back to article Metallica's Lars Ulrich illegally downloads own album

Metallica drummer and notorious Napster naysayer Lars Ulrich has admitted he illegally downloaded his band’s latest album from a file-sharing website. The heavy metal rocker told US music channel VH1 he wanted to test how the process worked. “I sat there myself and downloaded ‘Death Magnetic’ from the internet just to try it …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. David

    As always...

    one rule for them one rule for us

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    OK Lars....

    So how about you walk into you local HMV or Virgin store and steal off the shelf? Is that OK for the shop's staff, the van drivers who delivered it or the store's owner, all to take a slight pay cut?

    No it is not! You sir are a thief and big fat hypocrite!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    illegally downloads


    and theres me thinking it was the uploading that was illegal, jeeze never knew I was so daft.

  4. Edward Rose

    Quick question

    Given he has freely distributed electronic copies of the music (which is the same as freely distributing CDs as a promo) does this mean people can legally download it now? Or, is it just the people who were connected whilst he did the download?

    Or, is it just the pieces his system actually uploaded during the process that counts as free?

    How do you prove which bits are which, and what is the value?

  5. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    I trust, then...

    that he'll be providing his own details to the RIAA like he did with thousands of his (now former) fans previously? Admittedly, they lost as many fans from St Anger as they did from the lawsuits...

    The man is a prize twat, who's rivalling Gene Simmons for arrogance and a "let's put Metallica on <INSERT ITEM HERE> to make some more cash!!" attitude, but without the ability to take the piss out of himself.

    Dave Mustaine and Jason Newstead FTW!!!

  6. Dale Richards

    So... the record company sueing him?

  7. bluesxman


    "I figured if there is anybody that has a right to download ‘Death Magnetic’ for free, it’s me."

    That counts as a lost sale, therefore he is stealing money directly from the record label. No one has the right to do that, whatever their justification. His actions and attitude are killing the music industry. Killing. One could argue that his shite music was already doing a good job of that, though...

  8. andy gibson


    Metallica - drinking wine at a dinner party? Downloading music from the net? Seems to me that these ageing rockers have lost it.

  9. John

    Surely is wasn't an Illegal Download....

    As he (co-) owns the copyright, this was a legal download....?

  10. Luke

    Ah Lars

    If only it had been P2P - he would likely have ended up uploading his own album to other people and have the easily excitable RIAA banging on his door with a lawsuit.

    Bless him though - I get the distinct feeling he hasn't got a clue.

  11. Ian Ferguson


    I hope now he's confessed to his crime, he will be repaying the rights holders (his record company and by proxy his bandmates).

    If he claims that HE is the rights holder, then how about this; He was using peer-to-peer filesharing, and so he would have been not only downloading the album but sharing it too. As he, as the owner, has made it available for download, I assume that it's OK by him that the rest of us do as well.

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Lard Ulrich...

    Has turned into a nob and his band ran out of creative ideas after the black album. Perhaps that's why he downloaded it as he realised that it's not actually worth the extortionate cover price.

    That said, Master of puppets is still genre definitive.

  13. John Bayly

    RIAA can't be too impressed

    Even though he/they may be the copyright holders, they've deprived their record label of a sale. We all know that a downloaded album is a lost sale, don't we.

    Funny thing is that if he installed his bittorrent client with all the default settings it's probably still on his machine, running on boot and sharing the album to other bittorrent users. ‘Wow, this is how it works." implies he had no idea how p2p actually worked.

    Still don't agree with downloading music/media though.

    If you want the music, buy it.

    If you don't want a greedy record label to get your money, buy music from an indy musician, or a label that gives most of the money to the artist.

    Pirate, well he's one of them now.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    it was just for research

    He's clearly using the Townshend Defence.

  15. andy
    Paris Hilton

    what "right"?

    "if there is anybody that has a right to download ‘Death Magnetic’ for free, it’s me.”

    Nope, I'm afraid not. This is a classic representation of why people like Lars shouldn't be able to make court cases out of this kind of thing. He doesn't understand that:

    1. His "stealing music" argument goes out of the window, because he is still "stealing" it from his other bandmates, production team, and anyone else who was owed money as a result of purchasing it in a shop.

    2. If he is downloading it via P2P, he is also (probably) sharing it and allowing other people to get it.

    Reminds me of when the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their last album and Flea got all arsey about it, but later admitted he would have downloaded it too if only he "knew how". Sad.

    Paris - because this is as dumb as... well you know the rest.

  16. whiff

    30 minutes?

    can he not afford a fster net connection??

  17. Oliver Mayes

    It took him 30 minutes?

    "We sat there and 30 minutes later I had ‘Death Magnetic’ in my computer. "

    1 MP3 = 30 minutes? So with all that money he still has dial-up?

  18. EnigmaForce


    Amazing stuff, do you say...internets.

  19. Elmer Phud


    We're supposed to pay for Metallica's stuff?

    Not even sure the bandwidth is worth the effort to download anyway.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He, like, sounds like a real, like, moron

  21. dreadful scathe
    Black Helicopters

    @Sarah Bee

    well, except Pete Townshend was not found guilty of downloading anything at all...

  22. Paul Talbot

    Legal, actually...

    Ulrich couldn't have illegally downloaded the album at all. The "crime" involved in downloading an album is copyright infringement, not anything to do with the process itself. Since Ulrich is one of the copyright holders, it's impossible for him to infringe on copyright by downloading the album. Now, if he downloaded someone else's copyrighted works instead, that would be illegal...

    Sorry to inject some common sense here, but it's perfectly legal to use P2P software, and there are many legal uses for it no matter what the RIAA propaganda pretends.

  23. Back2funk
    Paris Hilton

    Are you all missing something?

    Everyone seems to be banging on about 'a lost sale' and 'stealing' but surely he was never going to buy it anyway. He could get it for free whenever he wanted to.

    Some people are just moaning for the sake of it.... Anyone would think it's a Friday!

    Paris because I bet she 'gets it' for free.

  24. Kieran

    Er, hang on a minute...

    "So, Metallica’s drummer’s views about peer-to-peer downloading have clearly mellowed in recent years."

    From the statements in this article that's a ridiculous conclusion. The implication in his statements is that this was the first time he'd ever downloaded anything from a file-sharing site (given his apparent surprise at the ease), and he did so in order to see whether or not his work was really being so easily pirated.

    The subsequent leap that this in any way represents a mellowing of his views, let alone 'clearly', is nothing more than conjecture. For all anyone knows this has simply hardened those views, unless the author is holding back some other piece of the puzzle.

    I'm not expressing any opinion here regarding Metallica, Lars Ulrich, or the legality of the process. But if you're going to infer things then print the quotes that led you to that inference - otherwise you're just making stuff up.

  25. Matt

    30 minutes to download an album???

    You'd think one of the highest grossing rock musicians ever (apparently) would be able to afford a decent broadband connection wouldn't you?

    Mines the one with no Metallica albums in the pockets

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Does that mean it's free?

    Answer : No.

    Grow up, children.

    If you get a "free" DVD with a magazine or newspaper, that's *your* copy, and you're not allowed to make copies for other people.

    If Lars's installation of Bittorrent (or whatever) gave away 50% of the album, that 50% may be legitimately free to the recipient(s) -- however, just like the magazine covermount DVD, that doesn't give the recipient the right to redistribute it, and it certainly doesn't give you or me (third if not fourth parties) the right to distribute it free.

    Thumb down because there's no "shut your freebooting yapper" icon.

  27. Neil Greatorex

    Townshend Defence?

    That's obviously the rule that says you can do anything you like, as long as you are a complete and utter talentless twat.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Stealing 80% is still stealing

    With a CD, the band gets on average around 10% and the composer usually an additional 10%. For a singer songwriter pretty much the maximum royalties they get from a CD sale is 20%. In his case as a single member of the band he would get much less. This means he has stolen a bare minimum of 80% of the cost of the album.

    I think the only solution is 20 years hard labour for the guy.

    Just as an aside, my 1000 CD+ MP3 collection is all legal. I've never downloaded music from the tubes. That makes me more of a law-abiding citizen than more righteous than though Ulrich.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Halo showing

    I've recently started using uTorrent to download copies of a lot of the LPs I've got gathering dust in the wardrobe, rather than drag them out and spend a couple of week meticulously copying and cleaning them up.

    Am I still ok to hate copyright thieves, or have I now gone over to the dark side??

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    "...ran out of creative ideas after the black album."

    The black album was shite. They started to suck after

    Cliff Burton passed away, as he kept Lars & James from

    being the Yuppie twats that they are now.

    <img height="BIG" width="FAT" src="YUPPIE_TWAT_.LARS">

  31. Danny


    with his action, he has now technically made it legal to download and upload the album, since he used a P2P client, he was sharing the album the second he started downloading it. i may be mistaken, but if the owner of an album shares it in public, then anyone can legally get a free copy.

    yeah i know, probably a bridge too far, but a funny thought nonetheless.

  32. Dave Ross

    30 minutes...

    He must have the slowest broadband in the world!

  33. Ray

    one word


  34. Niall

    Rock n Roll

    If I had of known that the rock n roll lifestyle involved so much messing about on computers I would have become a rock star instead of a developer.

  35. Kenny Swan


    I'm not a lawyer. His band may own copyright to the music, but I'm pretty sure they don't own the distribution rights, so maybe he has broken a law here. If someone decided to take action against him for this, the world would implode from the weight of the irony.

    I think I'll get ready for the drummer induced apocalypse.

  36. g e

    I wonder if he deleted it as fast as I did after listening

    and six friends sat round a table drinking wine (oddly enough) and someone said 'hey I got the new Metallica album, wanna listen?' so dutifully we popped it on and awaited the much vanted return to traditional values espoused by the band, worried about the fall of in their sales and fanbase from the two steaming turds they released.

    It went like this...

    track 1: Oh that's nicked straight from Ride The Lightning

    track2: Hey hold on.. that's 'Of Wolf and Man'

    track3: That's bloody Orion mixed with Sanitarium

    ... and so on

    A pattern was clearly emerging. Yes, Metallica have actually become a Metallica tribute band. A bit much of a return to traditional values methinks.

    We went through the entire album in about 10 mins then deleted it. Waste of bandwidth for the guy who grabbed it.

  37. Neil

    Question is...

    Did he listen to it once and then delete it like most other people did?

  38. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    Alright, if you're gonna be a stickler, the Langham Defence.

  39. Paul

    Which version?

    Did he download the version remixed from the Guitar Hero DLC? To hear what it sounds like when a retard doesn't do the mixing? :)

  40. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Er, hang on a minute...

    I think you take things a little too literally. You know this site has satirical elements, right?

  41. Charles Calthrop

    fucking lightweight

    I've just had five pints for my lunch

    So who's fucking rock and roll now you fat bastard?

    One bottle of wine between seven people? So it's come to this. Shocking.

  42. Ceiling Cat

    @Mike Crawshaw

    At least KISS were entertaining!

    Jolly Roger . . . because it's more fitting than Paris?

  43. Kevin Fairhurst

    What a cheap-ass

    "Ulrich and six of his friends supped on a bottle of wine at the drummer’s house"

    Seven people sharing one bottle of wine?? Jeez, he sure know's how to throw a party!!

  44. Anonymous Coward

    I assume

    The Recording Industry Assholes of America will be suing him now...

  45. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    30 mins

    I doubt it's his broadband connection. It's more likely that the album is so sh!te that no-one was seeding it.

    Paris, 'cos she's been well seeded.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >i may be mistaken, but if the owner of an album shares it in public, then anyone can legally get a free copy.

    You're mistaken.

    Assuming he's the rights holder, then he can give away copies, however they're copies not production rights. Such rights would look different.

    With any luck having seen what he's up against he'll realise that there is no way he's going to beat it through courts and technology.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Not for anyone who listens to music downloads

  48. Mat Moore


    ... Takes me back:

    <language warning>


  49. Anonymous Coward


    Not all of the revenue generated from music sales belongs to the artist. In fact most of it belongs to the record label.

    We are constantly told that "downloads = lost sales", therefore (using equally fuzzy thinking) Lars has clearly *stolen* money that belongs to the record label, distributor etc. rather than only denying himself his own royalties.

    Time for the RIAA to step in methinks. His public admission of guilt should surely secure his conviction.

  50. QrazyQat

    He owes the RIAA now

    It would seem Lars now owes the RIAA some $838,000, which is what his DLing apparently cost them, according to what they charge everybody else. As he is a principled man, I'm sure the check is in the mail.

  51. Bounty

    Why it took so long to download.

    It probably took 30 min to download, because the first 3 albums he thought were "Death Magnetic" were actually KISS, Garth Brooks and ZZ Top. All who can now sue him. I'm sure the addictive nature of the power of the dark side...errrr the internet, have him still downloading random copyrighted crap. Someone should call his ISP.

  52. kain preacher


    It is possible to boot leg your own album. That's done when you sale(distribute with out permission) your own album but do not pay your label.

    Say I know it sound crazy but the artist still need permission from the label to distribute their own works unless they owns the masters

  53. Gis Bun


    He should take himself to court.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    @AC re Stealing 80% is still stealing

    Its NOT stealing, its copyright infringement. Which means its like having a law that makes it illegal to make a tracing of someone else's drawing - which may or may not be immoral, based on your opinion/upbringing/career/brainwashing.

    In the future, when technology allows replication of any object (ie not just computer files), do you really think it will be possible to ban its use? Those with vested interests will fight tooth and nail to prevent it but just like the anti printing press, anti automobile, anti video recorder and anti P2P brigades, THEY WILL FAIL.

  55. Daniel B.

    Remember the 2000 VMA's?

    That Ulrich sketch was stupid in comparing *physical* theft with p2p downloading. I suppose that now the other band members will proceed to take away all of Lars' personal belongings then!

    Mine's the one with the "NAPSTER! BAD!" sticker.

  56. bothwell
    Thumb Down

    Well, I thought I'd do the same

    And I didn't even listen to the whole thing before deleting it. Holy crap, it's terrible! Lars, what in god's name were you thinking? Can't you find anything better to pirate than this bollocks?

  57. Anonymous Coward

    @Re: Er, hang on a minute..

    Satire and Aspergers don't go too well together.

  58. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Down


    Metallica's music is as weak as bats-piss, so it shoulbe be FREE!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Meh ...

    Metallica haven't released a decent album since "Master Of Puppets", and to think I was still at school when *that* came out. Even then, Ulrich was a complete twat.

    The humming sound you're hearing? That's Cliff Burton spinning in his grave.

  60. Chewy


    Metallica haven't been relevant for a long time so why even give them the oxygen of publicity. Add to the fact that he can't compete with modern drummers.

  61. L1feless

    Now Sick 'em

    Well there is nothing better than a public confession from a public figure who has clearly show his true colours as a hypocritical twat. Take the bastard to court and make an example of him.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    He wanted the truth...

    Sounds like he did this little experiment to work out why nobody was buying or legally downloading the album - so he did this to make sure teh internets wasn't broken.

    He now realises the truth - actually their album isn't being bought or downloaded because it is shit.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    innocent until judged otherwise

    I don't think theres any crime in this as he did not knowingly redistribute the album.

    Innocent until proven guilty- his reasons for accessing the music also seemed legitimate in the spirit of detecting & researching a crime.

    Finally its going to be impossible for the RIAA to prove loss of earnings.

This topic is closed for new posts.