Top Artists Join Fight Against Illegal Downloads

Would you stop illegally downloading music files if Britney Spears asked? How about Brian Wilson? Eminem? Or Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Madonna, P.O.D., Marilyn Manson, 3 Doors Down? They've all signed o

Would you stop illegally downloading music files if Britney Spears asked? How about Brian Wilson? Eminem? Or Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Madonna, P.O.D., Marilyn Manson, 3 Doors Down? They've all signed on to an ad campaign aimed at discouraging illegal music file trading on the Internet. The full-page ads ran in yesterday's (Sept. 26) New York Times and other U.S. newspapers.

Spears will appear in TV commercials saying that stealing music online is as bad as stealing a CD from a store. Other artists who have signed on to the campaign are Barenaked Ladies, Elton John, Kiss' Gene Simmons, Hootie and the Blowfish, Vanessa Carlton, Rush, and the Wallflowers.

The ads mirror content on the Web site for MusicUnited, a coalition of industry organizations such as Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Songwriters Guild of America, and the Country Music Association.

"If you rob artists of their means of earning, eventually there will be no art of consequence or substance," Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik writes on the site. "I'm sorry; when I worked 9-to-5, I expected to get a paycheck every week," Eminem writes. "It's the same with music; if I'm putting my heart and all my time into music, I expect to get rewarded for that. I work hard and anybody can just throw a computer up and download my music for free. It could kill the whole purpose of making music."

A new poll seeking your opinion on the new wave of anti-piracy print and television advertisements is already underway in The Voting Booth.

Meanwhile, Congress is debating a bill that would allow the entertainment industry more powers in disrupting illegal downloads. It's not expected to pass before Congress adjourns next month.


AP LogoCopyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.