"I Disappear" is the second track on the soundtrack for the 2000 film Mission Impossible: 2
. It's most notable for being the song that kicked off Metallica's legal battle with Napster.
When Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker started Napster in 1999, the software let users share audio files over their computers digitally, so it became a repository for free music downloads. No one was really sure where it would go, but it ended up exploding in popularity pretty quickly, and because it was a new technology, the rules governing it were basically nonexistent, meaning that artists had no protection over their music.
Napster earned the ire of Metallica when a pirated demo version of "I Disappear" was released online without the band knowing or approving it. The band filed a lawsuit on April 13, 2000 accusing Napster of racketeering and copyright infringement, and sought $100,000 for each illegally downloaded song, which came to about $10 million in damages. Metallica also wanted to ban every Napster user who illegally downloaded the song.
Metallica won. Napster was forced to ban more than 300,000 users and to pay Metallica damages. The lawsuit triggered other artists (including Dr. Dre) to follow suit, and Napster eventually went bankrupt and then out of business entirely.
In 2003, Metallica made a song about their battle with Napster titled "Shoot Me Again
," which appears on their album St. Anger