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
    Loyal Fan once, Never again!, 30 May 2008 @ 11:17am

    I remember a time when Metallica was anti-commercialism

    They[Metallica] hated radio because they commercialized songs that THEY[radio stations] felt were worthy of radio play. They had one underground video available "Cliff 'em All" With the late great Cliff Burton... And then... That crappy black album came out... People who had never heard of Metalica and had NOTHING to do with Metallica's fame or money in the World of Heavy Metal - called the best crappy song on there - "Enter THE Sandman"... That was when Metallica sold itself to NON-METAL FANS! Lars was on Live Sh*t Binge - whatever it was called... He said they had come up with this idea to evolve because their fans had all grown up... I'm 37 now... I'm listening to Slayer, Megadeth, Sacred Reich... etc... I'm looking for more hard hitting bands that are replacing what use to be Metallica's throne I download them for free then I go out and BUY them!

    But as for Metallica whom claimed to be so happy with their loyal followers... AND THEN SOLD OUT! Your days ended the same day you decided to commercialize your selfish selves! I have NOTHING Metallica... At one point Right up till "RELOAD" (Someone gave it to me as a birthday present)- I had EVERYTHING METALLICA... Then I destroyed them all! Seek and Destroy is no more. Metallica has sold its soul to mainstream - and now - mainstream has given you, Metallica the same dirty shaft that you gave to your loyal fans! Do us all a favor... Follow in Faith No More, GnR, STP, RETIRE...
    Lars, I know he's deaf but there is no way you can feel the base of a double base - and say it sounds the same as your new gay drum kit - That is Smashing Pumpkin's drums - give them back! THEY DO NOT PLAY METAL! THEN AGAIN - NEITHER DO YOU!

    "LOSSERS!" - David Hasselhoff to his German team, in the movie "Dodge ball"

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