?Nine Inch Nails (NIN) fans have released a free download of a concert video titled The Gift that is based on three shows of one of the band’s last and possibly final tours. The video can be downloaded via BitTorrent in various formats including 1080p HD from a web site called ThisOneIsOnUs.org. A Blu-ray version is expected to follow soon.
The Gift is the result of an unusual collaboration that began when 405GB of HD concert footage found its way onto various torrent trackers about a year ago. The video was shot by professional videographers under contract with the band to produce a DVD. However, NIN was unable to release the disc due to licensing conflicts with its former major label. That didn’t stop fans from producing the movie on their own.
“I’ll bet some enterprising fans could assemble something pretty cool (with the footage),” wrote NIN front man Trent Reznor when the raw footage leaked back in January of 2009, calling the people behind the leak “a mysterious, shadowy group of subversives.” Of course, the real source of the leak wasn’t mysterious to fans at all. Reznor has long been a pioneer of online music distribution, giving his music away for free and even launching his own BitTorrent tracker to facilitate downloads of his latest albums.
Fans quickly jumped on the opportunity to make their own version of the movie. The Gift has been produced by dozens of volunteers, according to its web site, who collaborated across three continents to compile a tour video based on footage from concerts recorded in Sacramento, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Victoria, B.C. Downloads available include a 1080p version with 5.1 audio taken straight from the band’s mixing console at the three venues. An extra DVD with more footage and interviews is slated to be released Jan. 25 as a free download as well.
NIN has been known for its legendary live shows and a devoted fan base. Reznor announced in early 2009 that the band won’t do any more tours in the foreseeable future, which is why this movie release could become quite popular with fans.