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Mark McGrath and the Red Hot Chili Peppers speak out about Napster

Musicians tell EW what they think of the online music swapping service

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Mark McGrath
Ed Geller/Retna Ltd.

DON HENLEY ”Stealing is stealing. The whole antiquated hippie notion about music being free is really an insult to me, because it implies that what I do is not a real job, just a hobby.”

PATTI SMITH ”Metallica suing Napster seems like such a square thing to do.”

DUNCAN SHEIK ”At the end of the day, all of these informational mediums (music, film, books) are going to be free. This injunction is a temporary stopgap. As artists, we’re going to have to find different ways of creating revenue streams for ourselves.”

CHUCK D, PUBLIC ENEMY ”The big record companies ran to the government like a bunch of p—ies. Here’s an industry that once prided itself on basking in the enthusiasm of its fans. Now that the fans have gotten ahold of the technology first, you’re seeing its real colors…. Stopping the process of file sharing is like trying to control the rain.”

MARK McGRATH, SUGAR RAY ”God knows what’s happening with the Internet or with Napster. We are going into uncharted territory right now. This could be the last conventional record we ever make.”

BEN FOLDS, BEN FOLDS FIVE ”I can’t believe Napster might be shut down. Music is for everybody. When people get excited about it, whether from hearing it on the radio, borrowing a record from a friend, or accessing it through Napster, they buy records and come out to shows.”

RONNIE MILSAP ”Now the genie’s out of the bottle. I don’t know how to feel about it as a songwriter. But as a computer user I love it.”

ANTHONY KIEDIS, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ”It’s not for me to decide. That’s between God and technology. As an artist, I’m way more concerned about making good art than the commerce of it.”

Read EW’s A to Z guide on the Napster imbroglio.