Suit alleges that Defendants have violated the law by committing
continuing copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio
interface device, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced
& Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
recording artists Metallica, E/M Ventures and Creeping Death
Music have today filed suit in U.S District Court Central District
of California against Napster, Inc., The University of
Southern California, and Indiana University.
Metallica, E/M Ventures
and Creeping Death Music are the copyright owners of sound recordings
and musical compositions created by Metallica and possess the
exclusive right to commercially distribute these songs and sound
recordings and derive income therefrom.
The suit alleges that Napster
and the other defendants -- by encouraging and enabling visitors
to its website to unlawfully exchange with others copyrighted
songs and sound recordings without the knowledge or permission
of Metallica -- have violated the law by committing continuing
copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio interface
device, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO).
Says Metallica drummer
Lars Ulrich, "With each project, we go through a grueling
creative process to achieve music that we feel is representative
of Metallica at that very moment in our lives. We take our craft
-- whether it be the music, the lyrics, or the photos and artwork
-- very seriously, as do most artists. It is therefore sickening
to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather
than the art that it is.
"From a business standpoint,
this is about piracy -- AKA taking something that doesn't belong
to you; and that is morally and legally wrong. The trading of
such information -- whether it's music, videos, photos, or whatever
-- is, in effect, trafficking in stolen goods."
Further the suit states
that, "Napster has devised and distributed software whose
sole purpose is to permit Napster to profit by abetting and encouraging
the pirating of the creative efforts of the world's most admired
and successful musical artists. Facilitating that effort are
the hypocritical universities and colleges who could easily block
this insidious and ongoing thievery scheme. The last link in
the chain are the end users of the stolen musical works, students
of these universities and others who exhibit the moral fiber
of common looters loading up shopping carts because 'everybody
else is doing it.'"
Metallica released their
first album, Kill'em All, in 1983, and since that time have released
nine albums, including two double albums. They have won five
Grammy Awards and have sold more than 50 million albums through
normal retail channels in the United States alone. Their 1991
album, Metallica, with sales of over 12 million copies,
is the third greatest selling album since the inception of Soundscan
(the company that provides accurate sales information for the
music industry) and continues to sell close to a million copies