Uhhh, this is kind of comical!
For Blizzcon on February 19, Metallica streamed their music live over Twitch. But it did not go off without a hitch.
During the virtual concert, the platform got scared they’d face copyright issues, so they played some random 8-bit tunes over the top of the musicians rocking out. In place of heavy metal that the fans expected, they instead heard something that sounded straight from the less epic moments of Final Fantasy.
You can give it a listen for yourself right here:
the current state of Twitch: the official Twitch Gaming channel cut off the live Metallica concert to play 8bit folk music to avoid DMCA pic.twitter.com/sCn56So8Ee
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 19, 2021
It does have a nice twinkle to it though, right? At least, that’s what we think! There’s something super hilarious about watching a group of rockers bobbing their heads to the sparkly tune of happy bells. But, hey, we’ll take it, and we’ll just keep that music on repeat for a little bit over here…
Professional esports commentator Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez had his own thoughts on the matter, referencing the rules that got Metallica dubbed in the first place: the incredibly strict DMCA laws (that Metallica played a role in creating, but we’ll get there in a second).
This is what Goldenboy had to say:
You know DMCA is a problem when Twitch has to cut the music of Metallica while Metallica is playing ????????♂️
— Goldenboy (@GoldenboyFTW) February 19, 2021
Twitch has LONG had issues with DMCA and streamers having their music taken down. It got so bad that in November of 2020, the platform made a statement addressing the issue. Here’s a brief part of what they said:
First off, a quick review of what DMCA actually is. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a set of US laws that allows you to create and share content on digital service providers like Twitch. We comply with the DMCA and similar laws worldwide. Part of complying means that when a copyright holder thinks a streamer has used their content without permission, we have a process in place for them to be able to request the content be taken down.
You can read the entire Twitch post here.
Anyway, the reason they decided it needed to dub Metallica’s live music was out of fear the performance would violate DMCA copyright laws. So, Twitch proactively shut it down. The ironic thing is that these regulations were put into place thanks to Metallica themselves. Back during the age of Napster — the early aughts for anyone too young to remember — the band fought to stop file-sharing services from illegally providing content.
This legitimately resulted in a Metallica campaign — and a lawsuit of Metallica v. Napster, Inc. that two parties settled in 2001.
The rockers were so dedicated to their cause that they performed a sketch with Marlon Wayans which aired on the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. During the sketch, Marlon portrays a frat kid in a dorm. He’s got Napster up with I Disappear playing, and he’s also simultaneously downloading a whole bunch of other songs. Drummer Lars Ulrich shows up and begins to “borrow” all his stuff while placing a Napster sticker on the said objects.
Near the end, the dummer even slaps a sticker on the frat guy’s girlfriend and whisks her away — yeah, so, uh, that didn’t age well.
Check out the full clip here:
What gets even better is that, later on during the awards, Napster creator Shawn Fanning presented an award while wearing a Metallica shirt. But he then stated that he’d only borrowed the shirt and would only buy it if he liked it. When Ulrich presented an award after that, the audience booed him offstage.
So, uh, yeah! That brings us all the way back to 2k21 with Metallica playing their music live and getting dubbed over due to laws that they championed for.
The moral of the story seems to be that people should be careful what they wish for! DMCA rules have many people complaining — whether they are right or not! And, if the 2000 MTV Awards are any example, apparently the common person wasn’t too thrilled about them being a thing back then, either.
But what do you all think, Perezcious readers?! Should we now be campaigning AGAINST the very rules that Metallica worked so hard for? Or is it just funny AF that they were the unwitting recipients of the consequences they first brought about two decades ago?! History really does come full circle, doesn’t it??
[Image via WENN/Avalon]