One of the biggest early opponents of digital music piracy has finally make its catalogue available online. Those of suitable disposition can now download Metallica tracks without being badmouthed or sued by the band itself.

It all started in 2000 when the band found a demo of a song they were writing for the soundtrack to one of the worst movies of all time, Mission Impossible II.

Of course, it wasn't just that one track… no, all their music was readily downloadable for free from P2P pioneer Napster.

In a nightmare PR move, the heavy metal heroes demanded that 300,000 of their diehard fans be banned from the network. Online parodies exploded and public ridicule was widespread.

Now we await the arrival of The Beatles back catalogue on iTunes. At least what's left of the Fab Four only sued Apple Computer, and didn't attack its own fans (except for Steve Jobs…).