Some of you may have read that last Friday a federal judge struck down a law banning the sale of bootlegs of live performances. I have plenty of bootlegs but the decision still leaves me with mixed feelings.
I don’t have a problem with concert bootlegs because they provide an opportunity to hear what may be a very unique moment in time. My problem is with selling them. I have not paid a cent for any of the bootlegs I have, other than perhaps providing the CD to burn it on. There are a significant number of bands that allow taping of their concerts as long as it is done for personal use and trading. This includes such nationally known bands as O.A.R., the now-defunct Phish, the Dave Matthews Band and even John Mayer. O.A.R. is among those who even encourage downloading taped shows.
Generally, I would support anything that promotes quality concert taping. Still, anbody who seeks to make a profit off those tapes — other than the artists themselves — deserves no protection. They only provide reason for the artists now allowing taping to end the practice.