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HOLLYWOOD After Olivia de Havilland made 26 films for Warner Bros., she decided enough was enough. Courtney Love made two albums for Geffen Records before she decided to walk away.
Last week, the L.A. Superior Court gave Love the right to file a countersuit against Universal Music Group, which had sued her and her band Hole in January 2000 seeking damages for five undelivered albums after she said she would no longer record for the company.
Love's suit, should it see its way to a judgment in her favor, threatens to revolutionize music industry contracts, allowing stars to move from label to label -- much in the way that de Havilland's 1944 legal battle rocked the studio system and helped create the current situation where, for better or worse, actors are free agents.
Though Love's suit is a long shot, it could become a shot heard around the world.
Most music contracts are written for artists to deliver five to nine albums, depending upon options that the record company picks up.
"The recording industry continues to intimidate artists who try to terminate a …