NIN frontman Trent Reznor feels that “they’re not stealing it because they’re going to make money off of it; they’re stealing it because they love the band,” and that torrent sites are just filling a void that the industry hasn’t.
But in the same 2007 interview, he had this to say:
“I think it’s just an awkward time right now to be a musician. The reality is that people think it’s okay to steal music. There’s a whole generation of people, that’s all they’ve known. I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks — if not two months — before it comes out. There’s no real way around that. I’m truly saddened because I think music has been devalued, so that it’s just a file on your computer, and it’s usually free. But we can’t change that. What we can do is try to offer people the best experience that we can provide them. Will it work? I don’t know. But I think it’s a great way to get music out to people who are interested. At the end of the day, all I care about is the integrity of the music, and that the feeling of those who experience it is as untainted as possible. I’d rather it not be on an iPod commercial. I’d rather it not be a ringtone that you have to get with a free cell phone or any of that bullshit.”
Nine Inch Nails feels that since piracy can’t be stopped, it’s important to adapt to the culture. They have given their music away for free on their website multiple times (as well as a Saul Williams album produced by friend Reznor, entitled The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust).
And in 2008, Nine Inch Nails uploaded their own album (‘Ghosts’) to torrent sites. If fans wished, they could visit the band’s website to pay for an extended version. It was also available in retail stores.
Reznor has also spoken out on his blog against “absurd retail pricing” (Year Zero was $30USD in Australia), stating, “I guess as a reward for being a ‘true fan’ you get ripped off.” Then, in a bold move onstage, Reznor told Australian fans, “You know what that means- steal it! Steal, steal, steal some more, give it to all your friends and keep on stealing.”