Last week Metallica sued Napster and three colleges — Yale, the University of Southern California and Indiana University — for copyright infringement and racketeering. The band never seemed like lettermen, but it still managed to strike a high-minded, almost Wiccan tone in an anti-Napster news item posted on its record label web site. Drummer Lars Ulrich declares: "We take our craft — whether it be the music, the lyrics, or the photos and artwork — very seriously, as do most artists. It is therefore sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is."
Napster is designed to let Internet users share their MP3 collections. And it's fairly easy to use (see our guide). But what the program seems best at is kicking up dust.