That Time Trent Reznor Felt His Work was Too Good to be His Own and It in Fact Was

It would have to be kind of annoying to think that song that was yours and was something great was in fact a song that you’d heard somewhere else and then forgotten. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails knows all about it since one of his own songs that he thought he came up with turned out to be someone else’s without his knowledge. He fully admits to this but you would almost think that he would have tried a little harder to find out just where the song and come from in order to avoid publishing a song that might get him in trouble. He’s been in trouble for supposedly stealing someone’s songs before so it’s not anything new but this one he seems to have forgotten where he heard it and thought that he’d come up with something all on his own.

That would be a severe buzzkill to the old think-tank, but it wouldn’t be the death knell. Musicians and writers, artists in general, take off of what they hear, see, feel, think, and generally experience throughout their lives to create their work. It could be something that no one ever notices that inspires something they do or it could be a grand idea that everyone can see and is blatantly obvious. So long as the artist is able to find a way to make it their own without copying it in an obvious and shameless manner then there’s usually no issue. It’s when the idea is taken verbatim or image for image or copied in some other similar way that people tend to get up in arms about thievery. Trent Reznor didn’t sound like he meant to do this in the clip but that it happened quite by accident and was unfortunate but not malicious.

I do hope that he managed to give a huge apology to the person that he inadvertently ripped off and that the person in turn was gracious enough to say no harm done. Of course if Reznor went ahead and published the song without permission to do so then he would really need to consider hiring a good lawyer or cutting in the owner of the song for a big share of any profits that came from it. After all intellectual property is quite valuable and can be worth a pretty penny if it’s marketed in the right way. But if it doesn’t belong to the person marketing it and that can be proven then the person needs to either give up the profits to the person that it does belong to or come to some sort of compromise that can benefit both of them.

I’m not entirely certain of the legalities that go into such a fracas but I do know as an author I would be pretty hacked off if someone decided to take an idea of mine and run with and then obtain a multi-million dollar deal off of the labor that I worked so hard on.  Thankfully Reznor at least had the decency to sound abashed that he’d done such a thing, that speaks of some humility and an ability to recognize a mistake.

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