Illegal file-sharing is probably more popular now than it ever has been, despite all the various attempts to stop it. Before the RIAA had even contemplated suing anyone for the act, Metallica beat them to it, earning themselves a place in the annals of music history in the process. But you know what they say – if you can’t beat them, join them.
Back in the year 2000, which now seems like a lifetime ago, there was a little file-sharing app by the name of Napster sweeping the globe. Until the rock band Metallica got their knickers in a twist and succeeded in getting it shut down.
Here we are nine years later and music piracy is more rampant than ever. Partly thanks to Metallica who forced the whole thing underground and prompted people to design new, less obvious, ways of sharing files with each other over the Internet (BitTorrent anyone?)
Now, in a fit of irony, Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer and the member of the group most vehemently against file-sharing a decade ago, has admitted illegally downloading the band’s new album, Death Magnetic.
According to TorrentFreak, Ulrich admitted the crime in a That Metal Show interview with Eddie Trunk on VH1 Classic. He said:
I sat there myself and downloaded [METALLICA's latest CD] ‘Death Magnetic’ [illegally] from the Internet just to try it. I was like, ‘Wow, this is how it works.’ I figured if there is anybody that has a right to download ‘Death Magnetic’ for free, it’s me. I sat there one night at my house with about six of my friends and a bottle of wine. And what was it called?! [Trying to think of the name of the file-sharing client he used to download the album] We found it — this was like two or three days after ['Death Magnetic'] leaked. I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve gotta try this.’ So we sat there, and thirty minutes later, I had ‘Death Magnetic’ in my computer. It was kind of bizarre.
Lars, you naughty, naughty man. You are now a music pirate – welcome to the real world. Ulrich obviously only admitted to downloading his own group’s album, and it was all a little bit of drunken fun of course. But I do wonder whether Lars was tempted to carry on and get a few more albums while he was at it. After all, file-sharing can be addictive.
Death Magnetic may be Metallica’s album but I’m guessing Warner Brothers Music owns at least some of the rights to it. Metal Martyr ponders on the likelihood of Ulrich being sued by his own record company for blatantly breaking the law and then flagrantly admitting to it. Now that I’d like to see.