Beating the bootleggers: fan creativity, ‘lossless’ audio trading, and commercial opportunities

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The popular recording industry has traditionally followed a mass-market productivist model which treats music fans as passive, rather than active, consumers. As a result, there has been a failure to understand or meet the demands of fans for live and archive (unreleased studio) material, or an inability or unwillingness to satisfy them. In the past, this shortfall of live concert recordings and archive material has been filled by a combination of commercial bootlegging and non-commercial trading. Music industry trade associations regard both of these as forms of audio piracy; as a challenge to the commodification of popular music and the exploitation of copyrights. They demonize all forms of trading activity and the music fans who engage in them – even though some artists authorize and support non-commercial trading. This chapter discusses notions of the passive/active audience, and provides a history of not-for-profit audio trading and the distribution systems used. It also investigates the motivations and moralities of non-commercial traders, prior to exploring the various promotional and commercial opportunities of a more service-oriented approach to satisfying the needs of music consumers and fans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCybersounds
    Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Virtual Music Culture
    EditorsMichael Ayers
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Group
    ISBN (Print)0-8204-78616
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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