Reputation Is A Scarce Good... As Metallica Is Learning

from the oops dept

On Thursday, we wrote about Metallica's latest foray online, where it's attempting to build a community around its latest music. Given Metallica's history of attacking Napster all the way back in 2000, we expected there to be some pushback, but what was really stunning was how many of the comments were from people (many of whom had been big fans of the band) still pissed off about Metallica's actions, and refusing to have anything to do with the band. We weren't the only ones to notice. Wired had a story on Metallica's efforts and discovered exactly the same thing. The vast majority of the comments were vehemently negative. Clearly, Metallica really tarnished its reputation by its actions eight years ago, and it's still paying for it.

This brings up a good point, that we've mentioned in the past in the comments, but not so clearly in a post. A person, organization, band or company's reputation is an important "scarce" good -- and once damaged, it's quite difficult (though not impossible) to rebuild the shattered goodwill. When talking about what would happen in a world without copyright, for example, people often say "but in a world without copyright, couldn't someone just copy your own creation and pretend they were their own." The answer is yes, but they do so at the risk to their own reputation. If the news comes out that the person/organization/band/whatever was taking others' works and not giving credit where it was due, that would harm their reputation. And, as Metallica is learning, a tainted reputation can have serious long-term impact.

Filed Under: metallica, reputation, scarce goods


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  1. identicon
    ScytheNoire, 30 May 2008 @ 9:01am

    Screw the whole music industry

    I grew up on Metallica. I had all their tapes, and then when CD's came out, got all their CD's, and even some DVD's. I had a whole bunch of shirts, used to try to collect them all. I was a total metal head, and Metallica were my gods.

    Then came them trying to destroy new technology and being pawns of the music industry. That was the end of my relationship with Metallica. Done and over with.

    But it wasn't just Metallica I wrote off, but the entire music industry, all music. The entire industry just disgusts me, as it continuously lies about the artists and writers not getting their fair share, but it's always been like that, because it's always been the corporations that got the majority of the money. And then they waste that money on crap like Michael Jackson and other pop losers, not to mention all the lawyers they waste money on, and it just makes you not want to fund a terrorist organization like the music industry.

    The toughest thing to get back when it's been damaged is the reputation. Even people who have been falsely accused of things have had reputations that were damaged forever.

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