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Lawsuit: Metallica v. Yale University

By evro in News
Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 09:15:34 AM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)

Well this is a sad day for me. One of my favorite bands, Metallica, is suing Napster, University of Southern California, Yale University, and Indiana University for -- surprise, surprise -- pirated music. Wired's got the story. Metallica now has the dubious distinction of being the first band to file suit over MP3s.

<rant type="opinionated">

I don't think Metallica sold out when they cut their hair. I mean, come on, it's just hair. However, I realized Metallica sold out the day I first saw them in an ad for ArtistDirect.com. This suit takes them down several more notches on the coolness ladder IMO. While I don't like his music, Chuck D's opinions are way cooler. I mean, of all the bands to be bitching... Metallica is probably one of the richest bands around. They need more money? Grr.

I currently own Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, ...And Justice For All, and Metallica (aka the Black Album). I own all of these because I heard a couple of songs on them on MP3 first. I heard "For Whom The Bell Tolls," and said, damn, I need that album! And I was pleasantly rewarded with a great album. Same story with the rest of them (well, maybe not Justice... but I still like it). If not for these illegal MP3s, Metallica wouldn't have my money today. So who is the real winner with MP3? Metallica gets money and I get albums I know I like. If not for MP3, Metallica and I would probably never have crossed paths.

Some people will never learn, I suppose.



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Lawsuit: Metallica v. Yale University | 23 comments (23 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I remember hearing Hetfield say, an... (none / 0) (#1)
by Zer0 on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 01:53:22 AM EST

Zer0 voted 1 on this story.

I remember hearing Hetfield say, and i quote "We dont give a fuck when asked what they thought about mp3s. This is indeed a sad day.

This strikes to the heart of the in... (none / 0) (#3)
by ramses0 on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 02:01:22 AM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

This strikes to the heart of the internet/digital music issue. Advertising is good. Samples of music are good. What all the record companies need to do is give away the entire album at 64k MP3 (make that the standard "free" format), and make you pay for the CD, or pay for 160 or 192k versions of the MP3.

If you're happy with 64k, then fine. If you really like the album, you'll probably buy it for the better sound-quality. But because it's still waaaaay easier to sample an artist's music through "unofficial" channels, the music industry will be forever hindered by it.

[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

Re: This strikes to the heart of the in... (none / 0) (#13)
by gnuchris on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 11:25:45 AM EST

This is one of the best solutions I have ever earned... Please write a full length article, describing your ideas, and maybe we can get it out to the mainstream.
"He had alot to say, He had alot of nothing to say" -TOOL-
[ Parent ]
Re: This strikes to the heart of the in... (none / 0) (#17)
by Nyarlathotep on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 02:28:11 PM EST

Actually, this could be very effective at preventing piracy since 90% of the available mp3s would be low quality (you could also release haigh quality mp3s that were diffrent and/or shorter mixes), but the music industry will not do this for one simple reason: it breaks their monopoly of music promotion and artists could promote themselves without signing their lives away. Remember the industry's profits depend on the artists not getting a big cut.

The only way I can see the RIAA accepting something like would be for Napster to sell the industry control over what music people find when they do a search (assuming Napster has a psedo-monopoly of online music). This is why it is so importent to get good scalable distributed Gnutella-like programs developed.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]

Re: This strikes to the heart of the in... (none / 0) (#19)
by ramses0 on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 04:54:34 PM EST

RIAA would still have control over their artists... just think: "what do you mean they're not on www.riaa.com/bandname"

It's no different than if a "hip new band" went out and got www.newbandname.com and started giving away their MP3's.

The idea of giving away 64k mp3's isn't to flood the market with low quality mp3's, but rather to institute a system (controlled by the riaa) which directly competes with the likes of napster.

Napster wins over searching through ftp sites or link-farms because Napster has everything, and it's always available.

The only way to "stamp out" Napster is to
1) Provide everything
2) make it always available

The RIAA has the ability (but not the foresight) to do this.

[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: This strikes to the heart of the in... (none / 0) (#24)
by locutus074 on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 10:21:04 AM EST

People seem to forget about IRC. :) Screw Napster, IRC has a much better selection, IMO.

I tend to think of Napster as IRC (such as #mp3cafe on the Undernet) packaged in a pretty interface with easier searching, for the masses.

The RIAA, even if they put Napster out of business, are still sunk. If they're able to squash Gnutella, what are they going to do? Shut down all the IRC servers? And how many lifetimes from now is that likely to happen? :)
"If you haven't gotten where you're going,
you aren't there yet." --George Carlin
[ Parent ]

I've got those albums too! Master ... (none / 0) (#6)
by FlinkDelDinky on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 02:45:52 AM EST

FlinkDelDinky voted 0 on this story.

I've got those albums too! Master of Puppets is my favorite of the bunch. If I recall there's an instramental called Orion, maybe on Master or Ride the Lightening that I really enjoyed.

It doesn't really surprise me though. Entertainment is a business. It's their music, their property, not ours, not like Linux.

Isn't that why those of us passionate about Linux/gpl are passionate? Metallica has done some cool songs. However, they choose not to consider free MP3 distribution as advertisements for their concerts so be it. I mean how much is 100,000+ x $15 anyway?

I never go to conserts. I'm an INTP! If I feel like it I'll learn to make my own music, orchestrate a grand tour, get bored and do something else instead. :-)

Metallica are crap now, although th... (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by hattig on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 05:28:27 AM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

Metallica are crap now, although their old music was pretty good. Not as good as Slayer though. Slayer rock.

Oh, yeah, mp3s. It was bound to happen - aging fading rock band starts seeing its end, starts suing left right and center for piracy - even suing the carriers of the pirated music (just like that AOL case in Germany - lets see how America reacts to this). Bet they are miffed that Tom Jones released a 'Reload' album too...

We need an independent poll on whether people who listen to mp3's buy less music as a result. If it wasn't for mp3's of marginalised music, then I wouldn't buy anything, as I wouldn't know about it! Radio is no good because they only play the top 50 popular songs on repeat now - this is replacing Radio for many people and letting the user write the playlist.

This should make artists put more good songs on a CD - to make it really worth buying. MP3 just allows us to listen before buying, or store our CD collections in a convenient location.

Re:Buying CDs based on mp3s.. (none / 0) (#16)
by driph on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 02:17:40 PM EST

Most of the CD purchases I've made in the last couple years have been based off hearing a few mp3s and deciding, "hey, I like these guys."

Another group that has released a ton of stuff online is Front Line Assembly/Delerium/several other Leeb and Fulber projects. Lots of great FLA & various ambient style tunes on their site..

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

All my CDs are from mp3s (none / 0) (#21)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 12:41:35 AM EST

In the last year or so, I have purchased a total of maybe two CDs.  That I
learned about from mp3s.   Before that the last CD I bought was something I got
from the library first.  And before that I hadn't personally purchased any
music CDs ever, all I had were gifts and what I borrowed from friends and
library.  I now have about 5 artists I have an eye on buying all of which I
learned about or found out they were good through getting their mp3s.

So Metallica and RIAA can shove it as far as I'm concerned.  And Metallica
actually has kinda good music, too bad I might've bought them if this hadn't
happened--just like how I used to shop at Amazon.com.

[ Parent ]
This could counter a common argumen... (none / 0) (#11)
by SDrifter on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 05:44:45 AM EST

SDrifter voted 1 on this story.

This could counter a common argument that has been floating around in defense of MP3: "The artist is the victim of the RIAA and not MP3s, since they make very little money off of their recordings." Well, now that an artist has sued, supposedly by their own initiative, and the possibility of other artists following suit is made real, how long can this argument last now?
It burns!!!
It's loaded with wasabi!

+sigh+ ... (none / 0) (#8)
by pwhysall on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 06:28:05 AM EST

pwhysall voted 1 on this story.


I expected better than this of Metallica.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

I'm interested to see people's opin... (none / 0) (#10)
by jrennie on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 07:09:14 AM EST

jrennie voted 1 on this story.

I'm interested to see people's opinions on this one.

I personally don't see anything wrong with Metallica suing over pirated music. We all know that there is a hell of a lot of pirating going on. Sure, there's some fair-and-legal copying going on, but you can't tell me that Napster became an overnight craze because everyone wanted to exchange all of the songs that they've created. There are two major issues here, making money off of music and digital freedom. They both with their own merit, but the state of the internet makes it difficult for both ideas to live in harmony. Some blood (money in 21st century speak) needs to be spilled before the lines between the two can be drawn...

Jason Rennie

Re: I'm interested to see people's opin... (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 03:05:16 AM EST

I think what many people are upset about, is that Metallica has always had a "Fuck the system" type of attitude, you know, "fuck lawyers, fuck politicians.." etc. When Metallica uses lawyers to sue many people who just appear to be fans using this music for personal reasons, it kills the whole attutude that the early Metallica seemed to have. (Maybe they've always thought this way, just not expressed it?) I think an interesting question to asks the members of Metallica, is, what Cliff Burton would think of how they are acting. (Cliff was Metallicas original bassist, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1987.) As a man who was killed before Metallica truely hit the big time, I think his words would be something like, "Dudes, you guys are suing your fans and schools? you fucking suck." But that's what I think. I for one, am incredibly disappointed in how Metallica is acting, and will never go to their shows, or purchase another CD from them. Sorry for the rant, just trying to let you know how I feel.

[ Parent ]
sure the various world vs napster s... (none / 0) (#9)
by djzoot on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 07:13:36 AM EST

djzoot voted -1 on this story.

sure the various world vs napster suites are interesting because of their techoculture effects and motivations, but my (-1) comes from:

  • this particular post needs a bit of editing (as does the *cough* wired article)
  • there's not a discussion opener here as much an an opinion ...
  • some more depth would be nice, ie: do the actual members of this band really involve themselves in legal proceedings? i doubt it ... whoever owns the name of Metallica (Electra?) is paying a lawyer to do this because they wanna give the RIAA support (imho) ...

*shrug*, -rob
There is no K5.
They have a right to defend themsel... (none / 0) (#12)
by angelo on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 07:45:42 AM EST

angelo voted 1 on this story.

They have a right to defend themselves against piracy, sellouts or not. At least they are artists and not a label going after blood. Nothing worse than a label fighting for their cut, and the band getting nought.

This is an interesting one. I'm not... (none / 0) (#5)
by Emacs on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 08:39:38 AM EST

Emacs voted 1 on this story.

This is an interesting one. I'm not sure how the napster people can be held at fault. Sheesh... you might as well sue the the guys who invented tcp/ip too.

Re: This is an interesting one. I'm not... (none / 0) (#15)
by rongen on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 02:07:35 PM EST

Yeah, that's always been my beef as well... It's just another way to find and exchange files. The reason people are freaking is because it specifically targets the music industry. Also because of it's specificity Napster is a good target for law suits, etc. But with open source Napster servers and clients (plus Gnutella, Wrapster, etc) it's going to be really hard to stop this even if they DO succeed in nailing napster.com to the wall.
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]

Maybe they do need money. Who know... (none / 0) (#2)
by joeyo on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 08:53:49 AM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

Maybe they do need money. Who knows. It's always the first thought through my head when I see a celebrity on Hollywood Squares or an NFL quarterback in a commercial: ...must be short on cash...

Sell out, with me oh yeah
Sell out, with me tonight
Record companies gonna give me lotsa money
And everythings gonna be al-right

-- Reel Big Fish

"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

You know I was planning to get the ... (none / 0) (#7)
by kraant on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 08:58:20 AM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

You know I was planning to get the black album... but now I won't... Mettalica can consider me one lost customer :P

And Public Enemy has special dispention from god despite it being formative hip hop. Since it

  1. They are politicaly motivated and rebellious with a purpose (Punk Rock Points +1)
  2. And use sampling wierd noises and voices imaginatively as well as having some very interesting beats (Industrial Points +1)

Heh I guess I'll be buying a public enemy album soon

daniel - who believes karma sometimes needs a little assistance
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Re: You know I was planning to get the ... (none / 0) (#23)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 03:08:37 AM EST

I am with you. I'm not going to pick up Metallicas new S&M record, but looking for local bands to support.

[ Parent ]
Re: Lawsuit: Metallica v. Yale University (none / 0) (#14)
by CodeWright on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 12:29:59 PM EST

Maybe the members of Metallica just haven't had the time/inclination to become educated about MP3's and the issues surrounding them. Perhaps if they understood the role that MP3's play in generating real CD sales, they would be more favorably disposed.

I know that I probably wouldn't have the appreciation I _do_ have for their music if it had not been for MP3's. I own many of their albums on CD because I first heard their songs on MP3. Neither MTV, nor radio stations these days play much music beyond the latest N'Sync type knock-off.

A fan-letter campaign addressed to Metallica might educate them....

A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

I've bought albums because of MP3s (none / 0) (#20)
by ebunga on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 05:08:33 PM EST

For myself, I must say that Napster, and other places that have MP3s available has really turned me on to some artists. Sure, there are MP3s that I have, that I don't have the album, and never intend on purchasing the album. Mostly because the rest of the songs on the album are crap, or I don't like the artist enough to buy their album.

As for Metallica suing Napster and several univerisities, that is just plain wrong. What's next? Suing Compaq for making PCs? How about the manufacturer of PC speakers? Why not sue Cisco, since their routers power much of the Internet? Oh, and since Napster runs on Win95/98, I think that suing Microsoft would be good as well. Sorry Metallica, your law suit is quite lame. Welcome to The Schmuck List.

Lawsuit: Metallica v. Yale University | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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