COURTNEY BACKS METALLICA STAR

The Hole singer backs Metallica drummer's anti-[/b]Napster[/b] stance but defends fans' right to swap music on the net...

Courtney Love has expressed support for Metallica over their Napster wrangle, saying she believes they are being given too much grief.

Speaking on Hole‘s website, [url=]www.holemusic.com, Love said in a lengthy essay on the state of the music industry and the nature of “piracy” that she felt Metallica were being unfairly put under fire.

But she defended the right of music fans to swap songs over the Internet, saying it should be embraced and encouraged by record companies.

She said: “I will be the first in line to file a class action to protect my copyrights if Napster or even the far more advanced Gnutella doesn’t work with us to protect us. I’m on [Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich‘s side, in other words, and I feel really badly for him that he doesn’t know how to condense his case down to a soundbite… I also think that Metallica is being given too much grief. It’s anti-artist for one thing. An artist speaks up and the artist gets squashed…”

She continued: “It’s not piracy when kids swap music over the Internet using Napster or Gnutella or Freenet or iMesh or beaming their CDs into a my.MP3.com or a MyPlay.com music locker. It’s piracy when those guys that run those companies make side deals with the cartel lawyers and label heads so that they can be ‘the labels’ friend,’ and not the artists’.”

She adds: “Recording artists have essentially been giving away their music for free under the old system, so new technology that exposes our music to a larger audience can only be a good thing. Why aren’t these companies working with us to create some peace? Why aren’t record companies embracing this great opportunity? Why aren’t they trying to talk to the kids passing compilations around to learn what they like?”

She qualified the statements by saying that she hadn’t fully formed her opinions and was not “totally informed” on the issue yet.