In 2000, Metallica slapped the sharing service Napster with a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the illegal distribution of their music. Outspoken drummer Lars Ulrich became the face (and target) of the debate over P2P music sharing. A new documentary, DOWNLOADED, looks at the rise and fall of Napster and includes footage of Lars' testimony before congress (below).
Metallica's reaction to the early stages of music piracy had them painted as money grubbing caricatures of all that was bloated and wrong with the music industry (we did get MetalliCops out of it, and that is one of the all-time great internet creations). Lars has since admitted that he probably could have handled the situation better and that it was more about control than money, having had new music leaked before its official release and damaging the promotional plan for the release. Has your opinion of Lars changed since we've a) seen the effects of music piracy on the artists and/or b) seen how much of a colossal asshat Napster founder Shawn Parker is?
Another piece of trivia: did you notice who directed this documentary? Alex Winter aka Bill S. Preston from the Bill & Ted movies.