Yesterday, I did something I can't remember the last time I did: bought music. Generally speaking, I don't buy music. Not because I acquire it through means some might view as less than legal, but because I've got a lot of the music I want already, or can obtain it through legal means.
As you've undoubtedly heard by now, Trent Reznor has released a new Nine Inch Nails "album" called Ghosts—a 2 CD set of instrumental music. It was released with much fanfare because it offered many different ways to purchase—anywhere from $5 for the electronic bits only all the way up to $300 for an uber-deluxe box set signed by Trent Reznor himself. I opted for the simple 2 CD set, which costs a whole $16.99 with shipping.
The thing that wasn't given nearly enough press here was the fact that Reznor released the music under Creative Commons licensing. Specifically, Ghosts I-IV is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. That makes it perfectly legal to bittorrent the entire album.
If the music is free—I can and did download it via Bittorrent before purchasing—why did I choose to pony up the money? Because I like the music. I want to see them make more music. I doubt I'd ever go to a Nine Inch Nails concert, so buying a CD is the next best way to show my support. I feel good because I get a tangible good out of the deal.