Trent Reznor Wants To Tax Your Internet Connection

Jan 10th, 2008 | By | Category: Digital Music

CNet has an interesting interview with Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor on his recent experiment with Saul Williams’ debut CD, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust.

Reznor and Williams made NiggyTardust available as a free download, but also let you purchase a higher-quality version for a nominal fee. In the interview, Reznor talks about his frustration with the level of interest in purchasing the CD:

Saul and I went at this thing with the right intentions. We wanted to put out the music that we believe in. We want to do it as unencumbered and as un-revenue-ad-generated and un-corporate-affiliated as possible. We wanted it without a string attached, without the hassle, without the bait and switch, or the “Now you can buy the s**** version if you buy…” No, no, we said: “Here it is. At the same time, it’d be nice if we can cover the costs and perhaps make a living doing it.”

It kind of gets into the bigger picture that you’ve had to face as a musician over the last few years, which in my mind was a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s pretty far down the hatch with me now: the way things are, I think music should be looked at as free. It basically is. The toothpaste is out of the tube and a whole generation of people is accustomed to music being that way. There’s a perception that you don’t pay for music when you hear it on the radio or MySpace.

Reznor goes on to suggest taxing your Internet connection to pay for music:

In my mind, I think if there was an ISP tax of some sort, we can say to the consumer, “All music is now available and able to be downloaded and put in your car and put in your iPod and put up your a– if you want, and it’s $5 on your cable bill or ISP bill.”

The middling results of the two most talked about new music experiments of 2007 suggest that prospects for the music industry and musicians is worse than even skeptics imagined.

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  2. je says:

    Yes, but at what bitrate?

  3. Warren Kelly says:

    I see reactions from two different types of people — in my own family, in fact.

    You’ve got people like me, who pay the buck to iTunes, or the $10 to eMusic or whoever for the subscription, who are thrilled with the idea of a $5 “tax” to be able to download as much as they want to.

    Then you’ve got my sister (and to an extent, my wife) who never (or rarely) download music, who are going to wonder what the heck they have to pay the $5 a month for. They’re paying for something that they’re not going to use.

    As I said, it works for me quite well, but it will never happen. Too many people would see absolutely no benefit in it.

  4. LindaL says:

    Why’s he griping about this? The only reason they sold any of these is because people have heard of Nine Inch Nails.

    More people have probably heard of the chocolate rain guy than this guy. Why doesn’t Reznor do an album with him?

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