The internet doesn’t forget.
Years and years ago, back in the dark ages of the internet and social media, Metallica angered the tech gods by thwarting Napster, the music-sharing software that allowed everyone everywhere to download all the music they wanted – for free.
Was it legal? It was pre-legal, in that there weren’t any real laws preventing it, or, at least, no real way to regulate it. Until Metallica made a stink and Napster essentially got shut down.
In fairness, Metallica, and countless other artists, were being robbed by this widespread pirating, but they still came off like old men yelling at clouds. And now, some 20 years later, the internet got a little payback.
The elder statesmen of metal were playing a concert for BlizzCon – an annual gaming convention held by Blizzard Entertainment – that was being live-streamed on Twitch. The only problem is, Twitch didn’t want to get sued for sharing music they don’t have the rights to, so users who tuned in didn’t hear For Whom the Bell Tolls or One or Enter Sandman or Unforgiven.
Instead, they heard some bland, 8-bit music that made for a hilarious juxtaposition with the band’s hard-rocking histrionics.
According to Eurogamer, the dubbing didn’t occur everywhere, only on the Twitch Gaming channel.
Regardless, the irony was noted:
There’s something really funny about Metallica being dubbed over during Blizzcon due to copyright concerns.
The band famously went to war with file sharing service Napster 21 years ago to prevent copyright infringement on their music. Kind of a Frankenstein’s monster situation.
— Colin McNeil (@McNeilColin) February 20, 2021
Metallica not being able to play their own music live because of DMCA that came about in large part due to Metallica’s advocacy of it is a hell of a full circle.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 20, 2021
Watch the beautiful disaster unfold: