was noted as saying that after he was done with the music,
the Deadheads could do what they wanted with it. Dead
Heads began sneaking portable tape recorders into Grateful
Dead concerts, starting in the 1960's. By the early 1970's
more bootleg concert albums had been released than the number
of releases in the Official Grateful Dead collection. Needless
to say, the band's record label was not happy about the
situation. After about 15 years of debate, the Grateful
Dead allowed taping at their concerts. The rules were simple
1) the tapes must only be used for noncommercial purposes
and 2) all taping must take place in the designated taping
section established at each concert site. Tapers made up
a bit of a subculture of the Deadheads.
published in Relix
later, the Grateful Dead have continued to break legal
ground by allowing the noncommercial usage of Internet
Downloads of MP3 music files of these concert recordings.
Release May 11, 1999
Grateful Dead Sanctions Free MP3 Music Format
Follows Action Against Commercial Web Site
VALLEY, Calif., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major policy
initiative by one of the nation's most enduring musical
groups, the Grateful Dead will, under strict guidelines
prohibiting commercial use, allow free Internet downloads
of live performances taped by their fans via the popular
but controversial MP3 format, the group's attorney,
a partner in the firm of Donahue, Gallagher, Woods &
Wood, said the Grateful Dead is believed to be one of
the first major bands to adopt a policy that essentially
endorses free MP3 music, a format some members of the
recording industry have strongly condemned.
decision follows several weeks of discussion and review
by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead and includes
strict and non negotiable guidelines, Doney said. Furthermore,
the announcement follows recent dispute with the owners
of a web site that posted MP3 files of Grateful Dead
live recordings for free download but received revenues
from banner advertisements.
members of the Grateful Dead feel this decision is important
and far reaching for both the band and their fans,"
Doney said. "This MP3 policy continues the band's
long tradition of allowing free access to and trading
of live recordings of their music and ensures that fans
are not left with outmoded technology.
the same time, the strict guidelines protect the Grateful
Dead against the very real threat of pirated intellectual
property posed by the trading and possible sale of MP3
files via the Internet."
the guidelines, any web site owner is free to post copies
of the group's live recordings made by fans as MP3 encoded
files but may not derive any form of revenues from the
endeavor, Doney said. This means web site operators
may not charge for downloads, may not solicit any
form of advertising, may not post any type of banner
advertisements and may not sell e-mail addresses or
other data about fans downloading Grateful Dead music.
live recordings are sanctioned by this initiative, Doney
said. The Grateful Dead will continue to aggressively
prosecute any web site operators or any other businesses
trafficking in Grateful Dead studio recordings, which
are protected under US copyright laws, Doney said.