Is All Known Metal Bands a work of plagiarism?


Cosmo Lee of Invisible Oranges thinks so:

On one hand, this would surely make great coffee table reading. On the other hand, it is just as surely a copy-and-paste job from Essentially, the book is a print version of that website as of sometime last year. The fact that this book has an "author" (a Dan Nelson) is somewhat ludicrous. Does have a potential intellectual property claim against Nelson/McSweeney's for theft of its idea, process, and/or content? Regarding the latter, probably not; doesn't own the names of the bands it lists. However, it arguably owns the method of organization of these names, even if it's simply alphabetical. No other site has as complete a list of metal bands, and something feels wrong about a major commercial entity profiting off the backs of an all-volunteer community. In any case, most certainly lacks the resources to pursue any action against McSweeney's.

Was the community maintained Encyclopaedia Metallum copy and pasted into an exquisite William Morris-inspired McSweeney's book? I dunno. Of course, the metal archives has standards of accuracy to uphold and there is no way that they could have seen this coming, but perhaps they should plant a fictitious entry in the metal archives to thwart would-be plagiarists.

Sounds easy enough but with 19 bands named Armageddon, what would sound plausible but not already taken? Misspellings? Nope, there is a band named Armagedom, another called Armaggedon and a total of 6 bands named Armagedon! Finding a unique metal band may be more difficult than finding a decent domain name!

I suggest Mountweazel!

All Known Metal Bands
Encyclopaedia Metallum

(Mister Jalopy is a guest blogger!)