Thursday, July 17, 2003

Edit: It would appear that this is a hoax- Dave from the commentary threads linked to a snopes entry that debunks the hoax. I'll leave the entry up, and just say that I'm nothing but pleased that it turned out to be untrue.

This is pathetic:

MONTREAL-- Metallica are taking legal action against independant Canadian rock band Unfaith over what they feel is unsanctioned usage of two chords the band has been using since 1982 : E and F.

'People are going to get on our case again for this, but try to see it from our point of view just once,' stated Metallica's Lars Ulrich. 'We're not saying we own those two chords, individually - that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music.'

Metallica filed a trademark infringement suit against the indie group at the US district court for central California on Monday. According to the drummer, the continued use of the two chords causes 'confusion, deception and mistake in the minds of the public'.

Ulrich states that he's not trying to prevent Unfaith from using the two chords, only that he feels Metallica should be credited for them whenever used, and is calling for 50% of all revenue generated from any song using them.

"It's nothing personal against them," he added. "We intend to enforce our rights with any band intending to use Metallica-branded chords in the future."
Words cannot describe how much contempt I have for Lars Ulrich and this nonsense suit. It is an insult to the professions of songwriting and performing, it renders farcical the entire concept of trademark and copyright, it sullies the reputation of metal/hard rock/whatever during a period where, frankly, musicians within that genre have enough trouble getting respected, and it makes Metallica look like a group of whiny children who are so afraid of irrelevance and their own lack of creativity and artistic skill that they have to launch a suit over a pair of guitar chords.

And all this in a day and age where sampling is not only tolerated, but understood as a way in which one type of music or kind of song can be manipulated and reinvigorated to become something entirely new and fresh. (It can also be tripe, of course, but that's the case with anything.) Napster was one thing, but this is quite another.

Metallica is beneath contempt.

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