Lars Ulrich, the drummer and founder of Metallica, has admitted to pirating music off of the Internet.
This wouldn’t be worth even mentioning if it was just about any other musician on Earth, but when you were one of the most vocal opponents to Napster, leading to its eventual downfall, it pretty much leads to every blog on Earth calling you a hypocrite. True, Mr. Ulrich has seemingly changed his stance on music piracy in general as of late, but now that he has publicly admitted to having done the same, you really can’t help shake your head at his idiocy.
The story goes as follows.
“I sat there myself and downloaded [METALLICA’s latest CD] ‘Death Magnetic’ [illegally] from the Internet just to try it,” he told Eddie Trunk of VH1 Classic’s series “That Metal Show”. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is how it works.’ I figured if there is anybody that has a right to download ‘Death Magnetic’ for free, it’s me. I sat there one night at my house with about six of my friends and a bottle of wine. And what was it called?! [Trying to think of the name of the file-sharing client he used to download the album] We found it — this was like two or three days after [‘Death Magnetic’] leaked. I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve gotta try this.’ So we sat there, and thirty minutes later, I had ‘Death Magnetic’ in my computer. It was kind of bizarre.”
True, it was his own band’s album, but does Metallica own 100% of the rights, or does their record company own a portion? If the record company owns any of it, then he technically stole.
That aside, what worries me is this comment of “I was like, ‘Wow, this is how it works.'” So Lars has been damning something for years now without understanding what exactly it was he was damning? He destroyed a business without understanding it?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing piracy, but I find it shocking that someone would be so publicly opposed to something he hadn’t even bothered to research or try themselves. Yes, yes, I know the same thing could be said about my opposition to beastiality, but there is a difference between having sex with an animal and taking 5 minutes to learn how a technology works that you are going to launch a one-man crusade against.
The thing is, the more Lars tries to backpeddle his way out of this whole debacle, he just keeps making it worse. He’s gone from being anti-piracy, to being somewhat okay with it just a few days before an album’s release to doing it himself. Where does the insanity end? Is he going to start leaking albums to the piracy sites himself now?
Perhaps it is time for Mr. Ulrich to just finally drop the subject altogether as each time he attempts to address it again, he just comes off worse.