Nine Inch Nails Release Free Album... For Real!

May. 4, 2008
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One of my pet peeves is bands offering "free" online albums that are anything but. Radiohead started the trend, releasing a an album with a (temporary) pay-what-you'd-like pricing planbut also offering expensive deluxe editions of the album, then charging regular CD price for the disc. They came up with a lucrative business model and profited greatly, yet were hailed for their altruism. (Radiohead has a history of being greedy.)

Nine Inch Nails pulled the same trick earlier this year, offering a kinda sorta free album with a an opportunistic pricing plan ($75 bucks for the deluxe edition). But now, NIN fans, the group is offering an online album for free, for real. No pricing plan, no donation jar.

Straight from the press release:

Trent Reznor to Fans: "Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years. This one's on me."

As of 12:01 a.m. PST May 5, Nine Inch Nails' brand new full length album The Slip is available as free download at NIN.com. Unlike NIN's recently released Ghosts I-IV, there are NO paid options available for The Slip, nor are there any retail partners. At present, The Slip is available exclusively as a free download at NIN.com. A physical configuration on CD and vinyl is in the works for a July release ...

The Slip, like Ghosts I-IV, is being released under a Creative Commons license, allowing fans to distribute the songs and files freely and without fear of copyright infringement. More details regarding this license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b
y-nc-sa/3.0/us/

OK, so the fact that physical copies go on sale in July suggests this could be temporary thing, like In Rainbows, but the Creative Commons license is encouraging.

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