Top recording artists such as Metallica are weighing in yesterday's (Feb. 12) court ruling that may force controversial music file-swapping service Napster to shut down

Top recording artists are weighing in yesterday's (Feb. 12) court ruling that may force controversial music file-swapping service Napster to shut down. In a statement, Metallica -- the veteran heavy metal act who is suing the company for copyright infringement -- expressed its delight "that the court has upheld the rights of all artists to protect and control their creative efforts."

"From day one, our fight has always been to protect the rights of artists who chose not to have their music exploited without consent," the statement continued. "The court's decision validates this right and confirms that Napster was wrong in taking not only Metallica's music but other artists who do not want to be a part of the Napster system and exploiting it without their approval.

"We have never objected to the technology, the Internet, or the digital distribution of music. All we have ever asked is that artists be able to control how, when, and in what form their creativity is distributed through these channels. This is something that Napster has continually refused to do. Now the court has made that decision for them."

Artists Against Piracy, a coalition which boasts support from such artists as Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, Aimee Mann, and Christina Aguilera, said it was "pleased with the court's decision to uphold the fundamental elements of the injunction and we hope the message is clear: artists' rights must be respected online."

Earlier this year, the group ran full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers bearing the headline "If A Song Means A Lot To You, Imagine What It Means To Us." The ad listed 68 artists who support intellectual property rights.

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