Henley To Testify At Hearing On Artists' Rights
Don Henley, co-founder of the Recording Artists Coalition, has accepted an invitation to appear at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday (April 3) called by chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, tDon Henley, co-founder of the Recording Artists Coalition, has accepted an invitation to appear at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday (April 3) called by chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, to study the problems faced by artists, record companies, and music Web site entrepreneurs in the post-Napster environment.
"There has never been so much contempt for artists by the heads of these record companies," Henley says. "I want to ask the senators to make sure that artists are represented at the table on all of these Internet issues. We have concerns about fair use; we have concerns about possible compulsory licensing. We want to make sure that the majors don't control the market so much that there won't be independent Internet distribution, and we have views on [California's] seven-year statute."
Henley says he will be joined at Tuesday's Senate hearing by other artists, legal counsel, and Noah Stone, director of Artists Against Piracy. "We're working together on this, but our organizations have not merged," says Henley.
No witness list has been released by the committee, but Billboard has learned that the lawmakers are specifically pushing to have company executives on the panel and not their Washington, D.C., lobbyists. According to several sources, among the other panelists to be invited are Napster president Hank Barry, as well as a record label executive, a movie company chief, and a top official of a music Internet company.
The Napster Web site says that "many members of the Napster community" will attend the hearing and visit with their Congressmen afterward. As previously reported, Napster is prepping for the hearing with a series of new promotions.