Metallica’s new album comes out next week. Of course, if you really want to listen to it before then, it’s available from all the usual sources.

Apparently, Lars is okay with the early leaks. Perhaps they have figured out that this isn’t going to hurt sales that much and they’re still going to make a bunch of money on the album.

It seems like I’ve been picking on Metallica, lately – and, I guess I have. But here’s something they’re doing that’s actually kind of cool.

It’s the YouTube Metallica User Channel.

Of course, Jonathan Coulton has been encouraging this kind of thing for years. His use of Creative Commons allows fans to make videos using his versions of the songs if they want.

Nice to see Metallica giving the nod to some of their biggest fans, provided that if the album doesn’t sell as well as they hope, they don’t go after royalty payments on these cover versions.

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