Canada's biggest record label, publisher and management company is helping out a family sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)for copyright infringement.
The privately-owned Nettwerk Music Group is intervening, it says, because the songs downloaded by the Gruebel family include Avril Lavigne, a Nettwerk management client. Nettwerk will fund the Gruebel's defense.
"The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests," said Nettwerk chief executive Terry McBride in a statement.
"Litigation is not 'artist development'. Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love."
Chicago lawyer Charles Lee Mudd will defend the Gruebels.
Mudd said the RIAA has "misapplied" the law and that lawsuits should be a "shield, not a sword".
Maybe things are a'changing. Maybe people realize that the only reason I know of Count the Stars, or would ever listen to Missy Elliott is because of file sharing.
When I had the ability to share music I was very musical, and would stop by CD stores and buy things. Now that I can't share I don't know what is good that is new so I don't even bother looking at CDs anymore.
File sharing helps the music business, it really does.