nine inch nails
When pigs fly: the death of Oink, the birth of dissent, and a brief history of record industry suicide
I've been meaning to write a serious article the RIAA, the music industry, and their futile and utterly nonsensical war against the music fans. I regularly read torrentfreak, the Creative Commons blog and i followed very closely the Nine Inch Nails new business model. I finally found an almost exhaustive article that I can say it fairly represents the past, the present and the future of the music industry as we know it. A slow and painful death, with the record labels burning to the ground, and we'll all dance around the fire, in feast.
This is a copy of the original article "When pigs fly: the death of Oink, the birth of dissent, and a brief history of record industry suicide" by Demonbaby, a.k.a. Rob Sheridan, Nine Inch Nails' art director, photographer, and video editor.
[Currently Listening To: Music I Didn't Pay For]
For quite a long time I've been intending to post some sort of commentary on the music industry - piracy, distribution, morality, those types of things. I've thought about it many times, but never gone through with it, because the issue is such a broad, messy one - such a difficult thing to address fairly and compactly. I knew it would result in a rambly, unfocused commentary, and my exact opinion has teetered back and forth quite a bit over the years anyway. But on Monday, when I woke up to the news that Oink, the world famous torrent site and mecca for music-lovers everywhere, had been shut down by international police and various anti-piracy groups, I knew it was finally time to try and organize my thoughts on this huge, sticky, important issue.
In March 2008, Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails released the first part of Ghosts I-IV via BitTorrent, and released all four albums under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. Even though fans could easily get free versions of the album, Ghosts actually went on to become the best-selling album of 2008 on Amazon's MP3 store.
NIN’s Creative Commons licensed Ghosts I-IV has been making lots of headlines these days.
Money and CC music coexist
As Fred Benenson eloquently put on the Creative Commons' blog:
Today Trent said:
First of all, a sincere THANK YOU for the response to Ghosts. We are all amazed at the reaction for what we assumed would be a quiet curiosity in the NIN catalog. My faith in all of you has been restored - let's all go have coffee somewhere (my treat)!
I feel really joyful. First of all I felt really sad when he was disappointed by the fact that the Saul Willimas experiment did not go too well and that he somehow lost faith in us, the community. The risk was that he would not feel confident of a new possible business model and go back to a music label. I was enthusiast when he announced the new Ghosts albums, even more happy by the NIN went Creative Commons. One could really smell that this was coming, it was floating in the air. The whole idea of a blank canvas, the lack of descriptive song titles and the primarily textural artwork, packaging and instrumental songs was a very clear premonition of the future and the potential that this piece of music holds. Here is the complete message from Trent:
A while ago I covered the story of Radiohead, who wanted to free themselves from the evil clutches of record labels and the abominable empire of the music industry by releasing their album In Rainbows for free, leaving the choice to the people: pay as much as you want. The result of that experiments was apparently quite satisfactory, although
some people paid, many others did not.