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Metallica May Follow In Footsteps of Radiohead, NIN 673

Posted by Soulskill
from the reconsidering-the-options dept.
fireheadca writes "Metallica, once strongly opposed to file-sharing, has hinted at going 'free' in the style of NIN and Radiohead. Having heard success stories about releasing music online, Metallica has decided it wants a piece of the action. Radiohead, as a pioneer of online 'pay what you want' music, has shown the world it is possible to profit by releasing music online, but would not post those profits. NIN, on the other hand, has reported at least $1.6 million in revenue. In hindsight, many people remember Metallica as the band that helped shutdown Napster. I purchased the NIN album, after many years of free downloads of the NIN collection, to help support the band. Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?"
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Metallica May Follow In Footsteps of Radiohead, NIN

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  • Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?

    No. They totally missed the point before, and it sounds like now they're just trying to latch on to an idea that helped others. The point of being a musician, or another kind of artist, is to share the art, not to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with expecting to make some money off of it, but that should not be the focus.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:51AM (#23214436) Homepage Journal
      I couldn't agree more. Too little, too late, I say. A bit like how MS decided the Internet wasn't going to be anything major and focused on proprietary MSN which never really became a market leader. Metallica not only picked the wrong model, they behaved atrociously to their fans on top of it.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:55AM (#23214476) Journal
        And besides, Metallica hasn't put out a decent album in the better part of 20 years. Why would anyone want to pay for their crap, or even listen to it for free?
      • If they apologize. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MacDork (560499) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:34PM (#23214846) Journal
        To err is human. If they've seen the error of their ways, then I would reconsider them. They would need to do more than say "I'm sorry" though... They'd need to actively work against the copyright regime they helped create. 1997 NET Act made copyright infringement without profit motive a criminal offense. That's a first and is due in no small part to Metallica. They helped create a whole new class of "criminal" and they have to atone for that mistake. If they only post their music, they can keep it... If they post the music, along with an open letter to Congress requesting the radical alteration and/or repeal of recent copyright legislation like the NET Act or the DMCA, then I would consider spending my money with them.
        • by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:48PM (#23214964) Journal
          If they post the music, along with an open letter to Congress requesting the radical alteration and/or repeal of recent copyright legislation like the NET Act or the DMCA, then I would consider spending my money with them.

          Open letters to Congress don't mean nearly as much as professional lobbying, I would much rather see a Metallica team up with other musicians (perhaps Radiohead and NIN) to form a "Fans are not Criminals" political action committee and have a PAC contribution option with every download.
        • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:52PM (#23214996) Homepage Journal

          To err is human. If they've seen the error of their ways...
          I think its more likely that they saw the green.
        • Napster wasn't some open source community thingy. It was a commercial company, they made loads of money from advertisements. Essentially they were selling music online, without asking the artists in question for permission.

          Iirc, Metallica were pissed off after they heard some unfinished and unreleased studio demos of themselves on the radio, and after inquiring what was up with that, found out the radio station get the demos off Napster.

          I never found their reaction to napster very unreasonable. Sharing musi
      • by msormune (808119) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:22PM (#23216270)
        It's not really true saying they picked the wrong model, as their albums HAVE sold pretty well always... it's not like these guys have to try something new, they're loaded. And reloaded :)
    • by Macthorpe (960048) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:01PM (#23214530) Journal

      No. They totally missed the point before, and it sounds like now they're just trying to latch on to an idea that helped others. The point of being a musician, or another kind of artist, is to share the art, not to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with expecting to make some money off of it, but that should not be the focus.
      At the same time, if you're trying to push that viewpoint to the masses as the way music should be, would it not be pragmatic to support them?

      Yes, they were dickheads before, but if they're really going to shift to this business model that's a fucking big name endorsing it.
      • by darkcatalyst (989389) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:47PM (#23214956)
        Their "big name" is so tarnished that it would be more harm than boon if they were to hop on the bandwagon. Not to mention that their music has been on the decline since Master of Puppets. I think Alex Skolnick said it best about St. Anger:

        "There is no unity or cohesiveness to the songs. Some of them are downright funny, as if 'Saturday Night Live' was doing a skit making fun of them. This album represents what they are now: a sloppy mess. And the heart of the matter is that this is not a good METALLICA album. I speak only as a fan. Sure, it's noisy and angry but something is seriously missing. It seems to represents a decline in the standards of this modern day and age, when we are bombarded with so much information we forget what true quality is."

        Ouch.
      • The biggest political breakthroughs come when the most vocal opponents of something signal to their compatriots and followers that it's OK now. Only Nixon can go to China [wikipedia.org]. Rejecting Metallica on the grounds of their past attitude could only serve to shut that breakthrough down and solidify the opposition. Punishing Metallica just when they've implicitly issued a mea-culpa could only be counter productive. Signaling reconciliation, generosity, and forgiveness at this point will do more to further the caus
      • by patro (104336) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @01:39PM (#23215386) Journal
        I don't think Metallica will be much help in this. The release for free and people will pay for it model is a fad, I think.

        People pay becase NIN and Radiohead were the pioneers of this.

        If everyone goes this way then people will take it for granted and they won't pay for it.

        Some of them will, of course, but much fewer people than in the introductory phase of this business model.

        Pepople pay now, because it makes them look cool, but will they do it in the long run?
    • by MightyYar (622222) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:01PM (#23214532)

      The point of being a musician, or another kind of artist, is to share the art, not to make a profit.
      I take a more pragmatic view. If I liked Metallica's music, I would probably buy their album. My goal is to ruin the big record companies, and the best way to do this is make their biggest sellers jump ship. For that reason, I wish any big act success in going out on their own, no matter what their rationale or motivation.

      Why do I want to ruin the big record companies? In my view, it is one of the only ways to bring sanity back to the copyright picture. As long as these guys are around to pump money into congress, we little folks don't stand a chance. I fear we might have to do the same to Hollywood if they don't wise up.
    • by palewook (1101845)
      agreed. the way the band acted about mp3s in the past means I would never touch official metallica mp3s now. even when they tried to get the Camp Chaos Metallica, napster bad parody stuff removed was lame. (and not the encoded lame). if you havent seen the flash animations dealing with the whole napster thing: http://tinyurl.com/6xes8o [tinyurl.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vellmont (569020)

      The point of being a musician, or another kind of artist, is to share the art, not to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with expecting to make some money off of it, but that should not be the focus.

      I can't believe this got modded so highly. Share the art? Are you serious?

      I'm sure there's bands out their that care deeply about the "art". There's also bands that just want to make a lot of money, screw some some girls, and party. Don't try to shoehorn all bands into the "share the art" category. You do
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Irish_Samurai (224931)
        One is an artist, the other is a rock star.

        Once your focus is on the money, you are a rock star. If you carefully craft a piece of art to have the greatest appeal to a target, you no longer get to tout the moniker artist and have anyone take you seriously.

        I personally have no preconceptions that one is inherently better than the other, but there is a distinct difference that should be realized.
        • by Vellmont (569020) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:21PM (#23214736)

          One is an artist, the other is a rock star.

          I'll never understand these strange semantic games people like to play. The distinction is really a value judgement, and nothing else. If you want to care about that kind of thing, that's fine. The only thing I really care about is what each actually does, which is produce music.

          Are you really trying to argue that Metallica is an "artist", and their former napster suing behavior is in violation of their "artist nature"? If that's your argument, I give up. We might as well be arguing whether chocolate ice cream is better, or strawberry.
    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:14PM (#23214664) Homepage
      I have to disagree with you there. It is precisely because they want to make better profits that this "turn" should be endorsed and supported.

      Metallica was acting as the RIAA's puppet, brainwashed into thinking this is how they should 'protect their own profits.' But now that they have seen that perhaps the RIAA has been protecting its own profits and the expense of the groups' earning potential, it is one less nail in the coffin of musical art.

      Let's not forget that Metallica supported "the dark side" but instead use it as evidence of the real dark side's failing business model. If Metallica can turn, they can all turn. Before long, there may be several bands with names like "The artists formerly known as..."

      If Metallica fails in trying to get free, it will serve as a sign that other artists and bands should not stray from the comfortable dark place they exist in now.
    • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:17PM (#23214698) Homepage Journal
      Its called 'selling out'. They sold out decades ago. Now that they realize they screwed up with the napster shut down assist, and participated in making the p2p market what it is today they want to capitalize on it as complete 2 faced hypocrites.

        I still think that if the RIAA hadn't gone after napster, with the help of bands like metallica p2p would have never made it into the mainstream and become what we know it as today. They CREATED the problem the industry is having today due to their shortsighted holier then thou attitudes. They shouldn't be allowed to participate in it now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AikonMGB (1013995)

      Exactly. Metallica has already shown to the music-going world what they think of their customers and fans, and many aren't likely to forget that.

      Trent Reznor's efforts are incredibly successful because he shows the utmost respect for his fans.

      Aikon-

    • by Lunarsight (1053230) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @01:23PM (#23215270) Homepage
      No way.

      They were one of the first bands to bellyache about pirated music. Lars cried a river over the issue.

      They fell from grace, and kept right on falling.

      They can rot in hell for all I care. I'll never buy, download, or listen to another Metallica album again.

    • by cliffski (65094) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @01:23PM (#23215282) Homepage
      said by someone who presumably has a day job that pays the bills. Why is it ok for some people to have high paid jobs in IT, or sales or law, and enjoy listening to music thats free, whereas the people who actually make the music are forbidden from earning the money generated by their work?
      is this some way you are dreaming up to 'punish' people whose talent happens to be making music rather than configuring routers? I don't see why people split society in two halves., the 'creative' types who are forced to work for free (or low wages) to entertain the rest of society, who apparently can happily enjoy all the fruits of capitalism and be rich as hell.

      Take a look at the UKs sunday times rich list (1,000 richest people in the UK). hardly any of them are musicians, yet the internet mentality is to treat the musicians who make money as evil capitalist scum, but the guy who is a multi billionaire from making milk cartons gets buy with just a slap on the back and a thumbs up.

      I'd buy metallicas album if I wanted to own it. Whether they are penniless or billionaires doesn't affect my enjoyment of it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jackbird (721605)
        There are plenty of musical jobs besides 'rock star' that pay the bills.
      • Why is it ok for some people to have high paid jobs in IT, or sales or law, and enjoy listening to music thats free, whereas the people who actually make the music are forbidden from earning the money generated by their work?
        Being an artist has ALWAYS been a great way to live your life and a crap way to earn a living. This is not an accident. Art has very little practical value: it doesn't catch fish, or keep you out of the rain, or keep you warm, or protect your family. Art makes you happy, and (man-made) happiness is always bought with disposable income.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)

      The point of being a musician, or another kind of artist, is to share the art, not to make a profit.
      Are you saying that "artists" should not expect to profit from their work? What is the difference between a gifted programmer and a musician? Everyone has the right to profit from their labors and musicians are no different. People have a right to better themselves and their lives through their labors. Musicians are not priests.
      • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:05PM (#23216622)
        No one has a right to profit from their labor. People have a right to profit from their labor if they agree before hand with someone that they will do X and get paid Y. People have a right to enter contracts. Now artists are part of a social contract called copyright, which grants them some control over reproduction of the results of their efforts to encourage them to undertake them. This benevolence on the part of society is being repeatedly abused by some artists and elements of the artistic industries.

        I write crappy computer games in my spare time. I do not expect to be paid for it.
  • by Fenresulven (516459) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:50AM (#23214428)
    No way in HELL! They made their bed, now they can lie in it.
  • Hell no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:51AM (#23214432)
    Lars is still an asshole.

    I probably would download it off the net though, with the help of my .torrent friends.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?" No. It wasn't like they were young foolish musicians saying things off the top of their heads. They had a chance to look at what was happening and make informed decisions and they turned to the dark side of the force. I say "fuck 'em" forever.
  • Probably Not. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:52AM (#23214450) Journal

    Besides the fact that I really don't like Metallica as a band, I feel that this is kind of a hypocritical stance, given that they were so vehemently opposed to file-sharing for so many years, and only want to adopt it now that it has proven itself to be a successful model.

    Maybe if they weren't as staunch about the issue, I wouldn't be as critical against them for pushing this.

    • Re:Probably Not. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:18PM (#23214706) Homepage
      Actually, this stays right in line with their previous views. They were not anti-P2P. They said that if people want to have their music shared that way, they have every right to. But they also said they did not want their music traded for free, and that was their right as musicians. They went after Napster not because it was sharing music in general, but it was sharing Metallica songs that they didn't want shared. Now they have decided that they may want to put their songs out there for trading, which is their right. I'm not a Metallica fan so I wouldn't bother to download their stuff anyway, but they have completely within their rights to put this out there.

      Simply put, they aren't hypocritical with this. They always said if other people want to do it, they had no issue with it. Now they are the "other people".
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Simply put, they aren't hypocritical with this. They always said if other people want to do it, they had no issue with it. Now they are the "other people".

        The way in which they're hypocritical is that band members have said in interviews and you can find in print admissions that they copied music without permission before you could download music from the 'net - on cassette tapes. Since they themselves breached copyright law in order to listen to music for which they had not paid, they are hypocrites for going after others for doing the same.

        HTH, HAND.

  • Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot&castlesteelstone,us> on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:54AM (#23214462) Homepage Journal

    "Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?"
    Yes, because I am a fan and will buy the new album regardless.

    Yes, because it's never too late to do the right thing.

    If Microsoft GPL'd Microsoft Office, would you install it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:54AM (#23214464)
    I'll set up a site allowing Metallica to pay me what they feel necessary to listen to their music.
  • Music Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iphayd (170761) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:55AM (#23214466) Homepage Journal
    Only if they went back to their roots and made complex, musical songs rather than the drivel that they've come out with since the Black album (and I know that some consider the Black album the start of the drivel.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by heptapod (243146)
      Sorry, Cliff Burton is dead. Nothing is going to bring him back short of singularity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slapyslapslap (995769)
        Cliff Burton was nowhere near alive when they recorded ...And Justice For All, which I consider to be their best album. It was the peak before Black sent them diving off a cliff.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by checkyoulater (246565)
          ...And Justice For All, which I consider to be their best album.

          This was also right around the time Metallica realized they couldn't play the very songs they'd written live. ...And Justice For All is too technical for Metallica. If you want to hear what Metallica would sound like if they were talented, listen to Dream Theater's recording of Master of Puppets.
    • Re:Music Sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

      by moranar (632206) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:35PM (#23214856) Homepage Journal
      Either you are confused about their roots, or about what a complex, musical song is. Hint: Kill 'em all was their first album. Complex, musical stuff started with their second album.

      What I liked about Metallica was their capacity to do different stuff and not paint themselves into a corner. Whatever your taste is, Master of Puppets, The Black Album and Load/Reload were _different_ from each other.

      What I don't like about any artist is the tendency to do crap while attempting to "go back to the roots". If I wanted that, I'd just go buy their first records.
  • Fuck Metallica (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 72beetle (177347) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:55AM (#23214478) Homepage
    Not only wouldn't I participate in a 'pay what you like' scenario with Metallica because of their previous position, but their music just flat out sucks now.
  • Not merely because of their past actions, but because their music is awful now. Their older music was great, but in the words of Tenacious D, "no more rockin' for you". If Lars Ulrich was handing out copies on the street, Creative Commons licensed, I wouldn't bother expending the calories to carry it.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:56AM (#23214490) Journal

    Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?
    You've got to remember that they tried to stand up and speak for all musicians. Some of the other musicians had completely opposite views though. So in my eyes what they did was worse than giving the RIAA justification for suing the hell out of people, it was also misrepresentation.

    I will never buy a Metallica album. I have never owned and never will own any Metallica song or album legally or illegally. The irony is that I've been in a few cover bands (in high school mostly) and can play "Enter Sandman" and all that crap. Like many artists, I'm not a big fan of their music. Unlike many artists, I do not agree with their views in regards to music distribution.

    In 2002, Slashdot ran a story on what David Bowie saw in the future of music [slashdot.org] and the music industry. Now there's somebody who I both respect and love musically. His vision was no copyright, albums are free to download, very inexpensive to buy and the artists rake in mad cash through concerts and tours. Don't get me wrong, he used a tone that said it was going to be embraced by some artists and hated by others:

    "I don't even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don't think it's going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way. The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it's not going to happen. I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing."

    "Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it's like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You'd better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left. It's terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn't matter if you think it's exciting or not; it's what's going to happen."
    If Metallica wants me to listen to their music, they need to change their attitude toward music distribution. On top of that, they need to try to undo what they did. They need to apologize, speak out against the RIAA from now on, seek new channels of distribution, promote new bands other than themselves that use these channels and help out people who are being sued by the RIAA by providing legal fees so those people stand a chance. Asking a lot, I know, but Metallica did a lot to set us back in what Bowie was talking about as the inevitable end state.

    Metallica will not atone for their actions and I will do everything in my power to dissuade those around me from listening to them. If I could say one thing to the band, it would be "You've always been on board the RIAA ship and now you'll ride that ship down to the bottom of the ocean with your career."
    • by hackiavelli (672464) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @01:22PM (#23215268)

      You've got to remember that they tried to stand up and speak for all musicians.
      No they didn't. Lars explicitly said it should be up to the artist to decide: "I don't have a problem with any artist voluntarily distributing his or her songs through any means the artist elects-- at no cost to the consumer, if that's what the artist wants. But just like a carpenter who crafts a table gets to decide whether to keep it, sell it or give it away, shouldn't we have the same options?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Reziac (43301) *
      Only thing Bowie (a smart guy all around) got wrong was that you WOULD still be able to sell music -- you just have to package it right, and pick your price points correctly. The recent NIN experiment proved that beyond all doubt.

    • by kentrel (526003) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:25PM (#23216300) Journal

      Metallica will not atone for their actions and I will do everything in my power to dissuade those around me from listening to them. If I could say one thing to the band, it would be "You've always been on board the RIAA ship and now you'll ride that ship down to the bottom of the ocean with your career."
      Geez. You make it sound like they committed genocide and refuse to say sorry. Have a little perspective here. All they did was try to stop people from distributing their music for free. They spend a fortune producing it - they do have the right to at least want to get some of that money back. If they make mistakes along the way and piss people off, that doesn't make them bad people - businesses and artists piss off their customers all the time. At least give them the opportunity to do the right thing. Don't punish them out of spite, and a petty desire for an apology now that they're doing what music fans have wanted all along. Reward them for doing the right thing and they're more likely to do it again. Who cares what their motives are. You don't know their mind. If they're doing what fans want, then fuck their motives.They're at least doing it, aren't they.

      They did what anyone who's successful would have done - tried to hold on to that success. If you had built up a hugely successful band or business you would also be very suspicious, or even deathly afraid of anything that might have been a threat to that and would do what you could to stop it. The anger and aggression that came from Metallica at the time, makes me think they were more afraid, than suspicious.

      You may, in your infinite knowledge say that you would have given it away for free, being a true artist, but you try looking at the receipt after paying for even ONE professional guitar, never mind a whole studio, music videos and distribution system. If you still want to give it away for free then you're a better man than 99% of bands in the world (except Radiohead and bands so new or bad that they can't even give it away)

      As it turned out they did the wrong thing, which is easy to see with the benefit of hindsight. Not everyone makes good business decisions. That doesn't make them bad people. What actions do they have to atone for? You're using really strong words to describe something that was an entirely human reaction and entirely legal.

      And for all we know their contracts with their record company and other associates may have made it impossible for them to even consider at the time what Radiohead have considered. Who by the way had the advantage of almost 10 years to study the new distribution models. Pretty easy to make the right decision when you have that much time to think about it.

      Metallica made a mistake which hurt their reputation. Good businessmen and good people will learn from their mistakes. If they haven't then you'll know by their results... which we'll find out eventually.

      If you really really hate Metallica with the burning fiery passion that you imply in your post, then you're really doing the wrong thing by launching a crusade to tell everyone you know not to listen to their music. Just tell them ALL to download the free album from Metallica's site, bleed their resources and just never pay for it.

      That's going to make it clear to them nobody wants to pay for their music - provided everyone you know has your long argument in mind when listening to Heavy Metal.

      How about a little understanding, and forgiveness? Since you won't have to pay for anything, what's the point in getting angry over it?
  • If they apologize. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evanbd (210358) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @11:59AM (#23214518)

    If they apologize for calling their fans thieves, then yes. They got it wrong; everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes they're big ones. If they're willing to admit it, then I can forgive them; if not, then they're just out to make a quick buck.

    I want the industry to get it right; I feel no need to be vindictive. But if they're just jumping on the next bandwagon, then they haven't actually changed at all.

  • by Scott Wood (1415) <scott@NOsPaM.buserror.net> on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:01PM (#23214528)
    Would you buy a new Metallica album, despite St. Anger?
    • by warrior (15708) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:29PM (#23214816) Homepage
      Their new stuff actually sounds pretty good ( search youtube for it ). The band has acknowledged that what they've put out since the black album has been pretty weak. They claim the new stuff will be a fresh take on the RTL/MOP/AJFA sound ( and it is, so far so good, hopefully it's been polished up quite a bit since those youtube videos were made ). St Anger was an interesting piece of ... work. The book "This Monster Lives" describes what the band was going through when they wrote that album. It seems it mostly revolved around issues with James - his alcoholism and control issues with the band's creative direction. The conslusion appears to be that James needs to keep the drinking under control or he will destroy himself and the band can't make an album without James at the helm. The collaborative effort produced a POS ( see St. Anger ). Anyways, I think I'll buy the new album, hopefully I'll get to pay what I think it's worth.
  • Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?"
    No, and not just because of their Napster douchebaggery. They haven't put out anything good since the Black Album. Whatever spark they had died on that crumpled tour bus and now they exist as self-parody. Very sad since they were one of the greatest metal acts ever.
  • by tommeke100 (755660) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:06PM (#23214572)
    In the documentary "some kind of monster", Lars was explaining that he wasn't against the whole file-sharing thing per se. What the lawsuit was about, was that someone leaked their album (or a song, don't remember) out of the recording studio before it came out AND distributed it through file-sharing. But suddenly, the story grew over their heads, and it became this big Metallica Vs. Napster thing, when it was really about Napster (or ppl through the Napster p2p network) distributing a song that they didn't release yet.
  • Nobody remembers... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Q-Hack! (37846) *
    When Metallica promoted copying cassettes to get there album out. (Garage Days)

    People only remember the Napster incident.

    I suspect that the band will do what there finance advisers tell them to do.
  • Sure! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Txiasaeia (581598) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:09PM (#23214596)

    I've got a penny laying around here someplace. Given that most credit card companies charge merchants money for each credit card transaction (~$0.50 or so), Metallica would be paying for me to download their CD. That sounds about right.

  • Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:10PM (#23214604)
    If they learn to adapt to the world, then they deserve to survive. it takes a lot to admit that you were wrong and I'm not going to downplay that.
  • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:10PM (#23214610) Homepage Journal
    "Will you buy a new Metallica album that is being offered like previous Radiohead and NIN albums?"

    That begs the question of whether I even like Metallica or if I would have bought their album in other circumstances. They might try this experiment and find that it was a dismal failure; I'm sure that they would point to the experience as proof of their earlier (poor) opinions of the internet's effect on music production.

    The thing about Metallica is that their music changed substantially right about the time that the internet was coming into its own as a distribution medium. Part of their low sales of albums since the black album or Load could be related to internet downloads, but I think it has much more to do with Metallica alienating their original fanbase.

    When I was a kid, Metallica was practically its own genre. I though of music as metal, country, Metallica, Pantera, punk, etc. There were a few bands that stood out as archetypes. Now that metallica is 'competing' with a larger field of music, they will find that they don't have the same rabid fanbase that they once enjoyed. When you are competing for airtime with nickelback and staind, your music is no longer special. You are a commodity like reruns of old dharma and greg episodes and your listeners will treat you with about as much respect.

    So will I buy the new Metallica album over the internets a la radiohead? No, but the reason has little to do with the internet and everything to do with Metallica's music. Music? Remember? 'Music' as in 'sounds', not as in 'financial investment'.

    -b
  • It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zerth (26112) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:12PM (#23214636)
    Will their "Pay what you want" form allow for negative numbers?
  • Would I ?!? (Score:5, Funny)

    by UnixUnix (1149659) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#23214684) Homepage
    NO!

    They are "unforgiven" :-))

  • by jimicus (737525) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:28PM (#23214808)
    Even if that was Paul McCartney & Wings...

    Everyone makes mistakes. It's what separates humans from machines.

    The important thing is how we deal with them.

    Now, if Metallica are big enough to apologise for their previous actions, I see no reason why anyone should continue a boycott. (Of course, if you're boycotting their music because you don't like it that's something different - but hell, you know what I mean)
  • Red Pill (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:34PM (#23214850)
    Nope....

    Remember in The Matrix when Neo took the Red Pill? I felt like that when I realized that really great musicians are everywhere. They are literally around the corner from me. The chart-toppers that the music companies decide to throw up on the pop charts are no better (though not necessarily worse) than independent musicians.

    I've heard some poignant lyrics from both U2 and from this local singer who sings about the Everglades. Dylan rocks, but so does this local college kid who sings around the lake at BCC South Campus.

    I'm not saying Mettalica is no good. Their music doesn't much appeal to me, but I have friends who really enjoy them.

    It's so insanely cool to me that someone can pick up a guitar (or a lute or an oboe) and load some low-cost or free software on their laptops and create music that once took millions in equipment. And once their music is made, they can present it to the goddamned WORLD within a minute. All for free.

    Now the idea of the music producer was that they would filter the chaff. Little Robert Johnson, just turned 7, may impress his parents with his rendition of Achy Breaky Heart, but the world may not be ready. So the music companies would search and search to find those truly talented artists and then present it to the world...

    But in Exhibit A there's Milli Vanilli.
    Exhibit B is the Backstreet Boys (haha, sorry, that was uncalled for.. I'm sure they're very talented musicians... )

    KLL

    So the music companies aren't doing such a stellar job, are they?

    So when I tune in some independent internet radio station or fire up YouTube and hear some really interesting music -- all for free or small cost -- how can anyone wonder why I don't care for the chart toppers anymore?

  • Sure except.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by NIckGorton (974753) * on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:42PM (#23214908)

    Would you buy a Metallica online album despite their former views?
    I actually have more respect for someone who is willing to say "Yep, I fucked up. Lets do it a better way."

    However I wouldn't buy their album because their music sucks.
    • Re:Sure except.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:11PM (#23216170) Homepage

      I actually have more respect for someone who is willing to say "Yep, I fucked up. Lets do it a better way."

      I would just point out that they haven't said that. Instead they've done a sleight of hand -- "What? We never had a problem with downloading. Just some criminals. We got nothing wrong, so nothing to apologize for. Here, buy our album!"

      Of course, they're really rewriting history when they try such stunts. Lars personally delivered a list of 300,000 "criminals" [disinfo.com] (fans) he wanted fined/booted. He was truly hostile. His label followed up with another 300,000. Some of the people here on /. may have been the ones who had to defend themselves against their crazy attacks.

      I don't know if people will believe that Metallica is turning over a new leaf, but judging from the comments here, it looks like some will be happy to buy the new album. That disappoints me, as I feel Metallica may be manipulating the geek crowd to sell a few more copies. ("Hey, we're poster boys for the anti-RIAA now! Right? That's what is trendy now? OK! So buy our CD!") If they turned on their fans once, they can do it again.

  • by illectro (697914) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:46PM (#23214950)
    Interestingly, Metallica is on Warner Brothers records, which means that last year they were one of the first acts to be available for free on imeem.com [imeem.com] - all the more interesting when you realise imeem's links to the old napster.
  • by fishyfool (854019) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:55PM (#23215024) Homepage Journal
    I was at The Farm in SF, way back in the day when Metallica said "copy our tapes and hand them out to your friends" and we did. Then they got a fat assed contract and said "stop copying our property and giving it away for free" We need MORE money. Lars and James were at the forefront of both. Now that the world has quit listening, they want to give it away again. Thanks, I'll pass.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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