In what can only be described as a complete 180 degree turn, Metallica has now said that it wants to share and distribute digital copies of its music. The heavy metal band has been against distributing its music in such a form but has now reached out with an olive branch to its fans and says they can, "expect everything in terms of possibilities with the Internet."
The group has been against file sharing or digital copies of its music because back in 2000 it found a copy of its song "I Disappear" on Napster and soon found that its entire catalog of music was available as well. Of course, that was unacceptable and sued the now defunct file sharing network for copyright infringement.
That suit was settled in 2001 and Napster agreed to identify and block access to files that artists did not want shared. Not that it matters because Napster as it was no longer exists.
As the record industry and artists alike come to the realization that DRM is not the way of the future things are starting to look a little better.
Metallica says that it has been "observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor" as part of this move.
According to ZeroPaid, Metallica said in an interview with Rolling Stone,
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.
So, it’s not about the downloading, it’s about who is controlling it. Well, why wasn’t that just said in the first place? All this beating around the bush is enough to drive one insane.