Metallica is suing Napster and the people who use the music sharing program.

In fact, Metallica "delivered the screen names of 335,000 people it accuses of music piracy." 335,000 people that want to experience Metallica's art.

So Napster is forced to investigate and disable these people's accounts if they are found "guilty."

It's hard for me to have much sympathy for Metallica.

They are upset that they're not getting payed for their efforts, right? Is that why they make records?

I've been publishing Prehensile Tales in print or Web form for 6 years. I've never made a dime. In fact, I've spent substantial sums of money just so I can continue to expose people to my art. It's my passion. It's my pleasure.

And it's free. If you enjoy it, that is my payment.

Don't get me wrong...I'd LOVE to make a living doing I'd love to get royalties every time it was read and get rich. I've even fantasized about writing a book and making millions.

But if someone was Xeroxing my book so that more people could read it, would I make a stink? If someone was deriving joy from my work WHO HADN'T PAID ME, would I care? No.

It's one thing if people are selling my work. That would piss me off. But just appreciating it??? That doesn't seem like much of a crime to me.

Metallica *could* have changed their revenue model. Or learned to live on less cash.

But, instead they've attacked their fans.

I say, if Metallica wants to keep their art from us, let them. I don't want it.

Would Van Gogh be upset if people were sneaking in the museum to view his art without paying??

may 05, 2000