Saturday, May 10, 2008

the middle man...

After years of abuse at the hands of record companies and the music industry in general, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has broken away. With control over a number of songs and albums, Reznor has chosen to make his music free for download, directly from his website, including the recently released album, "The Slip."

There is also a new website which allows users to download separate layers of a song, to remix according to their own desire. This has sparked a wave of creativity and communication, as users share and review each other's remixes. A few of these fan-made remixes were even chosen for the remix album of "Year Zero."

While this may not seem like striking news on the surface, it is actually proof of a dying system. Before the internet, record companies could keep a large percent of record sales and have control over the creative content of a record. If musicians wanted to sell their work, they had no choice but to go through the conduit of a record company. With the internet, users and musicians can share their work, experience and opinions freely. The record companies oppose this only because it signifies their end.

But who needs a middle man when you can go directly to the people? Who needs a middle man tell you how to write your songs or edit your message? Who needs a middle man to take a piece of the profit when they have completed none of the work?

I'll tell you who: No one.

And this is the reason that Nine Inch Nails, Saul Williams and Radiohead have released their albums independently, offering their music on a financial sliding scale to their fans.

Another example of the internet is closing the gap between people.

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