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Older Rock Band songs pulled from store as licenses expire, first Metallica pack removed

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Harmonix has informed Rock Band fans that some of the downloadable songs available for purchase through the game's online store will be disappearing as licensing agreements start to expire. Some of the first to go is a trio of Metallica songs from the band's first track pack.

On the Rock Band Facebook page, Harmonix writes that a "limited number of older legacy DLC songs" will be reaching the end of their licensing agreements. "Our Music Team has been hard at work extending these licenses to make sure that this has as small an impact on the community as possible," Harmonix writes, "but there may be a very limited number of songs that will no longer be offered for new purchases in the Rock Band store."

Some of the "earliest DLC releases" will no longer be offered for new purchase, Harmonix says. But the expiration of those licenses shouldn't impact players who have already purchased the affected DLC tracks — they'll still be able to download songs they've paid for.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning", "And Justice For All" and "Blackened" have already been pulled from the Rock Band Store and will be pulled from first party marketplaces like the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace "in the immediate future."

Rock Band's first downloadable content arrived Nov. 20, 2007. Interested parties looking to complete their collection of Rock Band songs may want to start there and work their way forward, before it's too late.