Edwyn Collins‘ wife and manager Grace Maxwell has criticised major record labels and MySpace for not allowing his massive 1995 hit ‘A Girl Like You’ to be a free download online.
Maxwell detailed her “running battle” with both MySpace and Warner Music Group, who she says are “claiming the ownership” of the song, despite her husband owning the copyright for it – you can read it on her blog at MySpace.
Maxwell said that after writing to MySpace demanding to know why he isn’t able to share the track for free, she was put in touch with a Warner Music Group representative who “promised to get it sorted” some months ago.
She added that “MySpace are not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major can claim a copyright,” and went on to vent her frustration that ‘A Girl Like You’ is being sold elsewhere on the internet rather than being offered for free.
“‘A Girl Like You’ is available for sale all over the internet. Not by Edwyn, by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him,” she wrote. “Attempting to make them cease and desist would use up the rest of my life. Because this is what they do and what they’ve always done.”
Maxwell also wrote about her thoughts on illegal music downloads, coming out in support of file-sharers and shying away from the recent views of the Featured Artists Coalition and artists like Lily Allen.
“Andrew Loog Oldham said that getting ripped off [by the industry] was your entrance fee to the music business of the ’60s, so get over it. He’s right and things have not changed. We are very over it, but nonetheless aware of who the biggest bootleggers around are. It’s not the file-sharers,” she stated. “Personally, we’ve always loved bootlegs.”
Explaining her thoughts on how to best govern file-sharing the internet, Maxwell said she wants users to be able to enjoy music by either paying a small subscription or, if possible, for free.
“Let’s get on with working out a wonderful new way for music lovers to enjoy music for free or for a small subscription that makes it legal and easy to hear anything and allows the artist to reap the rewards of such freedom of access,” she wrote.