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14 January, 2005

BC no-no

If you've wandered over to the other departments of the Ministry (links at the foot of each page), you'll know that I, or rather, we, trade unofficial concert recordings, like-for-like, never for money.  These are covert recordings made by audience members, or preferably taken directly from the mixing board (soundboard) or from radio/TV/web broadcasts.

It's a practice of borderline legality, but the bands are generally okay with it so long as a small number of common-sense rules are never broken. One is the money issue. CD-R trading is the sharing of recordings, for free, amongst fans who aready have a legitimate copy of every official release. It's not commercial bootlegging, deriving an immoral income from the work and creativity of the bands.

Another 'rule' is that long-out-of-print official releases are also discreetly traded, but current or imminent official releases are never, ever to be traded. Sometimes recordings go out-of-print temporarily, such as when an existing contract lapses before the new label is able to integrate an older item of the back catalogue into its release schedule.
The important point is that in such circumstances, if the band says a lapsed release will shortly be returned to sale, it may not be traded.

The example which inspired this entry is Bass Communion's 'Droneworks 6', which was recently withdrawn from sale on the Twenty Hertz label, for unspecified reasons. In announcing the fact on 19 December, Steven Wilson also said clearly that it would return on his own Headphone Dust label in 2005. Therefore trading would directly diminish his potential market, which is unacceptable.

To restate, for the search engine robots and the hard of thinking: Bass Communion 'Droneworks 6' is not fair game for trading.

[Update 28/02/05: From March, it's available again officially, on a produced-on-demand basis from
Headphone Dust]

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