RIAA Tries To Stop Trent Reznor's Promotional Campaign For New Concept Album

from the whoops dept

In the comments to an earlier post today, a reader pointed us to an article about Trent Reznor's promotional campaign for his latest Nine Inch Nails album. It sounds like he's taken a page from the various alternate reality games that have been popular in promoting movies and video games over the past few years. That is, there appears to be a series of secretive websites that are being leaked out with various clues and there's a big group of fans all trying to track down the details. Also, at some Nine Inch Nails concerts, people have found USB keys in the bathroom with songs from the upcoming album. Not surprisingly, those songs quickly found their way online, all with Reznor's approval. Of course, no one seems to have told the RIAA about this marketing campaign. The RIAA went and demanded that various sites pull down the songs, even though Reznor wanted the songs to spread for promotional purposes. The RIAA always says that if artists want to promote their own songs by giving them away for free they have no problem with it -- but it seems that their mindset is so focused on the idea that no one would ever want to do this that they still have to issue takedowns when artists want the songs given away.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    janet, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 4:32pm

    RIAA can eat my shorts

    Can the RIAA get any more obnoxious?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Dillenger69, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:02pm


    I'd have never know about this if they hadn't tried to take it down.
    He's a smart man for playing RIAA for some free press.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Squard, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:02pm

    This is ridiculous! Someone finally comes up with a very inventive and creative way to make people want to buy the album (competing with FREE) and the RIAA wants to stop this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Angry Rivethead, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:03pm

    RIAA Sucks...

    And Reznor is a cheap Skinny Puppy ripoff!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:07pm

    Reznor isn't dumb, I agree with Dillenger, he is probably using the RIAA for publicity, along with making his music available on his terms.

    To Angry- Skinny Puppy isn't all that impressive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    monostatic, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:08pm

    I don't believe the article...

    Seems hard to believe, considering that Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails (and the publisher of the latest album, interscope records) is not affiliated with or represented by the RIAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    GoblinJuice, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:26pm


    Jesus.... This guy is still around? I thought he faded away with the rest of soundalikes from the 90s.

    Um.... Yeah.... I don't think he's smart enough to think this far ahead. I sincerely doubt he inteded to "use" the RIAA.

    However, since they are acting like total asses... he can exploit this. If he's smart, I mean.

    I actually don't dislike the guy, just shocked he's still around. I never really saw what the big deal re:NIN was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:40pm

    Just because you don't like his music, doesn't mean he isn't smart enough to do that.

    And just because you like his music doesn't mean he's smart enough to do that.

    I'm not a big NIN fan, but I have to admit he's probaby clever enough to use the RIAA like that. Either way he'll claim it now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    glitch, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    how about a suit by whats his name

    ahh...reznor...if he is not affil with diaRIAA, they have no right to demand anything be taken down...prob is a stretch, but maybe the RICO act ?? against shouldnt there be some kind of legal stuff against what RIAA is doing ?? i think RIAA has been allowed to issue "blanket" claims long enough...so, if i rlease 1 song that falls under RIAA control, they can forever demand take-down of anything with my name, just in case ???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Quake, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 5:55pm

    just stick to the subject

    Criticizing musical tastes is pointless since it is totally subjective. Doing so belittles the rest of what you have to say (if anything). You think that music I like sucks @$$, I don't care. And I am sure the feeling is mutual. See, pointless.

    "Hey, look at me everyone. I think NiN sucks. I think Trent Reznor is dumb. Aren't I cool?" No, your not. Exactly the opposite. Just go back to listening to your Britney then, or whatever it is you like. No, we don't care what that is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 6:02pm

    Ha Ha! Hypocrisy.

    Seriously, RIAA, just when I think you're ready to give the real world a chance, you go and pull this and prove the industry will never move into the 21st Century until my generation gets in charge.

    Here's hoping the RIAA dies within my lifetime. It will be a glorious day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    josh, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 6:03pm

    As a musician myself, i have always felt that it would be in my best interest to freely share my music with as many people as i could. Even if at some point in the future, i came to desire monetary rewards for my compositions, in the beginning at least, it seems that a widespread free sharing of my music would be a good idea to gain exposure. Thus creating a bigger base of consuming fans.

    For art's sake of course, it should be an artists hope that his or her music reaches as many people as possible, as easily as possible. Free is easier.

    Either way, whether you want to make money from your music or not, freely sharing it in the beginning (or when promoting a new album in this case) is a good idea. Of course, the choice to share YOUR OWN music is completely YOUR OWN choice.

    This is the last step the RIAA will take before it violently tumbles down the haphazardly assembled staircase it has built in an effort to steal art away from the world...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Teknosapien, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Share and becomeyour art


    I would defiantly would like to know where I can find your music!!!!
    You seem to be an artist for arts sake unlike most of the music world. Being a deadhead, lover of the arts, full time geek and official old dude/hippie I would also like to point you to archive.org where you can place your "art" up for free and get the exposure that a true artist deserves.

    Screw the RIAA I never support any of their " Clients"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    sendeth, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 7:05pm

    Re: OMG! HE'S ALIVE?!

    wtf do you mean still around??? what rock have you been living under??? trent is one of the few big artists left that doesnt feel above playing a small club or bar. trent is cool as hell. he puts on surprise free shows at bars and small clubs almost evey time he passes through boston. you'll just be out at some bar on 495 and suddenly here comes trent with his stuff. even managers dont know that he's coming.

    nin rocks....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Paul`, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 7:18pm

    Smart guy, free publicity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    eb, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 8:01pm

    Message to "GoblinJuice":

    In case you didn't notice, NIN's last three albums debuted on the Billboard album chart at #1. The new one will probably do the same.

    Mr. Reznor is a huge star, like it or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 8:28pm

    he is apart of the RIAA, he produces through nothing records and that is apart of the RIAA, ive looked into it. i am not normally a music fan but his music has a message (and people who dont like him, i dont care, i do so shut up) i think it is great he is playing the RIAA, i hope he helps there downfall so i can buy his records again

    now about NIN, for somone to say he is alike for any type of artist is so wrong you need to llisten to his music, EVERY album, esspically his latest ones are differnt in style, he accutuly tries to be creative and doesnt sell his music out to the stupid masses,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    BRandon, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 8:34pm

    Ive been a NIN fan for quite a long time.. and honestly i dont think ive ever heard anything close to what Trent Reznor produces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    malhombre, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 2:16am

    Re: Anon (#17)

    Thanks for setting the record straight as to Reznor's affiliation with the RIAA, in contradiction to monostatic (#6).

    I think there are people out there who are under the mistaken impression that the RIAA has been given the legal power to force completely non-affiliated artists and media outlets to follow their orders - while I am certain they would like to, and sure that they are trying to obtain that kind of control, it is not yet the case.

    If you are an artist who releases only through non-RIAA affiliated labels, and who has no contract with the RIAA, they can not make you do a damn thing (unless perhaps you are violating some IP that they control), otherwise, RIAA can only affect those who have signed on with Satan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 4:46am


    Of course the RIAA wants to stop it. Reznor is doing a better job marketing his album then the record company. The RIAA can't have artists cutting out the middle man aka record labels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    billy, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 5:30am


    NIN is in no way through himself or his record company affiliated with diaRIAA (I really like that one, first time I've seen it). Personally, I love his music. I have almost all of his albums (still have to get a recent import being in the US).

    Aside from loving his music all the way through his collection and also loving how his music has evolved (am only 23, his music was out for a bit before I knew about it), he seriously is a genius. He has talked about stuff like this before. And now he is doing it. Due to my recent stint in video games I have not kept up with the marketing of his new album year, but you can bet yourself I will be looking into it tonight after work (oh yah, shouldn't be here). I have loved every concert I went to (not all of his openers though, but thats another story). He is a great showman. Knows how to present to his fans. And he really loves us (at least I get that impression). At one concert he seriously apologized for being away for so long (The With Teeth tour, when he was in Detroit at Joe Louis) because he had recently battled alcoholism. He stopped often to talk to the crowd. And everybody there loved him. He is one of the very few artists I feel honestly cares about his fans. I feel this can be evidenced by his recent campaign here, which is costing him far less than most advertising I would bet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    ummwow, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 5:52am

    Re: OMG! HE'S ALIVE?!

    Soundalikes? You mean many bands sounded like NiN?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Karl, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 6:10am


    He's also releasing the singles in remixable sequencing software (garage band, Sonar, etc) format -- which I think is fairly impressive...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    billy, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 6:14am


    He opened up quite a few voice and audio clips for remixing before with some of the songs from With Teeth. That is how Halo 21 - Every Day is Exactly the Same came into being. It was made by fans for the most part. Brilliant. =)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Collin, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 6:17am

    RE: Monostatic

    Based on the this link, it appears as though Nine Inch Nails do release their albums through the RIAA:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    WarOtter, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 7:57am


    Yeah saying NIN is a rip off of anything is like saying the Beatles are a rip off of Elvis. Sure there are similarities, but stuff from before NIN *influenced* his music. I've always been a huge fan of NIN (have an 8 inch NIN tattoo on my back, got engaged at a NIN show) and while I'll gladly argue anyone's claims about Trent's originality, this is not the forum to do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Nobody, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 10:28am

    Re: AGAIN

    Guess again. Trent releases albums under Interscope (he has 1 more album left on his contract after Halo 24/Year Zero). Interscope is owned by Universal Music Group. Universal Music Group is a member of the RIAA.

    That having been said, Trent has said that he may just very well release albums independently after Year Zero Pt. II.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    billy, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 11:42am

    Re: #27

    shit, I suppose I was wrong on that one.
    Had my hopes so high too.
    Why did he have to sign such a long large contract so long ago. =(

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Angry Rivethead, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 2:09pm

    I still think...

    Skinny Puppy > NIN

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    billy, Apr 4th, 2007 @ 5:10am

    Re #29

    In the words of the new Lex Luther:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    GoblinJuice, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 11:08am

    Re: Message to "GoblinJuice":

    Yeah, sorry, I didn't notice NIN being on the Billboard charts.... Britney Spears was on them too, right? Nice company Trent keeps.

    The days of the "star" are over, friends. There are a million artists, singing in a hundred tongues.

    I thought I was being diplomatic with my original post, but - regretfully - some were hurt.

    If it makes y'all feel any better, I'm sure 95% of you would think the music I listen to sucks. :-P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Phigmeta, Apr 19th, 2007 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Message to "GoblinJuice":

    Oh No's ...

    we have an uber hipster... Oh gee wiz what will we do.

    Let me guess ... all of your music is that super cool cutting edge stuff that is from some local band that doesn't CARE about some label (until they have one)

    Dude your tripe is older than grunge ... and grunge is dead

    OK ok ... sorry ... i mean .. your special

    Just like everybody else

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    NIN fan, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Re: OMG! HE'S ALIVE?!

    have you listened to the music or the lyrics?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Daniel Garnett, Oct 20th, 2007 @ 4:40pm

    Trent Reznor is a nerd

    And so am I. Nerds are smart....REALLY smart. SO DON'T FUCK WITH THEM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
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  37. identicon
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