Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ghosts and the Creative Commons

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) has just released a new 4 disc album titled "Ghosts." All the tracks are copyright using the Creative Commons licence. Share and Share alike.

If you are unaware, NIN was one of the biggest (one man) bands of the 90s, releasing songs such as Closer, and Head like a Hole. NIN was damn popular back then. Trent Reznor, the main ingredient of NIN has continued to work on new projects this decade with varying success. NINs new albums all sell well and are loved by fans, but his songs are rarely played on the radio and dont usually make it into "top 20s" lists.

Though NIN rarely makes the charts... its music is definitely pop and is by no stretch of the imagination "underground."

NIN/Trent Reznor has recently left his record label, and Ghosts is the first released album post-interscope. Released under the Creative Commons license (go ahead... give your buddy all the tracks) Ghosts is a collection of NINstrumentals. Combining various mechanical sounding noises together with more traditional instruments such as pianos or plucked violins, NINstrumentals are some of Trents more haunting and touching tracks.

None of the tracks have lyrics, perfect for studying to.

Ghosts is good, dont get me wrong. But I feel as though I have already heard this album. The songs are all original, but it sounds to me like Trent & crew are recycling the mechanical sounds created for previous albums, reshaping them. My favourite tracks are 14,16, and 32.

Does anyone else think this of the new album?

Anyway the important thing of this whole ordeal is that it seems like Trent has made a fortune because of his new method of music distribution. The album ghosts is released in several 'value added' packages. Ranging from $300 where you get vinyl records, Blu-Ray disc for sampling, and a book, to .... well free of charge without any added bonuses (NIN website offers the first nine tracks of the album, but I'm sure you know someone on the interwebs who has bought the album and is willing to give it to you for free). Reports all over the internet say that the limited edition $300 package has completely sold out in 2 days (2500 total copies = $750,000).

Its good to see that the idea of moving away from record companies which have gouged the public for years with $20 CDs seems to work for Popular bands like NIN and Radiohead... Its even better to know that an album released under the Creative Commons has made so much money.

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