his friends who have similar interests*

2426.9.2010 10:33

type your comments here

2526.9.2010 11:39

This guy should pool his money and initiate a hostile takeover of both the RIAA and the MPAA and become president of both companies! lol

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