Metallica Sues 8th Grader for Drawing Logo on Notebook-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Metallica has sued an 8th grader for drawing the band’s logo on a notebook and posting the drawing on his Instagram account.
False reports of Metallica suing an 8th grader were started by a fake news website.
The website, called The Hard Times, reported that a “team of high-powered attorneys” representing Metallica had filed paperwork to sue an 8th grader from Wisconsin for drawing the band’s logo on a notebook:
The case against 13-year-old Willy Yang was filed after the band discovered a photo of the notebook in question on Yang‘s Instagram account with the caption “No one listens to REAL music anymore #metallica #entersandman #boredatschool.”
“We’ve been keeping on eye on Mr. Yang for quite some time,” said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich in prepared remarks. “He knows he looks like an innocent little kid and he uses that to his advantage. But this isn’t the first time he has infringed on Metallica’s intellectual property. Just last month he used some of our lyrics in an essay about Ernest Hemingway. This shows a pattern of plagiarism and disrespect for U.S. copyright law, and we will seek damages.”
Within a day of being posted in January 2016, the story had been shared more than 47,000 times on social media sites. Many mistook the satirical report for an actual news report. Hundreds of angry readers commented on the story with remarks like, “Shame on you, Metallica!”
A quick glance at the The Hard Times’ “About” page reveals that it’s a little known “satire site” that caters to “punk and hardcore” music scenes.
The fake news story parodies Metallica’s crusade against music piracy on file-sharing website like Napster. The band sued Napster in April 2000, and it also tracked down the user names of 335,000 fans that had pirated Metallica’s music through Napster, Ultimate Classic Rock reports:
The backlash was immediate and severe against Metallica, perhaps because to bolster their case, the band tracked down 335,000-plus usernames of people they alleged downloaded their music illegally and asked Napster to block them. (The company complied.) As a result, the lawsuit started being seen as a personal attack against fans or a greedy move, not a matter of principle or a disagreement between businesses. “Some artists are in it for the pure art of music. Others are in it for the money,” student Wayne Chang, who managed Napster’s online community bulletin boards, told CNET. “Metallica just showed which side of the line they’re on.”
Over the last 16 years, Metallica’s stand against music piracy and its own fans, has become a big part of the band’s identity. The fact that people believe this false report that Metallica was suing an 8th grader for drawing its logo on a notebook is proof of that.