Nine Inch Nails' album Ghosts I-IV has been nominated for the 51st annual Grammy awards. The album was licensed under a Creative Commons license, making it possible to legally download the whole thing for free from torrent sites. NIN actually published Ghosts I themselves on the Pirate Bay, where it still has more than a hundred seeders nine months after its original release date.

However, Ghosts wasn't just a success on torrent sites. The band made more than 1.6 million dollars in the first week after releasing the album by asking fans for voluntary donations of five dollars per download as well as selling various CD packages, including a 300 dollar "Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition". Wired quoted NIN's publicist last March with the following words:

"Nine Inch Nails' 36-track instrumental opus Ghosts I-IV, released March 2 via NIN.com, has amassed a first week total of 781,917 transactions (including free and paid downloads as well as orders for physical product), resulting in a take of $1,619,420 USD."


NIN went ahead to publish a second album through its own torrent tracker just two months after Ghosts I-IV came out.

(via the Creative Commons blog)

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