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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 09:34 GMT
Musicians protest ahead of Grammys
Sheryl Crow will take part in protest concert
Sheryl Crow will take part in protest concert
A group of musicians are planning to protest at "unfair" recording contracts ahead of this week's Grammy Awards.

The stars, led by Eagles lead singer Don Henley and including Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow and the band No Doubt, are planning four protest concerts around Los Angeles.

Artists are the lifeblood of the business. But in this case, it's not something people are going to support

The artists, who have formed a group known as the Recording Artists Coalition (RAC), call the music industry contacts "indentured servitude".

They are calling for a change in the law that allows record companies to keep artists tied to personal contracts for longer than those working in film and television.

The Concerts for Artists Rights are being held the evening before music's royalty gathers in Los Angeles for Wednesday's Grammys, the musical equivalent of the Oscars.

Henley said that the music industry has been taking advantage of singers and artists for years.

Billy Joel backs a change in the law
Billy Joel backs a change in the law
He said: "A recording artist, like any other working person, should be given the ability to seek higher compensation and test his or her value in the open marketplace."

Other artists including Courtney Love and Carole King are backing a new piece of legislation proposed by California state senator Kevin Murray that would overturn the law.

Record company bosses said the law on recording acts is fair because of the massive gamble of distributing unknown and untried artists.


But Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) president Hilary Rosen told the Los Angeles Times that the existing law is fair.

She said: "Artists are the lifeblood of the business. But in this case, it's not something people are going to support."

Last year, country act the Dixie Chicks sued Sony Music for $4m (2.8m), charging "systematic thievery" in the way the label divided profits from their albums.

Courtney Love is also suing to end her contract with Universal.

See also:

14 Nov 01 | New Media
Henley case may boost Napster
06 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Bands launch 'missing' money writ
28 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Courtney sues management
29 Aug 01 | Music
Dixie Chicks sue Sony for $4m
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