THE MORE B.S. CONTEST No. 15

August 10, 2017 – 1:50 pm

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SHOULD MUSIC FANS SHARE BOOTLEGS?

When Empress Valley (EVSD) released early in August, Led Zeppelin’s 1975 concert in Seattle, Washington, they left inside the lavish packaging a simple note requesting music fans who bought their expensive boxsets not to share them as bittorrent files.

It read in part “Empress Valley works diligently to research, uncover and release these ultra rare sources, and will no longer be able to continue to offer these sources if the rules are not fully obeyed.”

The rules EVSD referred to was “please do NOT copy, edit, remaster, upload or otherwise distribute this proprietary source”.

Unknowingly, a customer of EVSD’s who bought this set, “Deus Ex Machina”, an uncirculated soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s show in Seattle on March 21, 1975, had shared it at the legendary DIME site. Within 24 hours, the sharer decided to pull the torrent and stopped sharing. The site’s admin issued this note when they stopped the torrent:

“The uploader was requested by the ‘manufacturers’ to have the torrent taken down and wants to comply.”

But music fans cheered when the site’s admin decided to restart the torrent and share this previously uncirculated soundboard Led Zeppelin show. Previous bootleg versions were all taken from audience recordings. From the site’s statistics, so far 1,459 fans have downloaded the show. That’s not a lot when you think “Game of Thrones” but it could mean a lot to a small outfit manufacturing bootlegs.

Ledzepnews.com tracked down the original sharer of this show and this is what the original sharer said.

“I asked [the torrent site] to take the torrent down as I did not wish to prejudice further releases from a label that is responsible for many of the most important releases in the LZ canon,” he said. “I do want this cleared up as there have been negative comments on some sites about EVSD which is not warranted.”

He also said he had not noticed the cautionary note inserted into the package. “(M)y request to withdraw the torrent was solely on the basis of the insert which (in my hurry to hear the discs) I did not notice - I’ve never been too bothered about packaging.”

As fans have noted, the Seattle 1975 show is one of Led Zeppelin’s Holy Grail bootlegs. To quote just one, juxtiphi:

“I am stunned and blown away by the sound of this release. I just played the end of Dazed at top volume on my system and there wasn’t one second of distortion. Jimmy sounds so good i just came in my pantys fuckkers!!! Somebody said what could this release reveal that you haven’t already heard! Screw that, there are so many details revealed in Jimmy’s picking that I never heard before! GOOD JOB EVSD AND TO OUR KIND DIME BROTHER for posting this absolute gem of a release!

“I am so fucking high right now WOOOH!!!!”

The nature of the internet is such that any sound file that is in high demand will eventually get circulated. This 42-year-old recording got shared because Led Zeppelin fans are still alive. Wait another 42 years and there won’t be any original fans left alive.

A music fan quoting Japanese collectors on twitter has said “Empress Valley might stop releasing soundboards due to torrents. The second night in Long Beach and Blueberry Hill were mentioned as possible upcoming releases.” But before you take up EVSD’s side, do remember that some rare shows that have been shared freely as torrents are also lifted by bootleg companies and pressed up into CDs for sale.

To share or not to share? Let us know what you think.

Your No B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.

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More B.S. Contest No. 1 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 2 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 3 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 4 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 5 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 6 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 7 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 8 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 9 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 10 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 11 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 12 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 13 (click here)
More B.S. Contest No. 14 (click here)

  1. 33 Responses to “THE MORE B.S. CONTEST No. 15”

  2. I always think it is fair game to share, if the music is not commercially available. If the sound quality is as good as they say, then all the better. If they do release it one day, officially, then it should just be taken down…

    By Trevor on Aug 10, 2017

  3. Bands seem to be becoming more and more tolerant to illicit recording of shows. I think they have to concede really to the realisation that with so many devices available to audience members to record that it is not feasible to police it. My guess is that out of an audience of, say, 2000 people, there must be upwards of 50 people recording or filming or streaming the whole or part of the show at any time.
    Many bands have embraced this realisation and ’time’ their concerts so that they’ll fit on a CD. I’m not saying they are encouraging this, but they are not actively discouraging it either because they realise it’s going to happen.

    Bootlegged shows actually give people access to music that they would not otherwise get to hear and I have purchased official material by several bands following exposure to a bootlegged show and I have been interested enough by the bootleg to explore their legit albums. In this case, bands can experience bigger sales as a result of illicit recording.
    On the other hand, shows available as ROIOs that have been released by the artistes is completely taboo in my view and should be taken down as a matter of principle and good manners

    By daij on Aug 10, 2017

  4. I’m for fans sharing it. Sure, a bootleg label might work hard to find a new source. But at the end of the day, they’re pirates trying to make money off of something that isn’t theirs.

    I think back to that story of Sue Mingus shoplifting armfuls of boots of her late hasband’s music: she’s getting back at people trying to make money by ripping her off. Downloading something for free is one thing - most people who are interested in a bootleg probably own a bunch of that artists music already - but paying a third party is shady.

    By Milner on Aug 11, 2017

  5. Yes, we should share! What I DON’T like is an outfit collecting bootlegs - no matter how hard they worked to do so - then selling them for profit. That’s crass.

    By Fred on Aug 12, 2017

  6. Share. Selling bootlegs is the only sin here.

    By steve22 on Aug 12, 2017

  7. I have been Bootlegging shows for years. I share my recording with everyone, I DO NOT SELL MY RECORDINGS! I don’t ask the artist because they will say their record label and manager will be unhappy about it. I’ll clue all artist now, the only thing the record company cares about is money. Bootleg live recordings get people to buy released merchandise. A few years ago I recorded a Kelly Hunt live show from an FM source and gave a copy of it to her manager. He had a meltdown because I recorded something that was over the airways, He is an asshole so fuck him and he can try to sue me, I’m not intimidated by your stupidity. The three CD’s he gave me for a local Boston area radio show with a blues format got thrown in the trash and I made sure to tell others in the market to blackball his artist for his bullying tactics.

    By STEVEN J YEATON on Aug 12, 2017

  8. Asking bootlegs not to be shared takes away from the reason we love bootlegs–because we love music, are happy to put up with often substandard sound and already own all commercially available material.

    If I could buy the bootleg on vinyl I would, but the limited numbers they are pressed in often makes that impossible, and the the resellers up the prices knowing this.

    I think it’s most uncool for people to not share bootleg recordings. Trade freely–it’s good for the soul!!

    By Crack on Aug 14, 2017

  9. Please observe the rules and share only. Not for sale. These lost gems are a gracious gift. Particularly Led Zeppelin, the shows can never be duplicated. Jimmy Page could be brilliant and Bonzo’s drumming was always over the top. 1975 was essentially the end of their classic live era.

    By Ray Duggan on Aug 14, 2017

  10. The point about bootlegs is that they are informal recordings that breach the copyright of the artiste. No-one else has a right to ownership and no-one else has any right to profit by the distribution of the music, whoever recorded it.

    It was fair enough to charge a modest sum back when people had to burn CDs or duplicate tapes, then label, package and distribute them, but digital transmission has cancelled that out.

    So anyone charging now is just being a Doubly dishonest toad who seeks to profit by the genius and hard work of others.

    I despise those who try to make a living out of this practice just as I despise those who buy up vast quantities of concert tickets to sell at a profit. Such cheap moneygrubbing by workshy people who look to make a quick buck off the back of Other people’s hard work is a disgrace.

    By the real Tony on Aug 14, 2017

  11. ROIOs are meant mostly for fans who want to capture a precious moment in history. Some time ago a non profit group collected all the existing Beatle BBC sessions into one full set, refusing to charge for it. These moments, especially of the 20th century’s most essential artists, must be preserved. Thing is, we must also honor the family members of these performers (Prince, Sinatra, Elvis) who want to commercially release them on traditional record labels.

    By Tony on Aug 15, 2017

  12. Empress Valley ask that it is not uploaded, shared etc, but releases in small numbers making it very hard to obtain and doesn’t pay royalties to anyone but themselves. Empress Valley are taking the the mickey surely.

    By Crack on Aug 16, 2017

  13. I think the sentiment is pretty much unanimous. If you have something truly special, in high quality, and you want to make money off of it, then do the necessary work to have it released officially. But if you have something you want to put out, but the artist doesn’t want released, if you still put it out then it’s fair game.

    By MrBill on Aug 16, 2017

  14. I was at the huge Bath Festival, Shepton Mallet, UK, on June 28, 1970, right down the front in the Press, VIP area. When Zeppelin played, security/roadies were constantly leaping into the crowd and ripping audio tapes out of tape machines. Manager Peter Grant said: “Some people were trying to videotape the Bath festival and they’d already been told beforehand they couldn’t, so I had no qualms about throwing a bucket of water on to the tape machine which blew the whole lot up. Whoosh! It made a horrible smell and then it melted.” (I don’t recall this incident.) Jimmy Page said the band itself tried to film the show: “There was an attempt to film this, but, as we preferred to play at dusk, the filming was unsuccessful as the film crew had brought daylight film - as opposed to the High Speed film needed to capture night filming.” Years later I saw a Jimmy Page comment that was something like: “I was listening to a bootleg tape of us the other day and we were playing all these fantastic little riffs between songs. We were so hot then!” (He wasn’t talking about Shepton Mallet.) Ah, the wisdom of hindsight. It would be nice now to have that Shepton Mallet video and all those destroyed audio tapes, wouldn’t it?. “Bootleggers” have given us fantastic live recordings of many bands that otherwise would have never been heard, lost for ever.

    By Christopher Maddock on Aug 16, 2017

  15. This all sounds like a question of who gets to rip off the artist the most. We all know that record companies make a lot more $$$ than their artists - look at the story of the Rolling Stones’ early music, or ask Kenny Jones, the lone survivor of the Small Faces, how that band was treated by managers and record companies. When you buy a bootleg, or just trade taped recordings, are you really taking money out of an artist’s pocket? Or are you actually contributing to that artist’s popularity?

    Don’t get me wrong - I think artists should be well compensated for their work and not die broke like Jaco Pastorius, but if they’re NOT being well compensated for their work, I think this is more the fault of the “legitimate” music industry. Nor am I saying all record companies, managers and promoters are slime, but when it comes to ripping off artists, I think they’ve definitely done a far more thorough job of it than any bootlegger.

    By Jim Kneubuhl on Aug 19, 2017

  16. Oh darn, I better say something about the actual issue… EVSD has no business acting like Atlantic Records. A bootlegger begging not be bootlegged? Wow, live long enough and you’ll see it all… As someone pointed out, it’s not the property of EVSD in the first place. Everyone can let their own conscience be their guide, but if you exist under the guise of “liberating” music from someone else’s sole control, you can’t turn around and complain when it gets liberated from your own control.

    By Jim Kneubuhl on Aug 19, 2017

  17. Ooops… Strayed from the issue at hand… EVSD has no business acting like they’re Atlantic Records. Nice try, though.

    By Jim Kneubuhl on Aug 19, 2017

  18. Share Share share!

    By Phil on Aug 23, 2017

  19. bootleg labels are in no position to complain, pot, kettle, black !

    By LiamNSW on Aug 23, 2017

  20. I think the only people who should be able to request removal or suppression of a bootleg recording are the copyright holders themselves. Otherwise it’s fair game.

    By Jeremy Shatan on Aug 23, 2017

  21. Bootleg labels are not paying the artists so what rights should they have. EVSD charges way too much anyway. They deserve to have their product shared. Some people are going to buy it regardless anyway.

    By John on Aug 29, 2017

  22. You just have to admire the nerve of a bootlegger who gets upset to find his bootleg bootlegged.

    By Bevis on Aug 30, 2017

  23. It´s a piece of history, and not commercially avaiable, so sharing is the name of the game.

    By Belasco on Sep 2, 2017

  24. share? sure.

    By sluggo on Sep 5, 2017

  25. I’m all for sharing, as long as it doesn’t conflict with an official release. In this case, I’m not sure if the label is considered ‘official’ or not - did the band see any money made from the bootlegs’ sales? If the label is not a legitimate company in itself - they don’t really have a moral right to ask others to ‘do the right thing’.

    By User941 on Sep 19, 2017

  26. what kind of question is that…. of course.Fans be fans… we still buy the official releases…

    By Len37 on Oct 24, 2017

  27. It’s laughable that Empress Valley has the nerve to suggest you cannot share their recording. Like a commercial release, you buy item, you do with it what you wish. It’s not not what any manufacturer wants to see this, but fuck it, no one gets special privilege and with the scarcity of Japanese high quality or other bootlegs who really cares? It all gets released eventually.

    By M on Oct 30, 2017

  28. W-H-Y
    N-O-T-?

    By mik on Nov 17, 2017

  29. I think the danger lies in a Label copyrighting a bootleg recording and then working to prevent distribution of other sources. Shame for trying to profit from what is essentially public domain.

    By Greg on Nov 27, 2017

  30. There is also the issue of recordings becoming officially released but with edits and or overdubs which is being dishonest with the buying public.With officials you never know if its been tampered with.only trust bootlegs,classic examples Stones Get your ya yas out full of overdubs,Led Zep how the west was one full of overdubs and edits,Jimmy Page even spliced different performances to create individual tracks and spliced in a mellotron from a show two years later to STH Trust boots only

    By Bill on Nov 29, 2017

  31. Another example is David Bowies Nassau show from 76.The official release edits out almost completely the 13 minute drum solo from panic in detroit.All of Robert Plants between song banter is edited out of HTWWD as well as the edits overdubs and missing songs.It also sounds too slick.Rock and roll should be warts and all.down and dirty.A better option is the great boot Burn like a candle.the complete la forum 72 show in its entirety

    By Bill on Nov 29, 2017

  32. The release is not sanctioned by the band or it’s management or it’s record label. If the above mentioned entities do not provide an objection, the music / recording can be seen as an open entity to sell, distribute, or download as the public sees fit. In this case, EVSD does not own the rights to the recording or the music, and cannot dictate terms or conditions of use.

    By BGD on Jun 12, 2018

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