The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

An Open Letter From Metallica

By now, you've probably heard our position on Napster: rebelling against authority and not letting anyone tell you what to do is all well and good as long as you're shelling out the headbanger dues. Freelance rebels, on the other hand, have no place in uncivilized society.

We've gotten a lot of criticism over this. What hurts, though, what really hurts is the insinuation that we're just doing this for money. It's not just about the fast cars and the exotic pets and the lawyers with fast cars and exotic pets. All of us would be perfectly happy serving fried food or mopping the floors of adult entertainment establishments except for the fact that we'd be taking jobs from our fans. And that's what this is all about: the fans.

After all, there are thousands of amateur musicians releasing their music on mp3. There are thousands of little local bands that would give up a few organs to have 350,000 people downloading their music. It stands to reason that at least a few of them completely kick our ass, musically speaking. But they don't have that one crucial thing we have: We have millions of dollars going to convince you that we don't suck.

And that's what we're trying to protect with our lawsuit. If music were free, there would still be music, there would still be bands, but the promotional money -- or as we call it in the business, the "we don't suck" money -- would dry up. And without that money, face it, you'd be lost. Without the magazine ads and the stand-ups and the elaborate 3-D record covers in the music store windows you'd have to rely on your own personal tastes to decide what music to download and listen to. And let's be honest, if that's what you were into you wouldn't be downloading Metallica albums.

So join us in our efforts to eradicate Napster. If not for yourself, think of future generations of headbangers. Hell, not just metalheads but pop music fans of all sorts, from teenyboppers to death rockers, all lost in the wilderness with nobody to tell them what supposedly doesn't suck. It's a sad and scary thought.

Thank you and rock on,

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