(It is safe to read-on this is NOT an anti-Greg thread!)
Yesterday afternoon I was somewhat surprised by Greg Brooks’ revelation that "The fan who PROVIDED the bootlegs for QOL. He was paid." http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q_FORUM_ID=1&Q_FORUM_NAME=Queen+Serious+Discussion&TOPIC_SUBJECT=Queen+on+Film+-+WHAT+IS+ACTUALLY+(REALLY)+OUT+THERE%3f&Q=869477&page=2
Queen Archivist wrote:
...The fan who provided the bootlegs for QOL. He was paid.
Now, although I have not, and will not change my stance against downloading illegal official material, this revelation has certainly made me sit-up, and rethink my stance as far as bootleg downloads are concerned.
First; given the timeframe and geographical extent of QOL’s ‘100 Greatest Bootlegs’ project, it is a given that this paid fan (or fans) could not possibly attend all these gigs. Therefore, the poor sods who physically recorded this material have been by-passed, and the first generation masters have not been employed. So why is it illegal to record and share these bootlegs – when middle-men are paid – simply for supplying a copy?
If the original owner of such tapes could prove that QOL are purchasing his (or her) wares from an illegal middle representative, could they counter-suit QPL for reproduction without permission? Certainly, if middle men can be rewarded for this service, why not the original owners also?
Second; although QOL claim that the fees from this project are donated to charity, it seems that some fees have been spent up-front to secure some kind of bootleg brokerage deal. This I personally find morally abhorrent, particularly when it flies in the face of both UK copyright laws – and a sense of ‘British fair play’.
Either what QOL is doing is illegal, and they should be hoisted upon their own petards, or it is perfectly legal, in which case, it must be open season for all - as they do not own the original tapes, in which case anyone who supplies these must be protected by the very same laws which allow QPL’s suppliers to be remunerated – they can not have it both ways.
Would I therefore be wrong to conclude that this revelation breaks the strangle-hold of QPL – and that better sourced, better quality bootlegs could be freely downloaded WITHOUT the fear of reprisal, and finally sound the death-knell for such a backward looking exercise anyways?
"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."