A bootleg recording
is an audio
recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging
. A great many such recordings are simply copied and traded among fan
of the artist without financial exchange, but some bootleggers are able to sell these rarities for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material.
Bootlegs can consist of recordings of live performances or material created in private or professional recording sessions. Changing technologies have had a great impact on the recording, distribution, and varying profitability of the underground industry. The copyrights
for the song and the right to authorize recordings often reside with the artist, according to several international copyright treaties
. The recording, trading and sale of bootlegs continues to thrive, however, even as artists and record companies attempt to provide "authorized" alternatives to satisfy the demand.
The word "bootleg" originates from the practice of smuggling illicit items in the legs of tall boots, particularly the smuggling of alcohol during the American Prohibition era. The word, over time, has come to refer to any illegal or illicit product. This term has become an umbrella term for illicit, unofficial, or unlicenced... Read More