Wednesday, March 05, 2008

NIN Confirms Uploads to Public and Private Torrent Sites

The acceptability of P2P took another big step forward over the weekend, as accounts claiming to be ‘the official profile for NIN’ appeared on a number of torrent sites, including The Pirate Bay and the private trackers and NIN has now confirmed that these accounts indeed belong to the band.And the great experiment continues. I have to give Trent & Company a lot of respect for bucking the trend and trailblazing for other artist just to show it can be done. I should point out that Radiohead is deserving of the same accolades for their Rainbows album. Small time and indie artist have had to rely on any way possible to get their music out there and heard, often having to stray from their original vision just to obtain success. Record companies have held all the power and artist have to work long and hard before they start to get any real control. By the time they reach this point, they have either 1) made enough money to fade away to obscurity if they wish or 2) have no desire to rock the boat that brought them to where they are. Trent is one that has made it to that upper level, and could have easily turned a blind eye to what the Record Companies were doing and cash his check. But Trent actually cares for his fans, and gets pissed of if they are being taken advantage of. Case in point, when touring in another country for one of NIN's recent albums, Trent stopped by a local record store. In that store he found the album selling for the equivalent of $20-25. Enraged, Trent asked why his fans were being charged so much to a record executive, to which he basically was told because we can. The executive went on to say that NiN was very popular in that country, and the fan's would pay a premium just to get a hold of the latest content. To be clear, this was not a special edition, or have additional content. This was the exact same disk that any US fan could find at their record company, but fans in this country had to pay close to double the cost. This was one of the many steps that lead Trent to break off his relationship with the Record Industry in its current form. To sum it up, Trent just gets it. By no means does he have it figured all out, but he has seen the writing on the wall. With a large percentage of today's teens abandoning CDs and physical media all together, a new market place has to be developed. Since the Recording Industry has already missed the boat on that one, someone has to take the time to figure it out. (Not only have they missed the boat, but they sent a battleship named the RIAA after it to sink and destroy it). Its going to take a lot of work and innovative ideas to set up this new digital market place. Concessions have to be made by both sides. DRM has to be removed, destroyed, and never looked at again. But by the same token, fans and individuals can no longer look at the internet as a candy shop built for free binges on all you can eat for free. Artists put a ton of hard work into what they put out there, and yes despite their best efforts, some of it is utter crap. But those who do put out quality work should be supported so that they can continue to do so. I've very excited by what Trent is doing here, and I think we are on the verge of a new relationship between fans and artists, and the death of the recording industry as we know it. And if they can't see the writing on the wall, they will be buried in the same casket that they built.

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