BiTorrent file-sharing software allows people to share high-quality concert recordings like never before.
There’s an interesting story out of Winnipeg, Canada that follows how the world of Bootlegs has grown up in the digital world. Over are the days of clunky tape-recorders and manually sharing copies that degrade over time as subsequent copies are made for family and friends. Now is the age of BitTorrent, where digital recordings are posted within hours of a concert’s end for millions of strangers to download and hear for themselves.
With sites like AntsMarching.org(DMB fans), JamtoThis.com(Zeppelin, Satrian, Elvis), and Echoeshub.com(Pink Floyd), never before have audiophiles had access to such a wide and seemingly limitless supply of rare and interesting bootleg concert recordings to download and listen to.
“It’s now possible for students of an artist to get hold of an insane amount of material, and gain a greater understanding of the artists that they love,” e-mails Keir Hardie, 36, a longtime music collector in the U.K.
In the old days people had to smuggle in reel-to-reel or tape-cassette machines but, these days all one needs are a small digital recorder, and the ubiquitous cell-phone with audio recording capability makes the job even easier
“It doesn’t take much work to beat security (with) the ever-shrinking size of the machines,” e-mailed Mike Simpson, 35, a Pennsylvania co-founder of the Radiohub, dedicated to Radiohead music.
“I’m convinced that anyone who wants to tape a show will be able to do it.”
Apparently, in Canada there isn’t a criminal code provision against recording a live performance, and in most other jurisdictions it’s the actual concert venue that prohibits the recording devices themselves.
Some artists like the Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam have embraced the bootleg recording and distributing of live concert performances as way to spread and relive music that would otherwise be lost to the tender mercies of fan memories. So long as people don’t profit it from it they have no qualms with fans recording and sharing them as they please.
Though other artists may not be so enlightened as are the Dave Matthews Band Pearl Jam but, one thing’s for sure, BitTorrent has changed the nature of Bootlegs forever.
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