IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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Piracy or preservation? The underground dissemination of bootleg recordings on the World Wide Web
John V Ward

Last modified: 2013-01-22


Online file sharing has drastically changed the way in which bootleg music recordings are disseminated around the globe. These changes have provided increased opportunities for private collectors to accumulate very large collections of recordings, many of which have important historical significance. This paper sheds light on the underground dissemination of bootleg recordings by examining how digital music is being shared and by mapping the geographic distribution of online file sharers. In doing so, this paper situates online bootleg file sharing communities in light of the increasing challenges and opportunities for musicians, music collectors, and historic preservationists in the twenty-first century.

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