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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

...And Justice on a Halifax Pier

Posted on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 11:42 AM

So to set the record straight, I was a huge Metallica fan. I mean I knew every word, tried to learn as many songs as I could (and can still get my way through the opening parts of "One" with confidence), bought bootlegs, the boxset, even imports that no one had ever heard of. I thought they were king shit. Admittedly, my catalog included MP3s. Never burned them to sell. Never set up a website for profit. Never even so much as kept an MP3 instead of having the album. A used CD store owner had me on speed dial when weird Metallica stuff came in. Owned an Apocalyptica album. I was ankle deep in Metallica fandom.

And then they went after the downloaders...

I agreed with pursuing anyone who profited from downloading. That is stealing. I agreed with wanting a change to the medium where the artists get some input into the changing tide of online music instead of buying full $21 CDs. But suing? Over 600,000 people? Very Rock n' Roll fellas.

I always said that downloading MP3s can do one thing very well: improve your fan base. Guaranteed there is at least one person at the Halifax concert who's never once bought a Metallica CD/DVD/Bluray etc., but because this is their favorite band who never comes to Halifax, they are cheerily shelling out the $99 for grounds tickets; maybe the $199 for VIP backstage passes. Why would they? Because everyday for years at least one Metallica song springs up via their iPod and they fucking worship them.

I thought that my hate for the band would pass, but I admit I took the news of them coming to town much like my cat regards me when I arrive home: "M'eh". Day late and a buck short guys. I don't care. I am happy for them and their enormous success, as I am trying to make it in this industry myself. But the more I think back the ten-ish years when this all came to a head, it sickens me to give them my hard earned money more than ever.

In a video I quote many times, one from "The Charlie Rose Show", where Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Chuck D of Public Enemy are interviewed, Lars is quoted as to say that the concern was that he wanted the control of his art, as he and his bandmates have lost the control of the music's content due to the peer-to-peer company's existence. But where are the lawsuits against libraries? Crackerjack teams hired by Metallica to prevent someone from lending a CD that they just bought to a friend? Pursuing legislation to have control over people bringing CDs to a kitchen party and playing them for a house full of people? Lars is quoted in the interview as saying:

"It's really not, it's not about the money, it's about the control and about the future. The money that's being lost in this revenue; it's pocket change."

And for what? Did this lawsuit aide in any way the control that they sought? Has the downloading of music gone down? Nope, instead it just made us all better at it. Thanks, Metallica.

So for all of those who are buying tickets, have fun and I wish you well. I myself will wait for the rebroadcast on my free Android app "TuneIn Radio" in a free streaming format. And even though they say that they support bootlegs and live recordings of their shows, here's hoping I don't get sued for listening, as for when it comes to Metallica, you never really know. —The Guy at the Metallica Concert Eearing a Napster T-shirt

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