Metal fans around the globe are no doubt familiar with the Encyclopaedia Metallum, which allegedly lists every existing metal band of note (and a few that are utterly non-noteworthy) in the world. Browsing through names like Moonlord, Total Fucking Destruction, Buttocks and my all-time favorite Queef Huffer certainly provides endless hours of entertainment.
But now that McSweeney’s is publishing All Known Metal Bands, a printed archive containing material virtually identical to Encyclopedia Metallum, bloggers like Invisible Oranges are crying plagiarism. Can you copyright an archive? It is, after all, just listed material that anyone can access given time, an Internet connection and the lack of any semblance of a social life. Is this just a case of Encyclopedia Metallum snoozing on the print tip and therefore losing to McSweeney’s? Will nerdy archivists and bloggers ever win against soulless, towering corporations?