MTV News Online
Ulrich told a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (July 11) that
Napster "hijacked" his band's music by making it available for anyone to download
Ulrich and Napster CEO Hank Barry appeared before Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Orrin Hatch to discuss the highly charged subject of digital-music
The outspoken drummer used the forum to blast Napster, the music-swapping
software company Metallica is suing for allegedly promoting copyright
infringement. "Napster hijacked our music without asking," he said. "They never
sought our permission. Our catalog of music simply became available for free
downloads on the Napster system.
"I do not have a problem with any artist voluntarily distributing his or her songs
through any means that artist so chooses, but just like a carpenter who crafts a table
gets to decide whether he wants to keep it, sell it, or give it away, shouldn't we have
the same options?" he asked. "We should decide what happens to our music, not a
company with no rights, no recordings, which has never invested a penny in our
music or anything to do with its creation. A choice has been taken away from us.
"With Napster, every song by every artist is available for download at no cost, and
of course with no payment to the artist, the songwriter, or the copyright holder,"
Ulrich continued. "If you're not fortunate enough to own a computer, there is only
one way to assemble a music collection the equivalent of a Napster user: theft."
As the hearing got under way, Hatch downloaded music by the rock band
color="#003163">Creedto show the ease of downloading tracks via the
Napster CEO Barry defended his company, saying "Napster's success reflects [a]
love of music. Napster does not copy files. It does not provide the technology for
copying files. Napster does not make MP3 files. It does not transfer files. Napster
simply facilitates communication among people interested in music. ... Napster is
helping, not hurting, the recording and music publishing industry and artists. A
chorus of studies shows that Napster users buy more records as a result of using
Napster, and that sampling music before buying is the most important reason people
MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson and
McGuinn also expressed the need to allow online music-distribution
technology to grow.