This was a chat took place on 05/02/00 and was arranged by the band so that they could discuss the Napster lawsuit with their fans. This chat was held by Artist Direct, Yahoo! Chat, and Metallica.
yahoomusic: OK gang...here they are... please welcome Metallica!
metallica_james_live: Hi friends, I'm here live and well!
metallica_lars_live: Hi, I'm Lars.
metallica_james_live: Jason: Howdy friends!
Pitchfork89 asks: I'm a fairly new fan, and the first song of yours that really got my attention, the Unforgiven, I heard in mp3 form. I've now bought five of your albums and you guys are my favorite band. Would you guys agree that there is at least some merit in mp3 technology when it gets your music out to more potential fans?
metallica_james_live: Jason: It can be used for good things, if used lawfully, certainly, just as any part of the computer can be used for good or bad.
metallica_lars_live: It's important to understand this is not about MP3 as a format. It's a vehicle that carries music, like a CD. It's not about MP3, it's about who controls the format. We have no problem with MP3. We realize that we will reach fans through these vehicles. It's about who's conditions and who controls it.
zangfam asks: Is this entire Napster ordeal, along with the crackdowns of the past few months, a direct result of purely the band, or have Elektra and/or your management been part of the driving force behind it?
metallica_james_live: We have managers for a reason, they look out for us. We don't know everything that goes on in this business world.
daneaneg asks: Do you think people even realize the ethical implication really, as they download?
metallica_james_live: Jason: Probably not, an element of danger in it probably draws some people to it, so knowing that they are doing it probably makes it more exciting. Probably a little of both. It's just a matter of Metallica trying to stand up for all artists, not just Metallica, it's for every artist who wants to share their music. They didn't ask us to share our music and steal our money.
metallica_james_live: They could have asked us, and we could have shared in the distribution and it could have been done properly.
metallica_james_live: There has to be some laws and guidelines to go by, before it gets too out of hand, and sucks the life out of musicians who will stop making music.
metlover55 asks: first of all you guys rule. Do you guys feel stabbed in the back by Limp Bizkit, who is supporting Napster?
metallica_lars_live: I think that once again that the only people Limp Bizkit are stabbing in the back are themselves. The only thing about this is we have done many shows for free over the course of our career. It truly is for free because we pay for it, we don't get sponsors. When Napster is paying for the tour you have to wonder how much money is going to Napster and how much is going to Limp Bizkit. I think they're just pulling the wool over eveyone's eyes. Every one respects him as a musician and a songwriter, but he's really good at making everyone hate him, he continues to alienate himself because of his behavior. Everything we do is about long term right and wrong. When Limp Bizkit wraps its arms around Napster, it's...
metallica_james_live: Jason: It's important that this free thing, Napster is paying them to perform, you have to understand that.
metallica_lars_live: That's the whole issue, someone else is paying for it other than the kids.
caname2 asks: Lars has admitted in prior interviews to collecting bootlegs and the MetClub magazine So Let It Be Written section gives reviews of bootleg recordings, also. In 1991 you allowed fans to record your concerts knowing full well that they would become bootleg recordings released to those who know where to buy them. Why the sudden change in attitude towards bootlegs?
metallica_lars_live: This is not a change in attitude whatsoever. We have always and will always continue to condone allowing people to record our concerts, to freely trade live concerts, interview. This is not what it is about, it's about the master recording that we have recorded and written and clearly own. We are not going after Napster for anything that relates to Metallica bootlegs, it's about Metallica Master studio recordings as they appear on our studio records.
metallica_james_live: This is a clear case of a middle man cutting us out.
metallica_james_live: Of rewards we should reap for being a band and paying dues since the day we formed. Live recordings are absolutely a separate issue. We choose to allow fans to do that. For this, we did not have a choice. It's a middle man cutting us out of the loop. This is NOT some kid in the garage thinking this is a cool thing to do. Napster is a big machine funded by big money. They are trying to smokescreen everyone into thinking this is a free thing for the fans. It's a cheap ploy, in trying to associate free and Napster together. Napster is a big machine. The person who invented Napster is an employee of the big machine as we speak.
metallica_lars_live: Remember one thing that Napster is a company that has employees who get paid to do what they do.
metallica_lars_live: This is not a service that they're offering for the good of man kind, to spread love and music. They're doing it for potential IPO's for alignment with a big company where there will be a major cash transfer to the investors. This is about money. The people who work for Napster are not doing it because they have nothing better to do with their time. It's the American Way!
athena_metalchic asks: What do you hope to accomplish with this lawsuit?
metallica_lars_live: The ideal situation is clear and simple - to put Napster out of business.
metallica_james_live: Jason: Also to spearhead some kind of activity within the powers that be, the government, to lay down the laws with the computer, to exercise some kind of control, and govern companies like Napster that steal outright from artists.
metallica_james_live: We are trying to get someone to pay attention to that and make it fair for everyone involved. For people saying Metallica has all kinds of money, this band has been together for 20 years working very hard. We were playing probably before a lot of you were even born.
smdevo asks: Isn't it true that the underground tape trading in L.A. was a big part of your early success?
metallica_lars_live: But that once again is irrelevant to the issue. We're not saying that bands who want to be part of Napster should not be allowed to. We were never given the choice or option about whether or not we wanted to partake.
mephallicka asks: When an individual joins the Napster community, that person agrees to hold the sole legal responsibility for trading mp3 files. This is all very straight-forward. Isn't your lawsuit akin to suing Eudora for allowing individuals to send copyrighted material, or suingHewlett Packard for allowing individuals to print outcopyrighted images? Why don't you bite the bullet andsue each of your 335,435 fans who are trading the files?
metallica_lars_live: We're suing Napster for one reason and one reason because they exist to pirate music, nothing more,nothing less.
i_am_taker asks: How is Napster different than radio? Anyone can make a CD or a tape off of radio.
metallica_james_live: Jason: There is no way to have it the same quality, or to make CD's like you can off the computer.
metallica_james_live: James: That is our choice, it is our way of bringing the music to the people. We can control that. We feel Metallica should be in control of how our music is brought to the people. We've always been in control of that since day one.
lcsmdq2l asks: I'm a little illiterate about this but what if Napster paid a fee for the rights to use your music
metallica_lars_live: They know how to get in touch with our managers and lawyers. It's not just about money at the end of the day. It's about trying to put your foot down before this whole internet thing runs amok and get people to start a debate about, to get Congress to start setting relative parameters about where technology is going. Technology progresses so rapidly that Congress has a hard time keeping up.
metallica_lars_live: We want to start a debate and get people to understand what the issues are, and try with other people to figure out what the best solutions are. Paying the artists through the internet, setting up police monitors to see who's trading. some kind of monitoring or policing of the internet is what people are talking about possible solutions, not police. So the artists can get paid for their property that's being transferred from one entity to another.
viperasd asks: How might someone obtain Mp3's "legally"?
metallica_lars_live: There are sites that sell artist sanctioned MP3s and Metallica is looking into that for the future as a way of getting our music to our fans. MP3 is just a format.
marphious_man asks: do you really think Napster will slow down your CD sales
metallica_james_live: Jason: Saying the same thing over again - it's about representing the artists who make music today and tomorrow and who want to continue making it the way we do without getting ripped off and undermined.
metallica_james_live: There has to be some laws set up now for the future so it's not ruined for the big guys like Metallica, and the little guys, it's just about making it fair for people.
metallica_james_live: We have nothing to do with the internet being used to share, but when it's done illegally it's wrong, plain and simple.
Wyndborne asks: Why do you think you guyz are the first to take this to court?
metallica_james_live: Jason: There has to be someone that is established, with integrity, and who has respect from all aspects of the music industry and beyond, and Metallica is one of those bands.
metallica_james_live:There are only a few people doing it now, stealing with this service, but what about in five years from now? There has to be somebody who steps up to represent musicians. No one else had the balls to step up and take the first step. Metallica has never been in the back seat, we've always been in the driver's seat. We've always had opinions on it, and we're voicing them as we speak, if I may be redundant.
destro_187 asks: Am I going to be sued because I have d/l your songs?
metallica_lars_live: We're gonna send James over to your house. lol
metallica_james_live: We are going after Napster, the main artery here. All the people doing illegal things here, whether with good or bad intentions, we are not going after individual fans. Metallica has always felt fans are family. The list we are going to deliver to Napster is hopefully just to show the world and artists how huge this is and how important, and hopefully other artists will join our fight.
metallica_lars_live: Once again, I said this before, this is a battle we feel is being fought on many fronts. One of those fronts is education. Two weeks ago when we served Napster with a lawsuit, there was a high degree of ignorance about this issue. There has been a lot of education, these kinds of chats, and people being able to give their opinions is helping. This can redefine the way people have access to music and redefine the relationships between artists and their fans and friends. That's why it's so important that everyone who partakes in it understands Remember the reason we're giving these names to Napster is because they dared us to come and prove to them that people were trading Metallica around through their vehicle. They refused to take Metallica off their list, so they asked for it. Now the ball is in their court again. Basically what Napster is doing, they're trying to make this an issue between Metallica and our fans and our friends, when the issue is really between Napster and Metallica. they're trying in a PR way to make Metallica the bad guys in the eyes of our fans and that's what pisses us off even more.
metallica_james_live: Jason: There are a lot of questions from people saying why shouldn't music be free.
metallica_james_live: My question is what is your occupation, what do you do for a living? And would you go do your job five days a week for absolutely nothing, just to do it? This is a love of ours, but not just a hobby. Anyone who has a hobby it doesn't sustain them living. If we were doing this just for the joy of playing music, we could not focus on what we do and come up with new challenges for ourselves, we would have to have regular jobs. And that was one of the reasons I started playing music, so as to not have a regular job. So essentially, this could kill Metallica and music if we were doing it for free.
metallica_james_live: Jason: As fast as the computer thing is growing, what happens when it develops, what could this become? That is what we are trying to stop from happening, something both the artists and the fans couldn't handle. There has to be some control. Most I know who use Napster purchase far more music now than before they began to use the program. Moreover, the music purchased is that which they download and listen to the most. What do you think of the argument that despite the wider (and admittedly uncompensated) distribution of your music, you are still likely to receive at least as many receipts as before, if not more? Second, can you speak to whether or not you have conclusive evidence of a falloff in sales of your music since the advent of Napster?
metallica_james_live: Jason: The future - it takes a long time for laws to pass - it takes a long time for these rules to come into play. It has to start somewhere. It is about what is in the future. We want to keep playing music for people along with other artists.
metallica_james_live: The computer is going to play such a big part of our children's lives and our grandchildren's lives. There has to be something to sustain musicians. The computer is going to play such a big part of our children's lives and our grandchildren's lives. There has to be something to sustain musicians.
etownstaff asks: do you believe that music distribution will be almost entirely done digitally one day?
metallica_lars_live: Yes I do.
mcclucker asks: Why don't you just sue to have YOUR music removed? Why shut the whole thing down?
metallica_lars_live: That's what we have done, and they have not responded to that, so the only way we can get our music removed is to shut the whole thing down. If Napster removed "Metallica Studio Masters", It's not about interviews, or bootlegs. If they would just do that, thank you, we're done, bye bye
Natron_44 asks: Evening fellas. Thanks for getting in touch with your fans to clear the air. It's always appreciated. My question is, what do you say to those who say that Metallica is being "hypocritical", being that Metallica - by your own admission - made it to where they are today by depending on others to circulate your first demo? Why should it be any different in 2000 than it was in 1982?
metallica_james_live: That was exactly how we started, and that was our choice. We started that!
metallica_james_live: Jason: We invented it!
metallica_james_live: James: NOT!
metallica_james_live: We are not stopping the legitimate cool underground fan trading that they do and love doing, whether its the live show from Greenland or Kirk's sweaty underwear!
metallica_lars_live: I'd like to respond to a question I saw up there earlier. The question was about if we realized that we have lost the respect of a lot of our fans because of this. My answer is if some of our fans do not respect the fact that we want to and have the right to do what we feel is important about what's right for us, then I don't want them to respect us, and I don't respect them.
metxxxman asks: Any plans for an ANTI-NAPSTER Free Tour?
metallica_james_live: James: If the money's right! LOL! ROTFL!
metallica_lars_live: Maybe when we can get Limp Bizkit to come support us on that tour.
roughneck1970 asks: What do I do with all my Metallica music I downloaded? Delete it?
metallica_lars_live: Howard King our lawyer is going to answer that one. Enjoy it, don't transfer it.
yahoomusic: what about other sites, who do what Napster does? will you go after them all?
metallica_james_live: We can't fight every battle, we had to choose what we felt was the most important, to send a message out there to other artists, Napster and our fans about how we feel about this.
Ziggy8675309 asks: Has Metallica ever used or seen the Napster program?
metallica_lars_live: I've never been on any of these internet sites.
bananaphonic asks: Assuming that you are not filing your lawsuit simply for monetary gain, then why not withdraw it, and file a criminal charge against Napster for "aiding and abetting a criminal", since they are helping people to break copyright violations?
metallica_lars_live: Were not the government or the f**king cops.
lars_rocks_99 asks: Hey guys, I think you are getting more publicity, and for every song I've gotten from Napster, I own the CD, whatever happens U GUYS ROCK!
metallica_james_live: We appreciate all the positive comments we are getting, even though they are not in question form, we appreciate your support!
pharcyde_the_clown_16 asks: Would you ever consider dropping your music career for professional golf?
metallica_james_live: Hi Tiger!
jerryteacup asks: So do you guys know HOW your new unreleased song got out?
metallica_lars_live: Yes, this is definitely triggered by the release or appearance of early working versions of the song "I Disappear." We don't know exactly how it got leaked, but we have suspicions, and beyond that it's not necessary to go into.
metallica_james_live: It's unfortunate that Metallica cannot choose how to present it's music to people. When we make songs, when we create songs, and we put them out there for our fans to enjoy, we put a whole package together. We put pictures, lyrics, something with impact to go along with the music, that don't get around through the internet. As Metallica, we should choose how our music is represented.
wolvesspirit1 asks: What does Metallica see for itself after this Napster ordeal is over?
metallica_lars_live: Continuing to do what we do best which is focusing on our music.
metallica_james_live: Whatever happens with all of this bullshit, at the end of the day Metallica is alive for the music, That's what we enjoy doing. We don't want to have to worry about being lawyers, we like playing music for us and our fans, and I would like to thank everyone who has been behind us through all of this bullshit. Love - James!
metallica_lars_live: I would like to say that the last two weeks we've had an overwhelming amount of support for what we're doing, and there are obviously people who do not agree with what we're doing, and that's ok But people have to remember that Metallica is about believing in what you do and believing in who you are and Metallica has always been the underdog Over the past 20 years, we've weathered a lot of storms and taken a lot of shit for the things that we thought were right for us. Thanks for your support and for the doubters out there, Metallica will carry on for the next 20 years, whether your along for the ride or not, that's your problem, not ours.
SeanMclau asks: Where can we email letters of support?
metallica_james_live: thanks for all your support!
devon003 asks: Metallica isn't in it only for the money!!!! They love there fans
metallica_james_live: see you this summer!
metallica_lars_live: Once again, thanks for the support and the belief.
metallica_lars_live: Don't let anybody f*ck with you for what you believe in!
yahoomusic: I'm afraid that's all we have time for tonight folks thanks for coming out to share your thoughts with Metallica we're sorry if we couldn't answer your question but Metallica chatted for over 1 hour and we received many many many thousands of questions.
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