Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead both put albums out for free on BitTorrent and on other various websites. The albums were put out under a Creative Commons license. Fans could easily get free copies of the albums. But it turns out that fans appreciated this so much that they decided to reciprocate by actually buying the albums on Amazon.com. The Nine Inch Nails album is called Ghosts I-IV and the Radiohead album is called In Rainbows.
Trent Reznor, lead singer of Nine Inch Nails questioned the idea of giving away music for free, but somehow it ended up working in his band’s favor. They pulled this off even with album sales going downhill. Does downloading music mean people will be buying less music? This the billion dollar question. The RIAA argues that music downloaders are the cause of album sales dropping, but people that oppose believe that downloaders will compensate in other ways.
“The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here,” stated Fred Benenson, Outreach Manager of Creative Commons.