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MP3 Trading and Napster: Lars Ulrich Speaks Up

zimdudezimdude PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
No holds barred interview here: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/05/26/1251220&mode=thread

The questions:
1. Was it your decision, your manager, your lawyers or record company that made the call to go after the Napster users?

2. With other programs such as Gnutella, Freenet, etc. that are anonymous and are not controlled by a centralized company which you could sue, like Naptser, don't you think that you should be spending your time and money developing your own Internet solutions from which you can profit, rather than trying to push back the flow of technology which will only become more and more difficult to combat?

3. In several articles about your actions against Napster, you were quoted as saying something like (paraphrased): "Napster takes our music and treats it as a commodity, instead of as art."My question is, how is it that trading your music for free over the internet makes it a simple commodity, but selling it for far too much money through record companies and stores makes it somehow "art"?

4. Have you read the 1989 OTA Report (http://www.wws.princeton.edu:80/~ota/disk1/1989/8910_n.html) on home taping, which concluded that so-called "bootlegging" was no threat to music industry profits, and that it in fact served as free advertising? It turned out that the users making tapes illegally were also both more likely to buy more music themselves and more likely to encourage other fans to do so. While obviously the technology has improved significantly since 1989, aren't we really dealing with the same issues?

5. Are you free to answer any way you please in this interview? Or has your label requested that your responses to our questions be reviewed by their lawyers before being posted back to Slashdot? And if so, did you agree to this?

6. In the live chat, you admitted to not being very knowledgable about the Internet or about the technology behind Napster and MP3s. What kind of research on these subjects did you do prior to filing the lawsuit?

7. How much money do you get from the sale of each CD, and how much goes to the record company? Would you be interested in a system that allows you to circumvent the record company, sell your music for half the price you do now, and get quadruple the cut that Metallica gets on each sale? The internet has the potential to offer such a system.

8. You mentioned that we need laws banning file-sharing software such as Napster. How far should these laws go? If in 10 years time, computer users labour under draconian restrictions on communications software under what is titled the Lars Ulrich Digital Copy Enforcement Act, to the effect that sharing music files (of any sort) without the digital signature of a major record label or copyright authority becomes grounds for loss of Internet access and/or legal sanctions, how will you feel about the fans and small-time bands whose attempts at networking are crippled by these restrictions?

9. I'm a huge Metallica fan. Lars is the reason I'm a drummer today. But something in an interview with James from "Behind the music" (I think) when he was talking about how he started to like the Misfits, when Cliff gave him a tape and they played it in the van all summer long, made me curious. Have any of you (Metallica) ever copied a tape, record, 8-track, CD, etc. from a friend? This is an infringement of copyright isn't it? I don't mean to make you seem evil, but is it simply the scale of Napster/mp3's that is of concern?


  • i hear dr.dre's suing too..
    darn it, i should download all the mp3s i can get a hold of before napster's shut down by them gimme-royalties-due-me artists and put-more-moolah-in-my-moneybag record-execs!
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