Karma: Twitch Replaces Live Metallica Concert With 8-Bit Music To Avoid Copyright Madness

from the napster-bad! dept

Long time copyright watchers know that Metallica sullied its reputation with tons of fans when it was the first band to sue the file sharing upstart Napster back in 2000 (and also sued three universities for "not blocking Napster"). The band's drummer, Lars Ulrich, became an outspoken critic of file sharing and the internet, the early face of super wealthy musicians whining about the internet changing the way they did things, leading to the classic Money Good! Napster Bad! meme.

Over the years, Metallica has tried to do more to "embrace" the internet, but almost every time, fans jump up to remind them about what assholes they were towards the early internet experience.

And that brings us around to Friday evening, when Metallica was set to play a streamed "live" show to kick off BlizzCon (an event for video game company Blizzard). The event was streamed live on Twitch, which has had some copyright problems of late. It appears that as Metallica was playing, and the Twitch Gaming channel was streaming the concert, someone realized that there might be a copyright problem. As first called out by Rod Breslau, the channel inserted 8-bit folks music over Metallica's live performance to avoid a situation that, uh, Metallica might sue over.

You can see a fun YouTube video of when the switch happens and it's as glorious as it is stupid:

Watching Lars "rock out" to 8-bit folk music... is really quite something:

As plenty of people pointed out, Metallica and Lars are a big part of the reason that the internet is so, well, twitchy, in trying to take down copyright-covered content these days, so this bit of idiocy demonstrating just how broken copyright is couldn't have happened to a more deserving group.

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Filed Under: blizzcon, copyright, lars ulrich, licenses, metallica, music, streaming
Companies: twitch


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:02am

    It’s like the opposite of how Trent Reznor used to play the Zelda theme.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:03am

    It's pretty funny to think of a boomerang that takes 20 years to come back around to smack you in the head. :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PeterScott (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:38am

    That's epic irony...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:45am

    I bet Blizzard is hating this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:46am

    And yet... nothing of value was lost.

    Copyright Maximalists creating events so they can profit from them?? NO ONE WOULD EVER DO THAT!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rico R. (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:47am

    It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes too far!

    Twitch better be careful... Under the new copyright law passed last year, the feds could charge commercial entity Twitch with felony copyright infringement, on behalf of Metallica, for allowing Metallica to play Metallica's music, without permission from Metallica. Would Metallica members then realize how backward it has been for them to push for draconian copyright enforcement online?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rico R. (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:49am

      Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes too f

      I doubt that this would happen, but given how vague the language of the law is, it wouldn't be off-limits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      fairuse (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 1:42pm

      Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes too f

      My favorite sentence from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecting_Lawful_Streaming_Act

      "Senator Thom Tillis in announcing the bill, stated that by 2020, these sites were taking away more than US$30 billion from copyright holders annually, justifying the need for closing the loophole.[3]"

      That's All Folks -- Tired of it all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Dave, 22 Feb 2021 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes t

        Big corporations deserve to have money taken away from them, such as through, oh, I don't know, taxes?!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        n00bdragon (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 5:55am

        Re: Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes t

        taking away

        Only in the same sense that Betty Crocker is taking away money from restaurants.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 6:28am

          Re: Re: Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism go

          More like radio is taking away from music sales. The fact that labels used to illegally bribe radio stations to play their music should tell you exactly how logical that is.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 8:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalis

            Not only that, but thanks to the gatekeeper-less world we have now (as far as music is concerned, at least), I now know that Blue Öyster Cult had still made original music after their major label dropped them, and I bought their albums (and I thought they were terrific!).

            If we were stuck in a world with Gatekeepers I never would have known about them still existing and thought they vanished from the face of the earth.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 11:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maxim

              That's great for the artists to be found again for sure. I've rediscovered numerous artists in the same way. This is one things the copyright maximalists really need to keep in mind - they don't support artists, they support product, and when an artist is no longer seen as a hot commodity product (which usually happens after their first album), they're dropped quickly, often with debts to the major label and restrictions on how they can use the music they already recorded.

              One of the many reasons why when they start talking about the artists, I laugh.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 12:03am

      Re: It's all fun and games until copyright maximalism goes too f

      "Would Metallica members then realize how backward it has been for them to push for draconian copyright enforcement online?"

      To be fair, they've realised it for a long time and backtracked when fans let them know how wrong they were. They now do things like offering live recordings of all their shows for free on their website.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Angel (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 10:57am

    Luckily I was watching on Youtube, where this apparent shenanigan didn't happen But the irony is fantastic, the first thing I thought of when I heard about it was watching the Napster Guys on that awards show out there presenting wearing Metallica T-Shirts....it's so screwed up when musicians are the biggest assholes to their fans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 12:27pm

    On Amazon, Metalica's still being assholes, only allowing entire albums to be bought rather than single tracks like most.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 12:27pm

    Well if that's how you want to play it...

    As first called out by Rod Breslau, the channel inserted 8-bit folks music over Metallica's live performance to avoid a situation that, uh, Metallica might sue over.

    Even if the band themselves wouldn't sue there's the label to consider, and even if neither the band or label would sue there's the fact that bots are given free reign to issue copyright claims, and given their 'accuracy' and the fact that you've had groups argue in court that accusations are as good as findings of guilt when it involves copyright and that a platform that's not 'doing enough' to prevent possible infringement should be on the hook it's much safer to just block the music entirely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2021 @ 2:40pm

      Re: Well if that's how you want to play it...

      What would be great is if the same music were to be substituted everywhere that you'd normally expect Metallica. Twitch. Torrents. YouTube. Apple Music. Amazon Music. Google Music. Spotify.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2021 @ 2:41pm

      Re: Well if that's how you want to play it...

      The band and the label are the same now - they own all their old masters and don't have a contract with anyone for any new music they release.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 5:32pm

        Re: Re: Well if that's how you want to play it...

        If Metallica had really learned their lesson not to harm their fans, they'd pull a Peter Gabriel or Al Green and put up all their entire catalog on Bandcamp.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 1:02pm

    I'm…extremely offended!

    I'm offended!

    Why? Not because I can't hear Metallica's music. Like many said, Karma for disrespecting their fans (to be fair, "Weird Al" Yankovic and They Might Be Giants didn't like Napster but none of it had to do file sharing because in both cases comedic novelty songs would be attributed to them that they never did).

    I'm offended because I make chiptune, which is also called "8-bit" by some people, and the so-called "8-bit folk music" doesn't sound like chiptune at all! I was expecting awesome bleeps and bloops which would sound like a game boy or an NES but instead I got this silly bell music that sounds like it could have been played in December!

    If only they played actual 8-bit music! This is why Amazon and Twitch need to figure out their content ID system better than a blanket ban (and even YouTube's version has a ton of problems, but at least it doesn't take down as much like it used to).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 1:20am

      Re: I'm…extremely offended!

      "...the so-called "8-bit folk music" doesn't sound like chiptune at all! I was expecting awesome bleeps and bloops which would sound like a game boy or an NES but instead I got this silly bell music..."

      It's at the very least 16-bit. Anyone going after twitch for fraud over this?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 22 Feb 2021 @ 2:40pm

    Karma's a Twitch

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 22 Feb 2021 @ 2:48pm

    I guess you could say this was Metallica's…

    Own goal. 😁😋

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Feb 2021 @ 7:43pm

      One of your brain cells definitely drew the shortest straw when you decided to hit us with the textual equivalent of a 2×4. Humor may be in the eye of the beholder, but reading that joke was like pulling teeth…and you know that’s sad but true.

      …you know what? I’m sorry for being that harsh. I don’t wanna come off like St. Anger or whatever. It’s been a bit of a day and I’m kinda holding on to my frayed ends of sanity. Let’s just let this comment chain fade to black.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 23 Feb 2021 @ 2:14am

    It's called Toys In Space.

    The track is 'Toys in Space' by Ecobel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt-MUdEUFec

    Oh and for the um..record it's not 8-bit music.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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