Universal Cancels Metallica Interview over Torrent Link

I shared this in the What I’m Reading section but I feel it bears some highlighting — Universal Cancels Metallica Interview over Torrent Mention. Basically a reviewer for a Swedish publication reviewed the new Metallica album and linked to a remix of it available on RapidShare and now through torrents (you can find it as “Death Magnetic Better Shorter Cut”) and said he liked the remix version better. The remix version, as the title indicates, is the same tunes minus the sucking repetitions of choruses and riffs. You know, it’s Metallica with the editor they’ve needed for the past, oh, 18 years. Metallica’s record label subsequently cancelled an interview the band was to do with the publication.

Here’s a tasty, aggravating paragraph:

“The reviewer is referring to a BitTorrent where someone has altered the original songs,” Universal Music Sweden president Per Sundin told another Swedish publication, according to RoadRunner Records. “The reviewer explains exactly where one should go in order to download the file that totally infringes on a copyright. It’s not only an illegal file, but an altered file. The reviewer also writes that this is how the album should have sounded.”

That record label d-bag continues:

“File-sharing of music is illegal — period,” lectured Sundin. “There’s nothing to discuss. That fact that Sydsvenskan has a writer that has downloaded this music illegally and then makes mention of an illegal site in his review is totally unacceptable to us.”

I’m just so confused by every issue at play here. For obvious starters, file-sharing of music is not illegal “period.” The writer didn’t link to a torrent of the album that’s available for purchase (as he easily could have done) thereby circumventing the sale of the album. He linked to a fan’s remix and then stated an opinion that the remix was better than the original. So it seems in this case, what Metallica and their record label really object to is the writer’s opinion and they’re using the “illegal” file-sharing issue as a smokescreen to try to avoid negative press. But all they’re really doing is pointing out that they still hate the way their fans interact with their music and that they don’t understand the internet nor new media.

Or to put it another way: Metallica = FAIL.