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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Companies: twitch

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

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37 Comments
This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rico R. (profile) says:

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?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
fairuse (profile) says:

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.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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.

PaulT (profile) says:

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.

Angel (profile) says:

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.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

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.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

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).

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

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.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: It's called Toys In Space.

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

Which is what I’ve been saying to anyone who would listen!!!!

Here’s what real 8-bit music sounds like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkReIdVkVjM

(Just so you know, the title is a joke. Joshua Davis a.k.a. Bit Shifter is a friend of mine and loves the track despite the similarity to one of his own tracks)

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