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METALLICA’s KIRK HAMMETT On Streaming: ‘We Warned Everyone This Was Gonna Happen’

Metallica's Kirk Hammett addressed the band's infamous lawsuit against Napster, saying the legal action taken was essentially a warning to everyone.

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In a new interview with Classic Rock, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett addressed the band’s infamous lawsuit against Napster, saying the legal action taken was essentially a warning to everyone about where the music industry was headed.

METALLICA sued Napster back in 2000 over claims of copyright infringement and racketeering making it the first lawsuit against P2P software. METALLICA won the lawsuit, causing a backlash from numerous fans who blamed METALLICA for trying to prevent the evolution of the way people consume music.

Kirk said: “We warned everyone that this was gonna happen. We warned everyone that the music industry was gonna lose eighty percent of its net worth, power and influence. When these monumental shifts come you just either fucking rattle the cage and get nothing done or you move forward.

He continued: “There’s definitely a new way for getting music out there, but it isn’t as effective as the music industry pre-Napster. But we’re stuck with it. There needs to be some sort of midway point where the two come together, or another completely new model comes in.”

Spotify reportedly paid out $7 billion in royalties in 2021 to rights holders following critiques from within the music industry that the streaming service pays artists tiny amounts per stream.

Instead of paying artists directly, Spotify pays rights holders—record labels, distributors or others—who artists allow to put their music on the platform, and who in turn pay the artists with the money earned on the streaming service.