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Thursday, 1 March, 2001, 15:10 GMT
Singer Love fights record company
Courtney Love
Love: 'I could end up being the music industry's worst nightmare'
Singer Courtney Love is countersuing her record company Universal in a bid to break her contract and reveal the "repressive and unfair working conditions" of the music industry.

Universal filed a legal action last year, seeking damages for five albums that Love had been contracted to record but refused to make.

Artists who have generated billions of dollars for the music industry die broke and uncared for by the business they made wealthy

Courtney Love

But Love, the widow of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, claims the company has defrauded her and her band Hole out of royalties.

"I'm ready to take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court," she said when filing her case on Wednesday.

"Artists who have generated billions of dollars for the music industry die broke and uncared for by the business they made wealthy," Love added.

A spokesperson for Universal, the world's biggest music company, was not available for comment.

However, a statement made in court papers dismissed Love's suit as "meritless and inflammatory, designed to attract media attention".

Music and legal experts call Love's contract with Universal an industry-standard agreement.


Love's central argument is that long-term record contracts are much longer than the seven-year legal limit operated in other entertainment sectors.

"I'm one in a long line of artists who have tried to break free since the (Universal/PolyGram) merger," she continued.

"Beck, Garbage, Sheryl Crow and others have tried to leave or sue that company and they've all been shut down or threatened."

In 1987, record companies won the right to sue recording artists for damages if the artists do not fulfill their original contract.

Love's lawyer Barry Cappello said that after seven years artists have the legal right to end contracts without repercussions.

Love's complaint also alleges that major labels force impossible-to-fulfill contracts upon artists who have no choice but to sign if they want access to the companies' PR backing.

In an interview with the LA Times, Love said: "I could end up being the music industry's worst nightmare - a smart gal with a fat bank account who is unafraid to go down in flames fighting for a principle."

See also:

06 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Bands launch 'missing' money writ
12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Britney label joins MP3 fray
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's mother could 'drop lawsuit'
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