I'll admit, I was a little shocked when I came across Henri Kack's Reddit post last week. That's right, the band notorious for taking down Napster in the Northern California Lawsuit filed in December of 1999, is now being accused of using an image from a concert photographer/fan without permission. Released on the band's official Metallica YouTube page on November 17, 2016, in the latest video for their song "Murder One" you can see at 5:33 the image in question. Although altered and animated, it's clear that this is indeed the same image that can be found on Kack's DeviantArt page.
See For Yourself
Watch "Murder One" and see for yourself at 5:33 if you feel this is indeed the same image
Kack stumbled upon the video and caught a glimpse of a familiar image on December 20, 2016, almost one month after the video was released. Here is what he wrote on his Reddit post that has since drawn a decent amount of attention from other readers, photographers and fans of his work.
So Metallica used a picture I took back on 2009 in their 'Murder One' music video without asking any permission. When I saw the video first I thought that wow such an honor that they used my photo but bummer that they did not mention who took it anywhere. I tried to contact them through the website and their management's website and did not get answer. It was month ago and still no answer. Where can I contact them? What can I do? What should I do?
The photography community that has stopped by his post has left some valuable comments, and helped by asking many questions with regards to the best possible outcome. As photographers, unfortunately putting your work online simply because you are proud of it can come with consequences. Hence the reason for my article from last month. Since Metallica should know that it is Unforgiven to trade or steal art I just found this situation too ironic and needed to do what I could to help.
From reading through comments on his Reddit post it's easy to see, Kack isn't seeking much, he just simply wishes he got a little recognition for his work. I think most photographers would agree, Nothing Else Matters in the end, all we want is credit, especially when it comes to a genre of photography we are passionate about.
To see more of Kack's Work check out the links below. If you have any advice or have been through a similar situation please leave a comment, as I'm sure all of us would be grateful should we come into this situation in hope that there is some sort of payback And Justice For All. OK enough now, that's all the puns I have, what do you expect from an uber Metallica fan?
All images used with permission of Photographer Henri Kack.