Feeds

Napster told to say 'Sorry, Metallica'

RIAA demands MP3 company soothes Lars Ulrich's hurt feelings

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Updated Napster must apologise to rock band Metallica, if it's to convince the music industry that it's serious about becoming a 'legitimate' - in the recording companies' eyes - operation.

That at least is what Recording Industry Association of America CEO Hilary Rosen has told her opposite number at Napster, Hank Barry, according to a letter leaked on the Internet and since confirmed by the RIAA as genuine.

Nice try, Hilary, but we think Napster will see through this one, and will be as willing to say sorry to Metallica for the bands' alleged losses due to contributory copyright theft as Australian Prime Minister John Howard is to apologise to the Aboriginal people for past atrocities perpetuated against them.

Why? Because an apology would be tantamount to admitting Metallica's allegations were correct and that the MP3 sharing company is indeed contributing to copyright theft, and it sure as hell isn't going to say that, last week's deal with Bertelsmann Music Group notwithstanding.

Such an admission is really what the RIAA is after here. Rosen's letter bemoans the scorn poured upon Metallica and, in particular, drummer Lars Ulrich, the band's main spokesman. This is just plain daft.

Ulrich is a bright fellow - whatever you might think of his music and his stance on Napster - and should have realised the band's actions weren't going to win them any favours from Napster proponents. If the poor guy wasn't prepared to take the heat, he'd have stayed out of the kitchen.

Rosen's point is that "[Napster's] guys have fostered the abuse that Lars and the band have taken for standing up for their rights, rights which you have acknowledged in theory in the past but now have a financial interest in supporting since you are taking Bertelsmann's money.

"Metallica took a stand on behalf of artists... They have been my heroes in this thing, and I am determined to make sure that if this thing turns out to benefit everyone, they are not left out."

But they may well be. Metallica's label is (ultimately) owned by Universal, which has publicly stated is disapproval of the BMG-Napster deal, so the band's work is unlikely to find even a legitimate home on Napster's servers.

Update

Thanks to Reg reader Nathan for pointing out that Metallica's US label is Elektra, part of Warner. Here in the UK, it's Vertigo, a Universal sub-label. Clearly Metallica licenses different companie the rights to distribute its work in different territories. In an increasingly Net-connected world, that's going to prove difficult. After all, what if Warner allows sales by BMG-Napster and Universal doesn't? If such confusion doesn't force the major labels to come together on this issue, nothing will. ®

Related Stories

Full coverage: The Napster Controversy

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.