Trent Reznor and his acclaimed American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails have granted the world access to their new album, Hesitation Marks, by releasing it under a Creative Commons license. This means fans can conveniently download, share with others, or even remix the album – all while giving proper credit to the group.
Rejoicing among Creative Commons advocates and Nine Inch Nails fans, this remarkable accomplishment marks a monumental victory for the movement that supports the sharing and re- appropriation of artistic works, as well as for those dedicated fans who eagerly sought further complimentary access to the band’s music.
Not strange to Creative Commons licenses, Nine Inch Nails dropped Ghosts I-IV in 2008 – an instrumental collection with 36 tracks. The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, adopted by the band, offered fans permission to share and modify the album…as long they weren’t earning money from it.
With Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails has gone the extra mile and granted their listeners liberal permissions. Not only can fans grab, spread, and remix the album; they must also give credit to the band for this allowance.
The Creative Commons movement has experienced an enormous success, advocating for the free sharing and alteration of creative works. Also celebrating this success are Nine Inch Nails followers, who have long sought out even more accessible tunes from their beloved band.
According to Michael Weinberg, the vice president of Public Knowledge – a digital rights promotion association – releasing under Creative Commons licenses plays a significant role for artists in cultivating an open and mutually beneficial connection with their admirers.
By releasing their work under a Creative Commons license, an artist invites their fans to use it as they wish, to create something unique, and share the results with the world – a notion far removed from traditional copyright regulations of “all rights reserved”.
Weiberg emphasized that Creative Commons licenses are an extraordinary mechanism for those in the arts who are striving for a more interactive bond with their admirers.
Nine Inch Nails weren’t the only ones to make their music available with a Creative Commons License. In 2011, Radiohead gifted the public with The King of Limbs, under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license; while Arcade Fire later followed suit in 2013 with their album Reflektor, which comes bearing an Attribution-ShareAlike license.
With the release of Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails has paved the way for other artists to put their music forward under Creative Commons license. Set to be a game-changing headline amongst fans, this project is bound to make major waves.