When artists bite the hand that feeds

Sam has little power over how the government manages the money he gives them every year in taxes. He also has very little control over how others manage their money, or spend what they earn on different products and services.

But Sam does have control over how he decides to encourage musicians, artists and other crafts. Why? Cause he values the ultimate creativity humans have over animals.

So many of our memories are built around music, concerts, artists, paintings, drawings… As such, Sam spends some of his hard earn money on key artists; the ones that break the squares we live in; the ones that make a difference.

One of Sam’s favorite artist is Trent Reznor’s gang, NIN [Nine Inch Nails]. For the past 20 years, he’s been going to NIN concerts, buying albums, downloads and once in a while, getting one of their original T-shirts at 40 bucks a pop.

As pioneers of the Internet, NIN most usually has been on the forefront of digital distribution of music and goods for years.

So last December 2016, Sam went on nin.com and purchased a set that combined a digital download and vinyl of an album from NIN — NOT THE ACTUAL EVENTS. It was a brand new NIN LP that included a High Res digital release [FLAC] download and a cool unique vinyl.

At $20 US, Sam thought this was a decent deal; so why not? Total cost came in at $20.00 US + 12.42 US shipping cost [total of $32.42 US].

Sam was a little annoyed at the 12 bucks for shipping, but then again, not the end of the world. He was satisfied that he had encouraged one of his favorite artists; a reference for him really.

Once purchased, he was then able to download the digital goods [as they said on the webpage], but since that original download, came March, April and now close to June 2017 and Sam had no news about the vinyl he bought… 6 months later, still no delivery of the vinyl.

Talking with his friends, Sam kept saying to them — relax… NIN rocks! They’re pioneers of the web, something must be up…

By early June, Sam was getting a little frustrated for a delivery he paid for 7 months ago and still nothing was getting filled. But again, no stress, has he suddenly got an email from NIN — Trent Reznor himself on June 5th 2017.

The email was straight up… DEAR NIN.COM VINYL CUSTOMER, TWO APOLOGIES, A STATEMENT, AND A QUESTION. The email went on to say a few things:

APOLOGY 1:
…WE ARE CHANGING OUR FULFILLMENT PARTNER. I HAVE NOT BEEN HAPPY WITH FIREBRAND FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS AND WE ARE NOW PARTNERING WITH SANDBAG…

APOLOGY 2:
THE VINYL RELEASES FOR DEVIATIONS, NOT THE ACTUAL EVENTS AND THE REISSUES HAVE BEEN DELAYED AS MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE. THE BLAME FOR THIS LIES WITH ME AND MY TEAM.

Wow! Sam was really impressed by the email, Trent himself came full force with the message, things would eventually get fixed!

The email also said…

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COMPLETE REFUND (KEEPING THE DIGITAL FILES), WE GET IT.

ADDITIONALLY, EVERYONE WITH AN OUTSTANDING VINYL ORDER WILL RECEIVE A DISCOUNT CODE FOR 20% OFF YOUR NEXT PURCHASE.

And finally the email ended with Trent asking us a question…

FINALLY, DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A NEW TOP-SECRET NINE INCH NAILS EP THAT WILL BE RELEASED BEFORE THE FIRST SHOWS WE DO THIS SUMMER?

DID YOU KNOW NOT THE ACTUAL EVENTS WAS THE FIRST PART OF A TRILOGY OF RELATED EPS THAT WILL BE RELEASED ABOUT 6–8 MONTHS APART? NOW YOU DO.

THANK YOU.
TRENT

Sam was indeed impressed, so stuck to his guns and decided to wait. There’s even a possible refund if he wants to and a rebate for a potential next purchase! Awesome.

But it is now mid-July, and still nothing has come through. No emails, nothing — dead in the water.

At that point, Sam decided to get back to that email sent early June and maybe get a refund of his money — as indicated in the email… an email written by Trent.

After fiddling in his inbox, he found the email. Sam was somewhat relieved, at least he’ll get is money back and figure out what he will do later on. Especially if this is only the first of a trilogy! He’ll check it out later and see.

Unfortunately for Sam, the link to get the promised refund doesn’t work anymore…

Web page says: For help, please go here. http://nin-helpdesk.sandbaguk.com.

So Sam goes too that address and then falls on a standard support web page… No specific information on the promised complete refund.

Maybe Sam should send another email to get more information… But instead, Sam has a flash what if the vinyl finally arrives in August, maybe September…

//

We’ve heard similar stories, better and much worst from artists and companies promising something then missing out.

I know. We’re not saving children here or finding a cure for cancer. Trust me.

But when we hear companies and artists complain about digital rights and online fraud of their art and so on… it tickles my brain a little.

My questions are quite simple really…

  • How some make it work [RadioHead], and others don’t?
  • Should we really feel bad downloading/streaming music of the web?
  • What about Sam? Is he an idiot? Is NIN?
  • What responsibilities do online sites/retailers have?
  • Should we always have to fight to get service online?
  • Do online deals really mean “consider yourself lucky”?

I wonder how each of you feel…

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