Just what the heck is a bootleg, anyway, you moron?
- I'll explain this in laymen's terms. A bootleg is an unauthorised recording of an artist of unavailable material. Some examples would be if a band recorded 20 songs in a studio session. 15 were released on their LP. 2 were b-sides to their singles. The last 3 would be unreleased, therefore officially unavailable. But, sneaky people with access to these original tapes with all the songs, including the unreleased ones, makes copies for his friends. His friends do the same. Eventually, there is an underground allegiance type thing where it is no longer that hard to get, if you know where to look.
- Another type of bootleg would be a live concert. For example, Nirvana played at Vancouver, BC on March 8, 1991 at the "Commodore Ballroom." Now, the club they played in is relatively small, so only a select few would have heard the first live performance of Territorial Pissings, which was played here, with different lyrics. One young chap decided to put a tape recorder in his pants, (or somewhere worse, seriously!) and got the whole concert on tape. He then makes copies and gives them to people who make copies, etc.
- This is not to be confused with PIRATING. Pirating is VERY ILLEGAL. It is, for example, if you bought the Nirvana CD "Nevermind" and made a copy and gave it to your friend. He does the same, etc. This is where bootlegs get a bad name. Trading legitimate releases is taking money out of the artists pockets, since one could get a copy of an LP for free by trading or getting a CD-R copy instead of buying it. Technically, an artist doesn't lose money by bootleg trading of unavailable material. The most common argument for traders is "I have all of the official stuff, and I still want more. You won't/can't release it, so I will trade for it, since I just want to hear it." Companies and artists argue that they have the sole right to determine how an artists work will be distributed.
- Is it illegal? As far as I can tell, "No." As long as you are not making a profit, and are just trading for enjoyment, and to "spread the stuff to fans." If you make no profit, I don't think it's illegal. It is illegal to put it on CD's and sell them... very illegal. I haven't been able to find any up-to-date laws about Canadian bootleg trading. (let me know if you find/know of any) The most up-to-date one I could find was a 1995 personal webpage.
- The actual recording of the concert is up to the policies of the band and/or the venue. Some places even let you plug your recorder into the soundboard, to get an ultimate quality recording. Soundboards are considered the best quality recordings of live concerts. It is easy to tell the difference between a tape that was recorded from a guys pocket, and one that was recorded from the source - the soundboard.