Re: All Abourd The Clueless Train..

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From: Mike Masnick (
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 12:51:15 PDT

At 09:22 AM 5/15/00 -0700, Tom Whore wrote:
>Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Chuck D of Public Enemeny/
>took the issue of Pro And Con napster to the Charlie Rose show. Here is a
>summary of the procceedings
>"If you don't want to pay $16 a CD ... you're greedy and I don't want you
>as a fan."
>-Lars Ulrich, Metallica

I just watched the rebroadcast of this show... The thing that got me was
how clueless Lars seemed about everything, and not just the technology, but
economics, human nature, and business.

He kept insisting that this wasn't against the end users, but against
Napster, since they wanted to go out and IPO and make millions of dollars
that should belong to him and the record company. He even says "Come on,
this is America, no one does anything for free. They just want to IPO and
make millions" (that's a paraphrase, but he said all that... just maybe not
in that order). At one point Lars claims that his argument is bulletproof
because "someone has to make the money" and the question is whether it
should be Napster or the recording industry, and obviously it has to be the
recording industry.

He also says that they encourage people to bootleg their shows and all that
because they're not perfect copies, but MP3s are, so that's where his
problem is... (you notice a pattern of cluelessness).

The thing he keeps going back to is "control". He says it about a hundred
times, and makes it sound as if no one should be allowed to ever listen to
his music without his personal approval.

He also kept emphasizing that all he's really trying to do is start a
debate, and his fans should respect him more for that. When Chuck D tells
him that the tool is great for small bands who would never be heard
otherwise, Lars agrees and says he's not trying to stop that, but then
explains why Napster should be shut down altogether. As an alternative
solution he suggests that Napster should be like the "book of the month"
club, where they ask bands if they want to participate, and then they'll
send a song to each user each month, and that user has a choice to either
pay or "send it back".

He also says "If fans like our music they should pay the $16 that the
market has determed is the price for our CD". I guess he doesn't know that
this is an artificially elevated price:

And, I guess that he doesn't think the "market" works when it says the cost
of his MP3s should be zero...

Chuck D on the other hand does a good job of saying "this is what's
happening, learn to live with it." He makes the point that the problem is
caused by lawyers and accountants who count "what's not there". That is,
they make up all these crazy numbers about "lost sales" of people who have
pirated materials that they never actually would have bought in the first


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