Jon Schaffer Says Iced Earth "Had Nothing To Do With" Catalog Being Pulled From Spotify

If you haven't been keeping up with this story, the short version is that Century Media Records has decided to pull their catalog from the streaming music service Spotify, citing looking out for their bands' best interests.

You can read Spotify's response here.

Now, guitarist Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth -- who are currently signed to Century Media -- has issued the following statement regarding the label's decision to pull their catalog from Spotify:

"A lot of fans have contacted us regarding Century Media's decision to pull all of its bands from Spotify," Schaffer said. "I want our fans to know that we had nothing to do with that decision.

"We understand Century Media's position. The music industry has been deeply and irrevocably affected by illegal downloading on the Internet. I understand that all too well. In fact, all professional musicians today understand that. But Spotify is one of the most important developments in music I've seen in quite awhile. It allows fans to search for music from bands all over the world — sometimes rare, impossible-to-find, or out-of-print music. They hear it, decide they like it, and seek it out to buy it from a variety of sources — legal sources like iTunes, Amazon, or Amazon Marketplace.

"That's a good thing. Stealing music is not. But sampling it on Spotify — which is legal and highly regarded worldwide — is not stealing it.

"If it were up to me, I'd put Iced Earth's music back on Spotify. But I also have to respect the wishes of Century Media, our record label. They're only trying to protect the best interests of their bands.

"So, I ask fans of Iced Earth to be respectful as well. Maybe additional dialogue with Century Media will change their minds. In the meantime, let's all just agree to disagree on this one and wait to see what the future holds."

What do you guys/girls think? Is Century really looking out for their bands, or are they just trying to avoid devaluing a product that we all love? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.