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Metallica Now Embraces File-Sharing?

Metallica Now Embraces File-Sharing?

New interview says that they’ve been “observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor,” and that for its next album fans can expect “everything in terms of possibilities with the Internet.”

It was back in 2000 that Metallica discovered a demo of its song “I Disappear,” which was supposed to be released in combination with the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, was receiving radio airplay. Tracing the source of the leak, the band found that the song was available on Napster, the long defunct P2P network. It also found that the band’s entire catalogue was available as well. Soon thereafter it sued Napster for copyright infringement and became one of the most vocal critics of file-sharing.

The lawsuit was eventually settled in 2001, and under terms of the settlement, Napster agreed to identify and block access to files that artists like Metallica do not want shared.

It was their case against Napster that really made Metallica the face of file-sharing critics and really incensed a lot of their fans who couldn’t understand how a band that had already made millions was concerned with making millions more. It became the poster boy for greedy artists everywhere and caused many to turn their backs on the band that had turned it’s on them.

In any event, they seem to have come full circle these days with news that its fight was “never about downloading per se,” and that it has been closely “…observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor.”

Say what?

Perhaps sensing that the ubiquitous record store is a thing of the past, even conducting the interview with Rolling Stone at a “Record Store Day,” an event designed to celebrate physical music retailers, in northern California, it has even decided to make digital music for sale.

From the interview:

RS: You were one of the first artists to sue over copyright infringement and voice concerns over aspects of downloading. Eight years later, with bands like Radiohead embracing the Net and yet charting, how has your stance changed, if at all?

M: We have FLACs and MP3s for sale. It was never about downloading per se. We have the Vault where you can download shows from twenty years ago for free, full-on and it’s been there for years. You can download recent shows days after they happen for cost. Back in the day there was a much bigger question about “on whose terms?” We said, “Wait a minute, it should be about the artist.” Then all hell broke loose and we sat on the sidelines for a while. We’ve always been fiercely independent and controlling; sometimes to a fault. That’s why we exist and why all these people show up.

RS: Like a 360 deal with Live Nation?

M: Mmm, we’ve never sold ourselves that way. No disrespect. We want to be as free a players as possible. 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.

Metallica then goes on to stress its “independence” by noting that its latest album, due later this year and whose name I can’t seem to find, is the last it has under contract with Warner Records. After this it will be “… looking at how we can embrace everything.”

“We want to be as free a players as possible,” they continue in the interview.”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.”

So does this mean it now embraces file-sharing? It could be, and it could be that maybe, just maybe it was “…never about downloading per se” in the first place. I think what the honest truth is is that finally it realizes that CDs and cassettes are a thing of the past and that digital music is the format of the future.

The real question for them is then how do you distribute and make money from it? With record companies and retailers like Apple taking a lion’s share of the profits it’s only natural to conclude that a business model like Radiohead’s or Trent Reznor’s is the way to go. I mean if you’re only making 10 cents on the dollar for each track or album sold then couldn’t you just as easily charge fans 10 cents per track or 1 dollar for an album and still come out ahead? It’s not rocket science to make a profit here.

Unfortunately for Metallica it may be just too late to try and bring back angry former fans. The damage has been already been done and the band still doesn’t show any signs of sympathy or remorse for years of overpriced albums affecting “loyal fans” like NIN did.

Either way, welcome back Metallica it’s been far too long, and I’m posting the video for “One” as a tribute.

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
Jeff Roberts
Jeff Roberts

Four years later, still, fuck them. Everyone that considers themselves a Metallica "fan" should start calling themselves a Metallica "consumer" and maybe that'll help wean you off their brand-name. Flush these turds.

Signa
Signa

oh man now this ruins Weird Al's song "Don't Download This Song"One of my favorite lines is "even Lars Ulrich knows it's wrong"It just won't be the same knowing that its not how he feels anymore.

TESHIRO
TESHIRO

WTF I still won't buy their music.

lion7718
lion7718

Someone should sue metallica for releasing songs on the Internet.......they can Bite Me

Tic3
Tic3

metallica haven't been musically relevant for a very long time. Their last few releases weren't even worth a free download.

mephitic
mephitic

ha ha metallica can bit my fat hairy sack.

mercury049
mercury049

From the bottom of my heart... F*CK metallica.

Drugshovel
Drugshovel

Sounds like desperation to me. They haven't done anything worth a shit in quite some time. I think it is a little late to try damage control now.

zweites
zweites

They have further embraced the idea that they are still significant.Seriously I recall them suing a wheel company because they named a model "The metallica". I consider that to be sort of disheartening but at the same time I never really cared about their penchant for lawsuit abuse and douchebaggery. If the music was there.The music hasn't been there for a LOOOOOOONG time.

IMREBARLOW
IMREBARLOW

I wrote the one above share you input if you like. Thanks. [email protected]

IMREBARLOW
IMREBARLOW

One thing I meant to mention. If the upcoming metallica cd or download is SUPER DUPER GREAT SPECTACULAR they'll gain most of their old fans back and even some new ones! Everyone is attracted to anything great whether it's a great looking girl boy song movie. If you want to hold a grudge against Lars for the rest of your life then you need a lot of help! LOL. Try not taking sides but look at the BIG PICTURE. Music is a business and if they put out a kickass cd with Rick Rubin (he is just about the best producer) then they deserve it.

Axerage
Axerage

What hypocrites!! They were just as blind as the record companies and now with their tail between their legs they come to the internet table looking for a piece of the pie that they originally fought hard against.Unbelievable!I for one would completely boycott these morons!

methodz
methodz

You have to admit if you had the paycheck they're used you you'd want to keep it... But maybe I have that perspective because I haven't lost money in 10 years and because I was probably listening to metallica when you were in diapers LOL...

Spurge
Spurge

I don't know. They've really damaged their image. It's going to take a lot to get back onside with the public. They would be better off just admitting they were stupid and wrong and want to make a fresh start with their fans. Even then I think it's going to be hard for them.

muffenme
muffenme

The main thing is that they changed.If you like their music no matter what they say or do you should still like the music.Today i still listen to metallica last CD and I still like it.

Undertoad
Undertoad

You still listen to metallica last what?metallica has educated their fans not to download music and turned away those who do.The comeuppance is now. muffenme won't be downloading the next product from the web site. muffenme will be waiting for the release at a store that sells round shiny discs. metallica will make less money and get less promotion and will become even more irrelevant.

pandoraenima1
pandoraenima1

metallica used to be one of my fav bands...old plates i still lissen to anyday..but when this whole file sharing thing started...well hey can't blame them if they thought that without the CD sales they wouldn't have champagne filled swimming pool...but the way they are making it sound its like as if they supported file sharing from the word go...that is some gaytallica shit...i remember their vehement opposition against file sharing and stuff...but i guess they have (the cool dude) trent reznor to change their minds about it....lets see how well they can change the minds of their fans...cause i know so many people that are well pissed of...

MaryJayne2769
MaryJayne2769

I am glad that metallica is going digital download for their future albums. That is just one less player in the Record Industry's hands.I for one will not be downloading their music. In my opinion they started to suck once they released Load or Reload or whatever the name of that poor album was.As for their change of mind on their views of digital downloads I think they already did their damage and probably wont be getting a lot of support from digital downloaders. Their music may catch on again but doubtful.

IMREBARLOW
IMREBARLOW

Lars Ulrich writes music and rightfully should be paid ever cent that he earned. All you little kids out there will someday realize that nothing should be free you should work for what you want to own. Stealing is wrong...meaning file sharing my songs when I didn't authorize you to do so. you don't go buy a pie and then let people steal slices from it do you?? Everyone all of a sudden think music should be free. Steal one of my songs and I'll sue every one of you!!! I own all your cars and houses by the time I'm done. There are copyrights to music. Lars Ulrich should have sued you for the recording producer engineer mastering publishing costs. In addition all his time and any other expense or damages he incurred because of you. You think you real smart let's go to court and let's play!! I'll get the best lawyer and charge you for stealing sharing and distributing my music. The only people that will disagree with what I'm saying here...ARE THE ONES IN DENIAL OF STEALING MUSIC VIDEOS ETC.

Van655321
Van655321

I've always liked Metallica, and probably always will. I really don't care that they sued napster. I download their music, I use bittorrents, napster is a freaking dinosaur and we needed to get out of the stoneage. There's nothing any artist can ever do to take music away from their fans since file sharing in and of itself is not illegal, people are always going to find a way to not pay for music.

That Guy
That Guy

Look, Metallica are...... douche bags. However, they are my third favorite band. (My first two are much more genuine.) I understand their problem with file sharers. They want to be in control. I get that. However, they don't need to go APE SHIT on them and make a scene. How did that end up for them? The fans who made them who they are today are the ones who took the flack.Jump in the Fire is amazing. All Nightmare Long is amazing. If someone wants to download these and show them to their friends, Metallica won't be losing business. Maybe they learned that.(I'm listening to Load now)



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