Web Documentary: How The Internet Changed Heavy Metal

from the hint:-for-the-better dept

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming web documentary by Metal Injection looking at the impact of the internet on heavy metal, among other things. The internet-focused episode was released last week, and it contains lots of interesting tidbits about the metal scene's reaction to changing technologies.

I say "tidbtis" because the format of the documentary is a little frustrating. It jumps rapidly back and forth among interviews with a huge variety of people including musicians, promoters, journalists and label representatives. It's kind of hard to keep track of who everyone is, and nobody really gets the time to make longer, more complex points, which also means there are a few quotes that are hard to interpret without the surrounding context. Nevertheless, there are some great views expressed, most of which will be familiar to Techdirt regulars.

At its core, the metal scene (like most music scenes) seems to be embracing the internet. One thing I found interesting was the number of people who clearly accept what's happening even if they don't entirely approve of it: whether they think that there is too much crappy music out there now, or that file sharing is bad for artists, they acknowledge that these things are here to stay and the only thing to do is embrace them and move forward.

There is also a running thread of the idea that the metal genre is especially well-positioned to build online business models, because metal fans tend to be big consumers of merchandise, and have a huge appreciation for large-form artwork and appealing physical products. Several people point out that it's no surprise the metal world embraced filesharing, since the golden age of heavy metal was fueled by tape trading—a topic that's discussed in more detail over at the Metalluminati blog.

You can watch the full documentary below.


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  1. identicon
    hurricane head, 25 Apr 2012 @ 10:58am

    artists rights for an ethical internet everyone should be paid fairly

    acceptance without approval is just reality. I accept how things are today, but I can also work towards making them better for artists tomorrow. these are not mutually exclusive. there is no such thing as stasis. the difference is being defeatist or not. the law is against TD and yet TD spends a lot of time tilting windmills. good luck with that.

    if this was a non-starter, and there was no worthy and legitimate opposition you wouldn't be wasting your time in these conversations. you are scared. very scared, and you should be.

    the law supports artists. techdirt is against artists rights and copyright, and is promoting an agenda that there is no point in musicians defending themselves against tech corporations profiting in the millions or billions of dollars annually from the illegal exploitation of artists labor, which is an entirely unethical.

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