Napster, the controversial online music distribution company, got a special delivery on Wednesday, courtesy of Metallica.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich showed up at Napster's headquarters in San Mateo, California on Wednesday, bearing 13 boxes of legal paperwork charging Napster with copyright violations in the unauthorized distribution of Metallica's music.
The hard rock outift sued Napster last month, alleging copyright infringement and rackateering but the company failed to remove the band's songs from its directory.
Apparently, the Napster people challenged Metallica to come up with concrete evidence of people violating their copyrights, and Lars Ulrich took them up on the challenge, as he told MTV News on Wednesday.
[article id="1448031"]"They just held their hands up, and said 'we're just providing a service here,'"[/article] Lars recalled of Napster's challenge, [article id="1448031"]"'but if you guys can
come up with real people, making real copyright violations of your song, we'll be happy to remove them from our service.' It was sort of like a dare."[/article]
One Napster user, Marc Brown, was not so impressed by Lars' special delivery and even less impressed with Metallica's stance on the Napster issue.
[article id="1448031"]"I think it's about the most un-hip thing that I've ever seen a big rock star do,"[/article] Brown said referring to the Metallica member showing up at the Napster offices. [article id="1448031"]"And it's funny that he's an old, aging antique and he's taking this antique position."[/article]
As far as Lars is concerned, Napster users like Marc Brown will eventually have to take responsibility for their own actions.
[article id="1448031"]"At some point, the fans and the people who are part of this become more than innocent bystanders,"[/article] Ulrich told MTV News on Wednesday.
Napster co-founder Sean Parker does not feel the company has done anything wrong by offering its online music-trading interface to Internet users.
[article id="1448031"]"Users are exchanging content, and we, napster, never come in contact with any of the music that people are distributing,"[/article] Parker told MTV News. [article id="1448031"]"We have no legal obligation or responsibility to police our network. And we feel the court will uphold that." [RealVideo][/article]
In regards to Wednesday's special delivery, Napster lawyers say the company is willing to disable the Napster users cited by Metallica.
Of course," the company said in a statement, "If the band would provide the names in computerized form, rather than in tens of thousands of pages of paper, intended to create a photo-op, that would expedite the process.
We'll keep you updated on Metallica's suit against Napster as the story continues to develop.
For complete digital music coverage, check out the Digital Music Reports.