In the comments to an earlier post today, a reader pointed us to an article about Trent Reznor's promotional campaign for his latest Nine Inch Nails album. It sounds like he's taken a page from the various alternate reality games that have been popular in promoting movies and video games over the past few years. That is, there appears to be a series of secretive websites that are being leaked out with various clues and there's a big group of fans all trying to track down the details. Also, at some Nine Inch Nails concerts, people have found USB keys in the bathroom with songs from the upcoming album. Not surprisingly, those songs quickly found their way online, all with Reznor's approval. Of course, no one seems to have told the RIAA about this marketing campaign. The RIAA went and demanded that various sites pull down the songs, even though Reznor wanted the songs to spread for promotional purposes. The RIAA always says that if artists want to promote their own songs by giving them away for free they have no problem with it -- but it seems that their mindset is so focused on the idea that no one would ever want to do this that they still have to issue takedowns when artists want the songs given away.