Britney Spears, Elton, Eminem, the Dixie Chicks, Madonna and Sheryl Crow are among more than 90 artists of every genre participating in a proactive educational campaign organised by the Music United For Strong Internet Copyright Coalition (MUSIC) to combat illegal music downloading.
Illegal downloading is taking its toll on CD sales and, in the process, threatening the entire music industry, according to MUSIC. CD shipments dropped seven percent in the first half of this year, after already having fallen more than five percent in 2001.
The campaign opened on September 26, 2002, with full-page adverts in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as publications aimed at policymakers such as Roll Call.
The ad asks in large bold print, "Who Really Cares About Illegal Downloading?" It provides the answer to that question with statements for a diverse list of artists, including this week's Mercury Music award winner Missy Elliott, Sting, Phil Collins, Luciano Pavarotti, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Natalie Cole.
In coming weeks, many artists will be seen and heard in a series of television and radio spots imploring fans to put a stop to the tidal-wave of illegal downloading. In addition, messages from artists are also displayed at the organization's new website www.musicunited.org