In 2000, Metallica's Lars Ulrich came under heavy scrutiny for bringing Napster to court over illegal music downloading on the Internet. Fans were incensed, burning their Metallica CDs and merchandise in protest of what they viewed as a multi-millionaire complaining about not receiving even more money. Music piracy ultimately was responsible for the collapse of album sales, and, in turn, the conventional music industry, which is finally turning the corner in the streaming age. The lawsuit was so monumental that it is still a hot topic and drum legend Mike Portnoy has decided that Ulrich's motives were "spot-on."

In an interview for the upcoming film Rock Is Dead? (video below), Portnoy surveyed the current heavy music landscape. He noted that rock as an art form is thriving and more so than ever. "You have all the great music from 50 years ago and all the great music being made today," said the drummer.

Portnoy went on to explain that for rock as a business, times could not be tougher for both musicians and music-related business like record companies, instrument manufacturers and retailers as well as record stores. But is the Internet really to blame? Portnoy seemed to agree when he commented, "Obviously, when Napster came around in the late '90s or early 2000s, there was a big stink about it, and Lars Ulrich went in there fighting for musicians and ended up getting torn to shreds. But here we are almost 20 years later, and I think Lars was spot-on correct, actually."

Further clarifying his point, Portnoy later stated, "People that actually literally just take the music for free, that's what's killed the industry." It hasn't all been bad in the Internet age, however, as the skinsman explained, "If your goal is to sell units and make money, it's impossible. If your goal is just to get your music heard, well, then you have greater outlets than ever before. So in that respect, the Internet's been a great thing."

Mike Portnoy Interviewed for Rock Is Dead? Film

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