Universal Pulls The Plug On Nine Inch Nails Remix Community
It’s no wonder that after all of Trent Reznor’s major label trash talking, Universal Music Group, his current label, would find a way to do a little chest-pounding of its own. Universal has forced Reznor to remove the Nine Inch Nails remix project that launched late last month. The online destinatino allowed fans to share their own remixes from NIN’s last album, Year Zero.
Various stems from several Year Zero tracks were bundled with Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, an official remix album. After purchasing the album and source tracks, fans were invited to upload their creative remixes to the website, remix.nin.com.
The subdomain has been yanked and Rezor has posted this on his site:
Several years ago I persuaded my record company to let me begin posting my master recording files on nin.com, in order to see what kind of user-generated content would materialize from my music. I had no agendaâ€¦ the main reason I did it was because I thought it was cool and something I would have liked to do if it was available to me. A lot of really fun stuff started to happenâ€¦.communities developed, web sites were created, even traditional radio got in the game and began playing the fans’ mixes. I felt the experiment, despite not having a specific purpose, was a success. So much so that we’re now releasing a remix album that includes some of this fan-created material as well as the actual multitrack master files for every song from my latest record, Year Zero.
One piece was missing to me and that was an official nin.com presence for aggregating all of the fan-created remixes. Several intrepid fans had stepped up and done a great job providing a destination for people to post these, but I felt all along this was a function I should more directly support. So, upon release of this new remix album, our plan has been to launch an official site on nin.com that would provide a place for all fan remix material and other interactive fan experiences.
Or so I thought.
You can read the entire explanation on nin.com, but even Reznor cannot simply dismiss Universal’s argument.
My former record company and current owner of all these master files, Universal, is currently involved in a lawsuit with other media titans Google (YouTube) and News Corp (MySpace). Universal is contending that these sites do not have what is referred to as “safe harbor” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and therefore are in copyright violation because users have uploaded music and video content that is owned by Universal. Universal feels that if they host our remix site, they will be opening themselves up to the accusation that they are sponsoring the same technical violation of copyright they are suing these companies for.