No Kid-ding! Kid Rock allows stolen music

June 25, 2008 8:49:42 PM PDT
The long-running discussion about downloading music online has reached a new level, thanks in part to several well-known musicians. We all know you can download hundreds of thousands of songs on iTunes, but if you're a kid rock fan, you're out of luck. The artist has boycotted the music distribution giant and posted a controversial message on his website, a message major record labels probably aren't happy with.

On his website, Kid Rock says "This whole debate on downloading music and stealing music has gone to far, there's record companies suing kids...the kids are right in saying you can steal my music."

Kid Rock goes on to say he's rich enough and so is Apple. That's why on his website in what he calls a "public service announcement", the rebel rocker encourages his fans to illegally download his music instead of paying 99 cents to download songs on iTunes. But Bob Shaughnessy, a D.C. an attorney who represented movie publishers and record labels in a Supreme Court case against illegal file sharing websites, says Kid Rock is out of bounds.

"It's not really up to the artist to say if people can or can't legally download the music because that right belongs to the record label."

And so does most of the money from those downloads. Sports and Entertainment lawyer, Justin Wineburgh says this is less about Kid Rock looking out for his fans and more about his frustration with iTunes.

"He's not making any money from iTunes, you know you download a song from iTunes, the individual artist makes pennies," Wineburgh said.

Kid Rock isn't the first artist to boycott iTunes; ACDC and Garth Brooks are among those who refuse to contribute to the Apple Empire. But the reality is illegal downloading is just that---illegal. And major record labels have had no qualms about suing users who download from illegal sites.

A little over a year ago the Recording Industry Association of America won $220 thousand in damages from a single mother caught sharing 24 songs.

It may sound ridiculous to some, including Kid Rock, but Wineburgh says the record labels have a much different perspective.

"At this point it's because that's within the confines of the law, there's an obligation to enforce the law in the fullest extent possible," Wineburgh said.

Action News contacted Apple but a spokesperson said the company had no comment.