For those of us who remember when Napster was free and good (as opposed to free-ish and not very good at all) here’s is a little reminder about how Metallica treated its fans. Almost 6 years ago Metallica had the dubious honour of being the first music group to sue Napster Inc. a “provider” of free online music. (Quickly followed by Dr Dre btw)
In fact if my maths is right the upcoming Metallica concert in Tallinn, Estonia on 16th June 2006 coincides exactly 6 years ago to the day when their website was hacked and the message “leave Napster alone” was left there.
Now whether or not Metallica’s lawsuit was a cynical PR stunt or borne out of genuine fear of what online music sharing would do to their beer fund I really could not say.
But was it really necessary to sue universities too? e.g. the University of Southern California, Yale University and Indiana University.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said then “it is sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is.”
“From a business standpoint, this is about piracy — aka taking something that doesn’t belong to you — and that is morally and legally wrong.”