Yesterday, we posted an MP3 of a new Nine Inch Nails song that we found while doing our daily elbo.ws lap; after a brusquely worded note from Antipiracy@riaa.com, we removed the file, and that was that. Or so we thought. Today, we found a NIN-related Digg link that claimed the song had been “found on a usb drive in a bathroom in Portugal,” which set off our “painstakingly crafted backstory” alarms. The file we posted yesterday was, in fact, tagged with that little bit of lore, along with a URL; as it turns out, the linked site is one of many viral-marketing outposts for the forthcoming NIN record. Which bolsters our theory that the leak was engineered by someone in the Reznor camp–after all, the number of alt-rock stations has been steadily decreasing for a while now, and labels have to be creative about getting songs that might not get airplay out to the public.
So what about that RIAA notice? Are they just working at cross-purposes with Nine Inch Nails’ marketing consultants, or is this whole scheme yet another attempt to simultaneously make music bloggers look dumb and exploit their ability to get songs “out there”? We’re sort of disgusted either way, which means that everyone loses. (P.S. Those “Web sites from the future”? They look like they’ve been in a time capsule since the last dot-bomb era.)