Giving Copyright ‘The Slip’

Nine Inch Nails has pre-released their new album, ‘The Slip‘, online (via Chicagoist). I’m not really a NIN fan, but there’s something a little different about this one. They’ve released it completely for free under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-SA) in many different formats (including lossless). Apparently, Mr. Reznor feels that Radiohead, who gave users the option to “choose their own price” to download their previous album, was nothing more than a marketing scam to arouse interest and sell a regular album in sub-standard quality. In addition to providing top-quality music files in various formats, the NIN are making a bold statement with this album, especially for mainstream artists, and it’s right there is black-and-white on their website:

we encourage you to
remix it,
share it with your friends,
post it on your blog,
play it on your podcast,
give it to strangers,

I can only hope this trend toward Free Culture continues. I don’t think that everything needs to be free (at least initially), but this album’s copyright is merely an example of the other extreme to a completely restrictive copyright, which doesn’t allow anyone to more than listen to it for the next 95 years. Yes, that’s how long current copyrights last.

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