Steal This Music

by Charles Miller on September 18, 2007

Currently on the front page of Digg is a link to a YouTube video of Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor exhorting fans to steal his music. The back-story can be found in this Herald Sun interview from May:

…the first thing I did when I got to Sydney is I walk into HMV, the week the record's out, and I see it on the rack with a bunch of other releases. And every release I see: $21.99, $22.99, $24.99. And ours doesn't have a sticker on it. I look close and 'Oh, it's $34.99'. So I walk over to see our live DVD Beside You in Time, and I see that it's also priced six, seven, eight dollars more than every other disc on there. And I can't figure out why that would be.…

Well, in Brisbane I end up meeting and greeting some record label people, who are pleasant enough, and one of them is a sales guy, so I say "Why is this the case?" He goes… basically it's because we know you've got a core audience that's gonna buy whatever we put out, so we can charge more for that. It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy it. True fans will pay whatever". And I just said "That's the most insulting thing I've heard. I've garnered a core audience that you feel it's OK to rip off? F— you'.

A good story to keep in mind next time you hear the record labels crying foul over the fact that Apple won't institute variable pricing on iTunes.

Previously: On Social Networks

Next: Yes I Know...