Thursday, April 19, 2012

ABC radio interview & the legality of concert recording

I was interviewed on ABC Radio by Spencer Howson yesterday, which was broadcast this morning about my live recording of concerts. Spencer was put onto my website by Kate Miller-Heidke and he contacted me, wanting to know more, so I agreed to an interview.

We discuss how I came to do what I do, the artist reactions and more. You can listen to the interview here.

I've had a few questions and noticed a few comments on Twitter about the legality of what I do, so I wanted to address those here:

Firstly - what I do is STRICTLY not for profit. I make no financial gain from recording and sharing concerts. I don't hide in dark back alleys or market stalls selling copies of concerts. It's not the 70's anymore.. This is purely for personal enjoyment, increasing artist exposure and giving something back to the live music community.

Secondly - the majority of my recordings I have permission to record in some form or another. I usually contact an artist and/or management to gain permission (Examples include Kate Miller-Heidke and The Grates). If the artist has a pre-established taping policy (Examples include Ben Harper and Jack Johnson) I usually don't worry about contacting the artist as they have already made their views on taping clear. If an artist has an explicit no taping rule (Example - Meatloaf) then I won't record. In the event that I am unable to contact an artist or find their taping policy, if I record and publish the recording, I work on a good faith basis. If the artist/management is unhappy with the recording being made and/or posted, I instantly remove it from the blog, as I have done in the past.

Thirdly - Although it has yet to occur, in the event a recording I make would be in direct competition with a commercial recording of a concert, I will not record/share a concert. The exception to this rule would be if the artist still permits audience recordings. An example of this would be Linkin Park. They record every concert and sell them after the show, yet they still permit fans to make their own audio recordings. Pearl Jam would be another good example of this.

Part of the reason I wanted to do the interview with Spencer was to try and remove the negative stigma around taping. Back in the 70's and 80's the recording of concerts was a very underground and illegal happening, where individuals and businesses stood to make a small fortune. With the advancements in technology, in particular the internet, recordings are now more readily available, so tapers can now share their recordings for fun and for free, instead of people taking the recordings and selling them on the black market. If you get the chance to meet anyone in the taping community, you will find we are all normal, every day people who do what we do for the love of it - not for personal gain. We as a taping community frown upon those who do this for a profit, so if you see audience recordings for sale, ignore them and keep your wallet in your pocket.

And finally, support the artists. Go to the shows, buy the CD's, the t-shirts and more. Talk to the band and the fans online, let your friends know about them. Go out and have a great time.


If you wish to find out more about taping and the community I strongly recommend visiting the following websites

Live Music Archive 
Tapers Section
Authorized Live Bootlegs (Wikipedia)

As per the ACC document G022v07, as a creator of the audio material I have a moral obligation to attribute the person who performed the material. Any recordings I make are simply for personal and archival purposes, not commercial, and the original artist retains all rights. I maintain a defence of reasonableness and fair dealing due to the fact that the purpose and manner of the recordings is strictly not for profit and I have not changed the integrity of the artists performance. As previously stated though, at any time if an artist is unhappy with any recording of their performance, contact me and I'll be happy to remove the recording and issue an apology.

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work BNELive.

    Used to participate in tape/CD trees within the Smashing Pumpkins fan community. I have clear memories of spending all night downloading new shows as they became available on my 28.8kbps modem and trawling through old shows and radio performances that were in another country.

    I own everything that can be purchased by these guys, but there is something special about live shows, especially ones that you have attended yourself, and a good audience recording can often capture more than a soundboard feed.

    Long live the taping community.