Metallica Changes Download Tune

Looking forward to Internet possibilities

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The old joke is that Metallica sold out in 45 minutes—not a concert, just sold out. The wicked bass and drums didn’t score any points with purists when the band did a 180 and decided MTV was good for their career after all, nor were any points scored when they went after Napster. Those who know exactly what I’m talking about will also double-take when I tell you the band is cool with online music these days.

That may be because Trent Reznor and Radiohead were able to prove the concept that downloads are good for business.

"We want to be as free a players as possible," Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. "We’ve been observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor and in twenty-seven years or however long it takes for the next record, we’ll be looking forward to everything in terms of possibilities with the Internet."

Fans were less than sympathetic when the band took a stand for art (and for art money) by suing Napster. Fans generally felt Metallica had enough money already and that their unrequited love for the band’s brand of metal shouldn’t be repaid by quashing their ability to share it with others.

The "we love you and want to share you and want to buy concert tickets and t-shirts" argument didn’t fly with the band at the turn of the century, but it only took a few years and a clear demonstration of profitability by Reznor and Radiohead, who both freed their most recent works online, to convince them.

Metallica isn’t alone in its fear of what the Internet means for intellectual property. While Elton John was suggesting the whole thing be shut down (we’re guessing via that giant wireless router as seen on South Park), photographers, artists, writers, and publishers have fretted about losing control of their work. Viacom sued YouTube, publishers sued Google, and the RIAA sued everybody else.

There’s not really an easy solution yet, but models are being created regularly to solidify and understand the value of free on the Internet. 

Metallica Changes Download Tune
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  • mudken

    Lars, James, and Kirk are the biggest money wh*res. They basically shut down napster and quashed the greatest sharing service ever. Good for Jason that he left the band, and had some integrity for the music and the fans.

  • Alex

    Metallica have never been against downloading like this article implies, it was the trading of their copyrighted material that they were against, and I’m 100% behind them about that. Anyone who says they are greedy for protecting the music they create is an uninformed hypocrite. Regardless of the fact that Metallica have allot of money now, they worked for years to get to where they are. Would you work for free? I didn’t think so.

  • Old Time Napster guy

    After Metallica sued Napster I have made a point of sharing every song they they ever recorded with anyone anywhere who cares to have them. Thousands others are doing the same. I encourage everyone to join the fun.

    Pay backs are a bitch!

  • [Soma]

    now napster should rise from the ashes and "shut metallica up"

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