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Man Charged Over Concert Bootlegs… Why Bother?

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Yesterday, a man was busted, in Hamilton, Ontario, with a car load of illegal recordings. I won’t dispute the man’s guilt or innocence…he was a dumb*** who got caught selling home-made stuff at a flea market. See Toronto Sun

Instead; maybe he should’ve been selling thousands of titles right in the public eye…After all, anyone can buy virtually any concert these days directly from Ebay.

In this day and age, how does one guy at a flea market warrant such attention?

There was a time when I used to go to a cool store in Edmonton, Alberta, that had a small collection of “rare” lps hidden away in full view. [I won’t name the place]. In it were all the wonders of concerts from musicians who wouldn’t bother to play our little town….or played it way too little. Sure, Led Zeppelin appeared in Edmonton once…in 1969…opening for Vanilla Fudge…or was it Iron Butterfly? The Who played too…in 1975…one time. Our options were quite limited. “Hey Wheeler, pretty weak arguement you felony-fool you..”

…Bootlegs, in the late ’70’s, were a huge disappointment. I had a dozen or so of which only 2 were barely listenable: Led Zeppelin’s “Destroyer”, a 3 album set with an extra 45rpm, and a Van Halen show from 1978. Maybe you’ve got a great bootleg story…mine were all lousy….including this one…

Nowadays, you can literally buy thousands of great sounding properly mixed live recordings on cd and live in-concert dvds legitimately. And yet…bootlegs still continue. To beat the boot; bands like Pearl Jam have gone so far as to release each and every one of their live concerts . Others are investigating technology that would allow a band to sell an in-concert recording immediately after the encore. Others like Dave Matthews and the Grateful Dead…simply gave up years ago. All I can really add is don’t waste your money on “rare” recordings of inherent poor quality and production…buy the legitimate live recordings instead…

As an aside, now that I live in Toronto…I’m suffering from acute concert burnout…a condition well-known to small-town people like me who move to the big city. Its that kid in a candy story thing. Since 1999; the wife and I have seen: Red Hot Chili Peppers with Stone Temple Pilots, Black Crowes with Oasis, Counting Crows with Live, Dave Matthews twice, Ben Harper twice, BB King with Jeff Beck, The Allman Brothers, The Rolling Stones twice, The White Stripes, The Who, AC\DC, Fleetwood Mac, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, Mudvayne, The Deftones, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Alanis Morissette, Ian Moore, Santana, Audioslave, Chris Cornell and Bon Jovi (my step-son digs them). Therefore; bootlegs of these or any other show are redundant and have little appeal in our household.

To wrap this up, why go after the little guy anyways? He is probably reselling bootlegs that he purchased online. With that said; why not target the real lawbreakers..like a select number of Ebay sellers who list thousands of illegals daily.

hmmm…I’ll bet there’s an opportunity out there for an enterprising listing-scanning bootleg-bustin’-sub-contractin’-businessman..“Hello Sony…have I’ve got an idea for you..”

(First posted on surroundablog.com)

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  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Why go after a one legged guy who sells bootlegs at flea markets to suppliment his income so he can take care of his kids, well, the answer is in the article in the Globe and Mail:
    “The small guys are probably easier to catch,” said [lawyer Cory Furman] “It’s often harder to catch the guy who has made a serious business out of it”.

    In short, pick only on the people who can’t fight back.

    I should note, these are all “real” bootlegs, copies of amateur videos of concerts, not officially released. Nevertheless, CRIA crows about how it has struck a mighty blow to defeat theft. Assholes.

  • william

    “calm down” about bootleg recordings andthe fact that someone got caught selling them in a Flea market. Th eperson probably got caught to fullfill a quota that is set upon the Police Dept.

    It happens in the US all the time….once every 6 months all the independant New York City record stores that sell bootlegs get raided but the virgin Mega stores and other corporate outlets are left alone even though they sell bootleg material themselves….they just have it packaged much better than the independants.

    ebay or internet is the best way to transfer these materials and nto get busted…why do it? because it isn’t just about music. It’s about distributing information and the fact that information no matter what that may be should be accessable. One might take note and realize that many record companies rely on bootleggers to compile their own commercial releases. It is like Payola or when Colombia Records released Bob Dylan’s Bootleg series…they needed bootlegers to find specific recordings of shows that were not professionally recorded or disregarded and trashed. The same for Bright Midnight records which went online and purchased bootleg recordings of the Doors so they could release the same stuff commercially…the story goes on and on….nothing is as simple as it looks…or as Eddie Vedder would say…”nothing as it seems”!

  • martin

    Well you can loads of boots for free on the net anyhow.

  • Resident

    At This point none of this even makes a difference anymore.May as well go find those 8 track pirates from the 70’s while out there.That should kill some more time…..

  • Shane

    I have many bootlegs, Most of them are VG to EX quality, and why is that? Because I actually take the time to sift through the great ones. However, its useless to spend money on boots.
    Just trade them, that makes it legal.

  • Penguin

    Trade them for money… :)

  • Samuel T Boots

    It’s only illegal because the Government gets no kick back from it. This is the way the Government shakes you down, like the mafia used to do. The Government looks at it this way, if you make something and want to sell you have to give them a piece for selling ot on their territory. If you dont give them a piece well arresting you is the shakedown. My advice is to do it all you want, court dates are our tax dollars at work.