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
    Ima Fish, 30 May 2008 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Ima Fish

    "Ura Retard, quit digging your own grave."

    And a person who thinks a noun can file a lawsuit is not a retard?

    X made the asinine comment that Metallica did not attack Napster, it was a member of Metallica. Which is idiotic because 1, Metallica cannot do that and necessarily needs a person to do that, and 2. a person did in fact do that for Metallica.

    Thus blaming Lars instead of the band makes no sense. Now, if the rest of the band had told Lars to shut the frick up. Maybe I'd agree with X's point. But that never happened. So the entire band is to blame for their fiasco.

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