Well one of them is a contest anyway.
A few days ago Trent Reznor of NIN got on the YouTube and asked the community to take music from their latest (Creative-Commons licensed) album and make a music video — http://www.youtube.com/ninofficial. They would then take a look, pick some favorites and then present them in a film festival of some sort.
And just today I find out that Radiohead, with Adult Swim and AniBoom.com, want you to do the same thing with their (previously-pay-whatever-the-hell-you-want) new album. Except they want it animated and you have to storyboard it first. But if they like it they’ll pay you to make it — http://www.aniboom.com/radiohead. You’ve got 40 days.
I’d enter them both if I had the time, I’ve downloaded and listened to both albums already and I could certainly think of something. I even story boarded an animated video for “Just” once upon a time. I’m not saying I would win anything, but it would be fun to be able to do something that creative.
Plus it’s just cool for a band like NIN to be encouraging others to build upon their work, to the point that they didn’t even name the tracks so it wouldn’t influence you.
Edit: Something I forgot to mention. Another artist that isn’t really getting a lot of love for releasing his album online is Saul Williams. You may not have heard of him, but you might have heard one of his songs on a recent Nike commercial (which of course seems like a strange pairing if you know anything about that song) or seen him in the indy movie Slam. It’s a mix of hip-hop, poetry, and industrial. Not bad in my opinion, but I think I like his previous self-titled album better.
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust was produced by Trent Reznor and will cost you some money, but it’s DRM free and you can get it in a loseless format.