In 2003, the Senate held a debate over file sharing. On one side was LL Cool J, arguing for the RIAA that P2P should be illegal. On the other side was Chuck D, who came through with a stance that may have been ahead of its time, arguing the following: "Technology giveth and it taketh way, and the industry knows this. The horseshoe makers probably got upset at the train manufacturers..."
Today, a decade later, file sharing has been cemented into the world's cultural fabric as both inevitable and pervasive, but as Chuck D would likely suggest again, it's time to adapt rather than resist.
Public Enemy is doing just that, in fact, they are embracing one of the world's best-known avenues of file sharing: BitTorrent. The way they are using it, though, is reminiscent of Jay-Z's "We need to write the new rules" argument. P.E.'s single, "Get Up Stand Up" f/ Brother Ali, will engage their fans directly through BitTorrent, by letting them make their own mixes of the song. The "Public Enemy Bundle," when downloaded, will come with the song, as well as 37 a cappellas and stems. The group will then listen for the mixes as put together by the fans, the best of which can receive prizes ranging from P.E. merchandise to an actual release of their version of the song.
Check out more on this new take on media here.