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LOVE HAS NONE FOR TRADITIONAL MUSIC INDUSTRY
Hole’s Courtney Love Trashes Big Labels, Praises Internet, Drops Names
You can always count on Hole's Courtney Love to spice up an event… even if it is a geeky tech confab.

Rarely at a loss for words, Love said that she no longer wishes to be a part of the traditional music industry during her keynote speech Tuesday (5/16) at the Digital Hollywood Conference, held in New York.

Love called major label contracts unfair and vowed to market and sell her band's next album on the Web. Her major label, Interscope Geffen A&M, has previously taken issue with Love's intentions, having already filed suit earlier this year.

"It's become quite fashionable lately for artists to express their outrage at music piracy," Love said. "I'm a fashionable girl. I thought I'd express my outrage. So, I've kind of studied the issues and I'm proud to join the chorus of artists voicing concern about this. So that there's no confusion, I want to clarify that stealing an artist's music without paying for it is piracy. And I'm talking about major label contracts, not Napster."

Love is currently trying to terminate her band's contract with Geffen, claiming California labor law limits personal service contracts to seven years. Geffen, subsequently, filed a lawsuit in January, claiming Hole still owes the label five more albums. Geffen's lawsuit argues that recording contracts are not personal service agreements and besides, Hole's deal had been extended in 1997.

"I'm leaving the major label system and there are hundreds of artists watching my court case and want to follow me," Love said. "Everybody that I've talked to, from Sheryl Crow to Beck to the Beastie Boys, is excited about this."

She added: "The record companies control marketing and promotion. Being the gatekeeper is the most profitable place to be. But now we're in a world without gates. Digital distribution gives everyone worldwide instant access to music. Filters can replace gatekeepers."

Love appealed to startup Internet companies to help out artists, whom she said have been getting a raw deal from the majors for years.

During her speech, the always controversial singer explained the major label's policies towards artists, detailing how a band makes money, and offering her conclusion that some musicians would have been financially better off working for minimum wage.

"Last November a congressional aid, Mitch Glazier, with the support of the Recording Industry of America, added a technical amendment to a completely unrelated satellite bill," she said. "It was called the Satellite Home Viewing Bill. It defined recorded music as works for hire. He did this after all the hearings on the bill were over. By the time artists found out about the bill it was too late. The bill was on its way to get signed by the president… This change in copyright law will add billions and billions of dollars to record company bank accounts over the next few years, and zero to the artists."

Love was referring to the recent "work-for-hire" bill that has resulted in the major label groups gaining a larger share of artist royalties, she believes. The work-for-hire issue concerns a copyright amendment signed into law in November that could allow record companies to own recordings permanently. Previously, copyrights had extended for 35 years. Because of the controversy it has stirred, the work-for-hire issue is scheduled to be reconsidered by the House Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property next Thursday (5/25).

Rumors that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan had written much of Love's speech for her could not be confirmed at presstime.

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