Did The Napster Case Damage Metallica, James Hetfield Clarifies In A Rare Interview
Metallica lead vocalist James Hetfield opened up about the infamous Napster case during a rare interview back in 2001 with Playboy Magazine and the legendary frontman revealed his candid opinions if the case damaged their relationship with the fans.
As nearly all of you know, Napster is a music-focused online service that was founded in 1999 and made it easy to download copies of songs that were otherwise difficult to obtain and it pretty much paved the way for streaming media services, however, the company faced legal difficulties over copyright violation with countless artists.
The most memorable case was without a doubt when Metallica filed a famous lawsuit against Napster in 2000, due to copyright infringement after the band discovered a demo of their song named ‘I Disappear’ when it was leaked to numerous radio stations before its release mostly because of Napster.
During the time period of the notorious ‘Metallica vs. Napster’ case, there were a number of people who thought what Napster did was okay and Metallica was overreacting by going after the company through which fans were able to download music basically for free which caused a conflict among the band’s fans.
During the interview, James Hetfield opened up about those fans who were on the side of Napster, and apparently, Metallica lead singer thinks those fans as lazy people who wants a product for free, and because of those people, Napster won the press side of the case due to the fact that it created an unpleasant image for Metallica.
Here is what Hetfield said:
“Because they’re lazy bastards and they want everything for free. I think Napster won the press war. It hurt the fans’ perception of us—they see Metallica as some big bad guys who wanted to take their free stuff away. I like playing music because it’s a good living and I get satisfaction from it. But I can’t feed my family with satisfaction.”
After stating that Napster created an image of Metallica as a band that only wants to make money out of their music and doesn’t care about their fans, the interviewer asked if Napster did damage to the band. According to James Hetfield, it’s really hard to damage Metallica, however, Napster managed to corrupt the image of the band and how the fans perceive the band.
Here is what the Metallica lead singer said:
“I don’t want it to read ‘Napster has damaged Metallica.’ It’s pretty difficult to hurt us. They did damage to how Metallica fans perceive us.”
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