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,