Watch Lars Ulrich's Napster Testimony for the First Time

Footage of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich giving his anti-Napster testimony at Capitol Hill in 2000 has appeared online for the very first time - watch it here.

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Footage of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich giving his infamous anti-Napster testimony in 2000 has appeared online for the first time.

In the scene below, taken from the new documentary "Downloaded" which chronicles the rise and fall of Napster (exclusive by Billboard), Ulrich is seen alongside other musicians like the Byrd's Roger McGuinn, both giving opposing views on the effect digital music will have on the music industry.

Ulrich was the most high-profile musician to speak out against Napster at the time, but was criticized by many for taking a stand. Time has proven that Ulrich's concerns about peer-to-peer music were right, after a decade of rapidly declining music sales.

"Just like a carpenter who crafts a table gets to decide if he wants to keep it, sell it, or give it away. Shouldn't we have the same options?" says Ulrich at Capitol Hill. "We want to decide what happens to our music. Not a company who has no rights to our recordings, which has never invested a penny in our music, or anything to do with its creation. The choice has been taken away from us."

Watch the clip from "Downloaded" featuring Lars Ulrich speaking out against Napster here:

76 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pope668
    "Just like a carpenter who crafts a table gets to decide if he wants to keep it, sell it, or give it away. Shouldn't we have the same options?" He knew the table thing was coming...
    Crousah
    pope668: from all those table-jokes, this one definitely is the best!
    Dakatsu
    I feel for musicians that lose money to piracy, especially non-millionaires, but it's not logical to try to limit something that can be infinitely reproduced. If I were emperor of the world I would have all music on one website for download, and the artists would be paid by how many people download their music. Everyone would win. I don't know where that money would come from, but I'd probably find a source of funding as emperor of the world.
    AaronianKenrod
    Spotify do it quite well, ads in between songs, or you pay for an ad-free subscription. Everyone wins (I think).
    lachybalboa.vas
    I heard that the artists get paid an unbelievably minuscule amount in royalties from spotify
    Birchall17
    I heard we should all believe everything we read on the internet.
    HM123
    I red an article originally published on pitchfork.com (Nov. 14, 2012) author Damon Krukowski noted "Galaxie 500's "Tugboat", for example, was played 7,800 times on Pandora that quarter, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents , or seven cents each. Spotify pays better: For the 5,960 times "Tugboat" was played there, Galaxie 500's songwriters went collectively into triple digits: $1.05 (35 cents each)." ...So there's that
    tonello
    I heard that, too. So for any ladies interested, I'm a French model. Bonjour.
    tristanwilsonmi
    Sumerian Records actually posts their artists' song on YouTube because they get more money from ad revenue than Spotify would pay. So I guess it depends on the artist.
    wes_jett2008
    I have music on Spotify ... Their royalty rate is laughable. Way less than a penny per stream.
    ConReid14
    That doesn't sound unreasonable. Of course, it doesn't pay a lot if you are a small time artist getting a dozen or so plays a month, but for a bigger artist who's plays amount to six or seven figures a month, it will become more worth-while. Also, and I'm just speculating here, I wouldn't be surprised if Spotify has deals or contracts with bigger artists who bring more traffic to the service. It would be in everyone's interest for them to pay a little more to a multi-platinum selling artist in order to be allowed to feature their music and therefore bring more user onto the site.
    LazZer
    Spotify is a pretty good idea, although it doesn't pay too much. But still, pays more than piracy.
    scarabs
    and people don't have the file after listening so there is still incentive to buy the music.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    yea spotify has great royalty deals, I think I read somewhere that they were actually losing money because of the royalties they have to pay.
    juzza1
    Is this documentary on The Pirate Bay yet? I wouldn't mind watching it
    juzza1
    Is this documentary on The Pirate Bay yet? I wouldn't mind watching it
    juzza1
    Is this documentary on The Pirate Bay yet? I wouldn't mind watching it
    HarrySound
    Bad Romance by Lady gaga go played 1 million times on a stream servce and Lady Gaga received $160 for her trouble.
    munkybusiness
    Wasn't the original argument that spurred ALL of this on because someone had leaked a Load demo and supposedly, it wasn't mixed and mastered but played on air without permission? and that's the only reason he was annoyed? Or is that what Cliff Burnstein made him say?? Good old Cliff, he sleeps in a dollar shaped bed.
    HarrySound
    No it was the song I Disappear. Apparently they were still in the studio and it was alredy online. End of the day....look whats happened to music sales. People almost can't stomach buying music, they don't think it's worthy of their dollar. Thats a bit of a shame but the music industry should have move MUCH quicker to a solution rather than trying to turn back time.
    munkybusiness
    Ah yes, I Disappear. Didn't that song in itself cause an upraw cus it was made for or used on a movie? To all those people who were on about them "selling out". In England, we used to tape songs off of the radio as kids. This was just the next step I guess. It damages sales but also puts the music to a much wider fanbase. I'm sure Lars sees that now.
    pokagbamo
    anguyen92
    I have yet to watch this video, but non-bearded Dave Grohl, to me, is not as credible as bearded current Dave Grohl.
    ricfreeman
    sorry stealing is stealing whether its from a millionaire or a garage band go back to Sherwood Forest robin hood
    munkybusiness
    Dave makes a good point. but it only works if other people are still buying the cds as well. I like having cds, thats why I bought One by One. I liked the cover art and the book, everything he just said. Long time agoooo. Some good songs there
    ricfreeman
    hope this guy has some extra cash put back when he doesn't get paid for his work lol
    link_mitch
    That is that but look at this interview back in 2008 for global metal.
    He has changed his views on piracy and perhaps even supports it. Just hope he isn't sucking up for the interviews
    PsiGuy60
    Is it just me or does he sound kind of dumb regardless of his standpoint? No offense.
    munkybusiness
    "If kids can get their hands on the music, that's a great thing"... I guess they cut the part where he says "if they pay for it legally". I heard a story that Lars had a go at some bum for asking him for a cigarette once, cus apparently he works ****ing hard for those cigarettes. None of us give a shite anyway we just want a new album.
    ricfreeman
    the internet is what economists call "disruptive tech" like electricity the automobile and the printing press. 12 year on and people are just now starting to get a handle on how the tech the economy the artist and their fans interrelate
    mazturofpuppetz
    I don't understand why Lars gets so much shit for this. I mean, yeah, he's a douche, but this isn't the reason for it. There were many other high-profile artists who spoke out against Napster besides Ulrich. Fucking Dr. Dre filed the same damn suit against Napster a month after Metallica did and didn't get shit for it.
    tonello
    It's because people think that they are going after the little guy, but really they were watching their backs. The story is that Lars was listening to the radio one day and heard "I Disappear" before it had been released. They were able to trace it back to Napster and realized that there were a lot of unreleased demos that ended up on the site. Dr. Dre asked Napster to remove his works and Napster refused, so that spark his suit. Madonna had a song that wasn't released and was only in it's demo stages, and that found it's way onto Napster. Metallica gets a lot of flack for this, but when their music is being played by people who did outright steal it (stealing being that the song was put onto Napster before it was supposed to be released) it makes sense that they would want to say something about it.
    tirtha2chester
    Technically speaking, piracy can be a boon to many lesser known musicians... People download and share songs for free that makes them famous over a wider mainstream audience, giving them the much required attention... Honestly, the band royalties from the album sales comprise of only a meager portion of their income... The profits are almost wholly swallowed by the record labels... Most of the income earned by the band members are the courtesy of live concerts and gear endorsements and so on.. So technically speaking, lesser known bands should embrace piracy rather than defying it, even though it's highly immoral... Think of countries like mine (India) where most labels have stopped their sales, even blocking their youtube channels... There are plenty of countries that have the same issue... People have to import albums at exorbitant exchange rates and hence the artist's audience is badly restricted there... However, much thanks to the internet the issue can be overcome and nothing is impossible if you could take the right steps... Then again, the same can't be said about mainstream widely known bands who sell out gold and platinum... In their case, royalties comprise of a substantial amount of their income owing to the comparably much larger volume of sales compared to the lesser known artists, albeit the hungry record labels... Hence this issue is best left undebated...
    julianholguin
    [deleted]
    julianholguin · Jul 01, 2013 06:48 PM
    geor4ge
    what lars ment to say was Just like a carpenter who crafts a James hetfield, He gets to decide if he wants to keep it, sell it, or give it away for having a few drinks.
    slayer_rule_\m/
    Yeah as much as I want music to be about the music, it'd be sucky if you couldn't support yourself doing the thing you love/work hard for nothing. Also I highly doubt Metallica would be long dead without piracy. It's all about image and branding to me, no one forgets about Metallica because of how familiar and established that name is.
    RUs1
    It's funny how Roger says I haven't seen royalties from Mr. Tambourine Man. Check with Bob Dylan for that one.
    5MinutesAlone
    Say whatever you want, 99% of people in Lars' place would have done the same. You gonna tell me you would not be bothered by a company stealing and selling your product with no revenues coming back to you? Get outta here...
    Yabba Who
    If artists were bothered by companies that take most of their royalties and give almost nothing back to them, there wouldn't be record companies.
    jacobjammin
    There shouldn't be much of a need for piracy anymore with things like Spotify and Pandora, where the bands put there own music on there...
    howyjr
    Lars and Metallica were among a large conglomerate of complainants, including record companies. Unlike most bands, they own the rights to their music, which is, understandably, why they as an individual band thought the need to protect their property. I respect them for that
    Desenova913
    The issue was control, not sharing. If you make something, but don't think it's good enough, or just for yourself, or even unfinished, you don't want it out. Simple. Whether you're Radiohead, Metallica, or even Nine Inch Nails, who left their label so that Reznor could do what HE wanted artistically. Forget the money, if it was about money, Metallica would release albums every two years. Piracy is good and bad for different reasons. It's good if it's made for sharing, getting a name out, or an unappreciated album around. Just like when people made mix tapes. The bad are the people who download music just for themselves and don't go to the shows to show their support for said musicians. The selfish who in turn hurt everyone, not just the industry. We, the people, often forget that the musicians aren't just making money for themselves, they support a lot of jobs, roadies, techs, arena folk, vendors, web designers, instrument makers, magazine writers, the list goes on and on. It's a fine line, but this is one of those cases where that sliver of balance makes all the difference. The movie industry on the other hand can suck it. :$
    munkybusiness
    He looks so arrogant there. I like holding the cd in my hand. I like looking at the cover art and the book. Some of us just like having a million cds. Like many others, for arguments sake (Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth)has a million vinyls. I've only ever digitally downloaded one song in my life, it was 99p off of I tunes I think. Then it was in Itunes format and I couldnt do anything with it, so it's ipod or nothing _ If he didn't already have 150 million in the bank at the time he wouldn't have got so much press as an *****. Lots of people steal music, entire albums in fact. I'll name the biggest enabler/thief it's called YOUTUBE. youtube is like that very special kind of dealer than can get you anything, for example, the other day it offered me 7 different full album versions of megadeth's Supercollider. I told it politely, "Dave's mad cus the cds aren't selling, I don't want one, I don't want to anger Dave, he's a maniac". It Wouldn't listen
    cyclobs
    "after a decade of rapidly declining music sales" yet every year the music industry profits keep rising???
    theantonlolz
    well, I kinda see where he's going with this, but I think he cares more about the money than making his fans happy
    pierre.abikhali
    Pretty ignorant of you to say since they didn't make any profit from the orion festival and still wants to do it every year.
    wembly
    and that he probably put thousands and thousands of dollars into the lawsuit against napster.
    mat hazelwood
    so what if he cares about the money though? any musician who says they dont do it for the money at least somewhat is a liar
    5MinutesAlone
    Oh yes..because if you were a musician you would put out albums every year and give it away for free..just cuz you wanna make your fans happy...Idiot.
    Frank M
    Piracy is bad...Lars has worked very hard to get where he is at...I believe musicians need to get paid for the work they do. I have a lot of Metallica CD's most were bought at retail cost some at sale price. My son introduced me to Metallica Music back in the 80's and I was hooked right away. I have four boys and all of them are good musicians (not professional) they are not into piracy either.
    ricfreeman
    I remember when James Brown was alive and the rappers were sampling his grooves (very good taste in funk) He just wanted to get paid for his work or at least ask if you can use it
    slayer_rule_\m/
    It's down to the publishers at the end of the day as it's their say, so people tend to go straight to them. Even if you get permission from the artist or even the record label, if you don't get it permission from the publisher you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands!
    Desenova913
    Happened to White Zombie when they first started out. Asked their label if they could sample all these films and whatnot and they said ok, then when the album was released, they were bombarded with copyright infringement lawsuits.
    leatherbarrel
    "Time has proven that Ulrich's concerns about peer-to-peer music were right, after a decade of rapidly declining music sales" bullshit. if you want to support a band, go to concerts, buy t-shirts. cd, mp3, or ad revenue from spotify/pandora doesn't benefit the artists much anyway