This week, I ran across an old joke news article regarding an issue that we don't seem to hear too much about anymore: Music copyright infringement on P2P networks. These days, Napster has gone legit and the torrent protocol has become more widely accepted as a means to do more than just download stuff you don't want to pay for (It "is," of course, a great distribution protocol, and even more perfectly suited to free content like most Linux distributions).
The article, which I've attached below, is from a Linux humor news site called humorix.org. You can find the original version on their website. I haven't modified the content here since, for once - or has it been twice - the content doesn't include any offensive language (which I try to keep out of this blog even though, to my unending shame, I use - more than once - on an almost daily basis ;)
The article concerns mp3 copyright infringement and a band, whose older material I still love, named Metallica. I actually saw their first headline show ever (In Chicago) on the Master of Puppets tour and first saw them live around the time Ride The Lightning came out. They played 3rd fiddle, back then, to such enduring metal giants as Wasp and a few other bands I can't recall, and probably will never be able to, until I find that old T-Shirt ;) Still, for the life of me, I can't understands why their latest album includes another version of "The Unforgiven" ("The Unforgiven III," to be exact. I haven't listened to it yet, but - and I consider myself a fan - the title reeks of inspiration that's evaporating even more quickly as time marches on, which only reminds me of my own mortality ;).
I happen to have followed the serious version of this story and (in their defense) this article is made just slightly funnier by my knowledge that Metallica mostly ended up on the anti-piracy bandwagon as a result of dubious legal advice and have since exerted the almost-diametrically-opposite viewpoint and stance (are those the same thing? Check our Thesaurus script ;) In fact, if you'd like to listen to some hilarious stuff (which Metallica actually enjoys and endorses), check out a band named Beatallica. All of their music has been free since they began recording and, unless you can somehow count yourself amongst that group of people who dislike either Metallica, The Beatles or both (possible ???), are a band you should definitely check out, as they exhibit one of the most clever (and funny) mixtures of musical styles and lyrics that I've ever heard. If you yearn for a little Beatles music and Metallica metal (and don't have time to listen to both separately ;) give The Beatallica site a look-see. I can guarantee you that I won't be disappointed ;)
Enjoy this past-news, check out some of the latest and have a great Sunday :)
MP3's Are Ripping Band Off -- Says High-Priced Lawyer
on May 17, 2000
A few weeks ago Metallica® condemned the actions of 96% of its fan base when it announced a lawsuit against Napster, Inc. Today in a followup press release Metallica's chief lawyer further raised MP3 users' ire by claiming that they were "ripping Metallica off" and would persue legal action to the fullest extent of the law, "no matter how long it takes".
"These MP3 users are taking money straight from my client's pocket," said Metallica's lawyer in an exclusive interview with Humorix reporters. As he lit up a Cuban cigar with a hundred dollar bill and puffed leisurely into the air, he continued, "I will make sure these actions against my client are stopped, even if it means suing every single person who ever downloaded a Metallica song over the internet. If necessary, I'll work on this case continuously for the next twenty years, 365 days a year, 8 hours a day, $200 an hour.
"I'm gonna make a killing!" he added.
Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallica, chimed in, saying, "We'll spend every cent we have to fight this. How can we stand by while MP3 users inflict millions in theoretical damages against us by violating outdated and arbitrary copyright laws designed and written by multi-billion dollar businesses who are more interested in protecting their somewhat illegally amassed wealth than in ushering in a new age of collaboration and progress? Our fans must be brought in line now!"
Metallica's lawyer followed this up by jumping up and down yelling, "Yes! There is a sucker born every minute! I'm gonna be rich!!! Cha-ching!"
Lars finished off the interview by arguing, "The bottom line is that nobody has a natural right to listen to music for free." I flipped on a portable radio, which just happened to be tuned to a station playing a Metallica song. Lars and his lawyers said in unison, "OH MY GAWD! How did we forget about radio? We'll sue every person who has ever listened to a Metallica song for free on the radio! We've hit the jackpot! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!"
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