Since the beginning of rock music, bootlegs have been a thorn in the record industry and a guilty pleasure to fans. The hunger for unreleased music has been consistent for almost 50 years despite the legal implications.

Bootlegs are “illegal reproduction and distribution of recordings” whether they are demos from the studio or concert recordings. A bootleg is a recording that has not been officially released, opposed to a “pirate,” a copy of official material.

For an industry that used to be conducted under the table and at corner-in-the-wall record shops, the Internet has brought bootlegs to a wider audience.

“MP3s make it extraordinarily easy to be a bootlegger - so easy, in fact, that many people may not realize that they're breaking the law.”
-Adam Powell, Webmonkey writer

By David Fox
MMC 3260 Final Project
Spring 2002