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Metallica is making a triumphant return to Napster 16 years after suing the company. The band’s whole back catalog will be available to listen to through the music streaming service to celebrate the release of Metallica’s 10th studio album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct.
In April 2000, Metallica sued Napster, the P2P file-sharing network started by Shawn Fanning. Metallica sued after discovering its whole back catalog, plus a new, as-yet-unreleased track, was available to download for free. Metallica won, and Napster was forced offline.
At the time, people were understandably annoyed at Metallica. After years of having to actually pay for music, thanks to Napster they suddenly had free access to every song ever recorded. Metallica became Public Enemy No. 1. And it took the band a long time to shake off this reputation.
The Napster that Metallica has made peace with is very different to the Napster that existed in the year 2000. After the original service was forced to shut down, Rovio acquired the brand. Then, in 2008, Best Buy bought it out, and merged Rhapsody and Napster together into one entity called… Napster.
Those who love a little bit of nostalgia should check out our article pitching the old Napster vs. the new Napster.
Metallica Was Right to Sue Napster
In hindsight, I think most people realize Metallica was right to fight back against illegal file-sharing. If Napster and its ilk had continued unchecked then the music industry may not have survived. Instead, it was forced to evolved in order to embrace the internet and the challenges that came with it.
We now have legal streaming options such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited. And while there are still other not-so-legal methods available, thanks to a combination of artists suing the companies involved, and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) suing file-sharers, piracy is not so mainstream now as it once was.
Do you remember the Napster of old? Did you know it still existed, albeit in a different form? Do you remember Metallica? Are you looking forward to Hardwired… To Self-Destruct? Will you be listening to it on Napster? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: *USB* via Flickr