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NARAS, RAC & 54 Artists File Amicus Curiae Brief Against Unauthorized P2P Systems

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, ("The Recording Academy") and the Recording Artists' Coalition (RAC), along with a number of artist and songwriter associations, and 54 high-profile recording artists, filed an Amicus Curiae Brief with the Supreme Court in the Grokster litigation yesterday, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit's opinion that Grokster, Kazaa, Morpheus, and other unauthorized P2P systems are not liable for contributory copyright infringement.

The unauthorized P2P services allow users – mostly young people — to engage in massive copyright infringement. "There is no more important case for the future of our business," said Don Henley, president and Co-founder of RAC. "These systems promote copyright violations on an unprecedented scale. They make millions of dollars, but pay the artists nothing."

"The Academy is proud to make its argument to the Supreme Court on behalf of our members and all music makers, and is hopeful that the high court will rule in favor of music creators over those who profit by music's theft," said Neil Portnow, president, The Recording Academy. "We thank the numerous artists who joined us in this brief, as well as the Recording Artists Coalition and the many other music organizations."

The 54 recording artists who signed on to the Amicus brief are: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh & Timothy B. Schmit (the Eagles), Jimmy Buffett, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, "Mya" Harrison, Gavin Rossdale, Sheryl Crow, Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), Bonnie Raitt; Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire & Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks), Stevie Nicks, Phil Vassar, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire; Mickey Hart & Bill Kreutzman (of The Grateful Dead), Avril Lavigne, Dido, Denyce Graves, Tom Jones; Jesse Colin Young, Sarah McLachlan, Martina McBride, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), Joe Terry & David White (of Danny and the Juniors), Billy Preston, Boz Scaggs, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Kenny Rogers, Tom Waits; Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan, Steven Page, Ed Robertson & Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Deryck Whibley, Dave Baksh, Cone McCaslin & Steve Jocz (Sum 41), Brandon Hargest, Brittany Hargest, Chris Fedun & Lesley Moore (Jump 5), Bethany Dillon, Nichole Nordeman, and Michael W. Smith.

In addition to The Recording Academy and RAC, the other signatory organizations are: The Country Music Association, Inc., The Gospel Music Association, The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, the Jazz Alliance International, Inc., The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, and SESAC, Inc.

"Allowing the creators of these unauthorized P2P systems to get off without liability is like criminalizing drug use, but not the creation and distribution of the drugs," said Jay Rosenthal, RAC legal counsel.

"This case affects every artist in the United States. Without a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the artists and copyright owners, Grokster and the creators of the other P2P systems will have no incentive to enter into licenses and to create authorized systems that incorporate a means to pay artists," said Rebecca Greenberg, RAC national director. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner