These Boots Were Made For Talkin’

This post is about how legal, or illegal, it is to offer up a non-officially recorded and/or released live show for download.

Let us examine who is likely to download one of these shows in the first place. No, let us first examine the audio quality of the show in question. More often than not, it will suck. B+, A-, they are euphemisms for “bad quality audio”.

Next, on to the profile of the “Potential Downloader”. Debby from around the corner, who is into Beyonce sure doesn’t fit that profile (the poor girl’s in for a big surprise if she downloads any of this “depraved music”). This leaves us with two main categories: (1) the Curious Neophite Zappa fan — a potential customer, and (2) the Completist — a registered customer, one who has bought pretty much all of the official releases, interested in hearing any one single note difference between show A (say, November 15, 1973) and B (November 16, 1973, Late Show).

These are our demographics — agreed?

Explain to me then, how it is deemed a crime to make these live shows freely available for download online. The Curious Neophite, at best, will end up buying official releases, that have much better quality. The Completist will gently nod his head while puffing his pipe, dreaming of the next official release. Moreover, if these shows are not presented freely, some asshole on eBay will be making a profit off of selling them — regardless of how much the audio quality sucks.

A closing quote, if I may. It comes straight from the liner notes of FZ:OZ, as written by GZ:

Bill Lantz, thanks (you bastard) for (not saying by what means you came by) this tape and cooperating (anyway).

These unofficial live shows, in circulation right this minute in so many places, even if we at KUR no longer publish them, serve as food for thought and conversation. They are an essential part of keeping alive the musical legacy of Eff Zee. They provoke discussion among the Completists, lure the Curious Neophite into buying official releases; and as such, should not be banned from the net in my opinion.

Your thoughts?

47 Responses to “These Boots Were Made For Talkin’”

  1. Matt says:

    Wouldn’t the downloadable shows also make it easier for Joe Travers to discover some awesome performances, and then track them down if they exist in the Vault for official release?

  2. Roland says:

    Are there any shows in “The Vault” which are worth to be released? I´ve listened to so many boots in bad quality, that I am sick and tired about it. It gives me ear cancer. On the other hand, anything being released recently from – the family of formerly known as – are in very questionable shape. And, who is interested in another version of – fill in the blanks – ! Is there a “Vault”? Might this be a modern myth of Rock´n´Roll to keep the customers satisfied?

  3. Matt says:

    The Vault definitely exists–check out the recent Classic Albums Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation DVD for proof.
    If there aren’t many shows worth releasing, there’s a ton of studio outtakes available for more “Making of…” releases. I really enjoyed the Making of Freak Out and would gladly purchase more of such a series.
    Maybe it’s time to continue the Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series, each one with a theme (special guests; amazing bandmember solos; audience participation). Downloadable shows and fan input could assist such a series.
    I know–I’m living in a dream world. It’s such a shame that GZ is more concerned with a mythical legacy than an actual body of work.

  4. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    My question remains: is it illegal to post live audience-recorded Zappa shows? If so, why? And if so, why am I being served up as the proverbial black sheep? The ZFT would love nothing more than to divide and conquer — well I will not grant them that victory.

  5. giantalbinopenguin says:

    My guess is that they saw the words ‘mp3′ ‘download’ and had a kneejerk reaction – oh my god…theft! Or at least that layer did if (IF) the letter was sent on autopilot.
    Bootlegs are traditionally a grey area, although when swapped or offered in a not-for-profit manner they are usually at the very least tolerated.
    Some musicians don’t like ‘em cos they are not finely edited to show them at their best, but this has to be the first case I’ve heard of where the family takes offence to them!
    Presumably the other musicians that play on them lost their right to an opinion due to Zappa’s work for hire approach to contrasting.
    What would be a very interesting situation would be if a former Zappa musician posted a show in which he participated on the ‘net somewhere (eg: if Duke posted a ’73 show on his blog say – totally hypothetical, but you get the gist)

  6. Matt says:

    Rather than a black sheep, I’d say that they are serving you as the sacrificial lamb.
    I agree with all of your arguments, Barry. To me, making these less-than-professionally recorded shows available for trade harms no one.
    But technically, doing so is illegal, as none of us own the rights to distribute FZ recordings, no matter what sound quality. When I attended FZ shows, I purchased the right to listen to the music that night only. I didn’t get the right to tape the music and give it to my friends who didn’t/couldn’t attend the show. Whoever owns the copyright gets to dictate how the music is distributed.
    So I don’t think posting shows is immoral or wrong or bad, but under current copyright law, it is illegal. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, as I am not a lawyer (I still own my soul).

  7. Roland says:

    Sorry “Barry’s Imaginary Publisher”, what I wanted to say is, that even if it is illegal to post bootleg shows, I for myself would rather prefer good sounding “official” releases. Anyway, what is wrong to post a concert from 1812 in – say – Austin/Texas with a C+ sound? In my eyes, it is not “wrong” in a moral way, at all. Nobody will loose money because of it. There will be more publicity, more hunger for “proper good sounding” releases! Didn´d had – the artist formerly know as – have to wipe the “Bolero” off of one album of his, beacuse the heirs of Ravel made trouble? What´s wrong to spread the legacy of an artist, who made “different music” without airplay? Nothing. It´s not, as if anyone suffers from it. Or is that so? Does the – son of the artist who is formely known as – and the rest of the family who announces the radio show of – the artist who is formely known as – in finacial trouble?

  8. Andre Cholmondeley says:

    We’ve gotta stop analyzing this whole thing — and the whole music biz of today — thru 1980 glasses.
    It’s a new world. We can’t ignore the impossibility of controlling digital files. The youtube model, the myspace model, of having freely listenable.watchable stuff– is simply a part of the 21st century. No amount of handwringing will change this.
    Yes- Gail has “the rights” . That’s completely academic. THose kinds of right, WHEN IT COMES TO THE WEB AND BOOTLEGS — are about as important as the “BY FEDERAL LAW–DO NOT REMOVE ” on the tag on your pillow….
    The rights as pertaining to bootlegging CLEARLY were relevant when there was MONEY changing hands for PHYSICAL product. Gawd knows I spent far too much teenage money on Zappa boots, many still in the next room as I type this.
    It’s beyond clear that everyone listening to questionable boots — HAS THE OFFICIAL STUFF. Adn — DOUBLY certain — forcing it’s removal will NOT increase sales or respect. Quite the opposite as is clear form comments here and over on Gail’s Gulag.
    But — with ALL due respect to those of you ‘deferring” to Gail’s authority on this one– I understand — that makes total sense if you leave out the MOUNTAIN of hateful stuff she has done and continues to do. There’s a way to communicate, even with your adversaries – and Gail has always chosen the nastier side of the spectrum when she tries to ‘reach out’ to people she feels is breaking the law. It’s that simple, folks.
    You have to factor in the endless back-room attacks on all of us simply trying to dedicate a bit of our work to a great composer.
    To make sure you really understand this– I will do EVERYTHING in my power to document her bullshit– everything she has done and said to me and my band will be publicly known – -much is already. I have also secured permission from a number of others -including – Don Preston, Jerry Outlaw (Bogus Pomp), Thomas Dippel (Zappanale), Ike Willis, and various club owners – to make public any and all correspondences and threats from Gail.
    I consider this a public service– if she wants to run a ‘public business’ these are the kinds of critiques that will happen when you treat good people like SHIT, as she has done for decades. We all have tried to work WITH her many times – it always breaks doen when she changes direction midway, or changes the deal, or doesn;t commit to things till it;s too late, and on and on. YES, you supporters of Gail – THAT IS HER RIGHT.
    It’s also our right to report and comment on it. Period.
    BTW–Check out David Byrne’s thoughts on the new millenium for musicians. It’s simply not “Home Taping is Killing Music” time anymore.
    http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_byrne?currentPage=all#s

  9. mcnastie says:

    i am not some amoral douchba…i mean, lawyer.
    i do know that there’s all kinds of shit that’s ‘legal’ and still ‘wrong’ (waterboarding, anyone?).
    so even if your posting of boots is deemed ‘illegal’ in the context of current intellectual property laws (which are a fucking joke at this point in history anyway – ask anybody in the w.g.a. right now), it’s still ‘right’.
    and btw, barry – i thought the whole idea of zpz was bogus WAY BEFORE the zft went on their litigious spree. zappa’s music, in my not-so-humble opinion, serves as a model for other free-thinking individuals to ‘do what they want’. it’s not well served by canonical treatment. the music of ellington, mingus, hendrix, and miles davis are all similar. without the main men behind the music, it will never be ‘the same’, or even close. why bother trying?

  10. George says:

    Some random thoughts:
    There are hundreds of shows involving our composer out there, and before the internet, they were traded abundantly by fans via the mail. Bootlegs generally were sold by various vinyl outlets. Commercial relases were sold in all of your favorite record stores.
    With the advent of the internet, things change. Peer to peer sharing allows both good and bad to occur. Those records that were once sold in stores, are now being posted online for anyone with peer to peer software to steal. The shared concert tapes continued to be shared, only this time over the net using peer to peer tools. A bonus was that those bootlegs were often liberated, spreading them for free to those who wanted them, sucking the profit from the bootleggers.
    Pat Metheny said it best when he said something like “Trade the tapes and boycott the boots.” Collectors interested in Metheny music have hundreds and hundreds of show tapes, and Pat is just fine with it. Go to archive.org and etree and you’ll see all of the artists that feel the same way. These recordings keep the music, and the interest alive, something one dead composer’s wife seems to dumb to realize. Maybe she just can’t get her little brain around what the internet really is, and the business opportunities it offers her.
    But the composer’s wife has never really been very good at business, at least since the early nineties, has she? Poorly executed websites, mistimed album announcements, badly managed web commerce, and an unwillingness to appreciate the power of the fans illustrate her weaknesses. Now the Composer’s wife is so desperate for whatever ($$$?), that she goes after tribute bands (made up sometimes of the Composer’s musicians), fan websites, and festivals in Europe celebrating the Composer? The hubris, the stupidity, is really astounding.
    We saw ZPZ three times in the past year and at one show and sound check we openly shot photographs and video only feet away from the band and the Composer’s son. Nobody gave a shit, in fact, they were smiling and digging the music. Lucky Mom wasn’t there I guess.
    At another show, I spoke with Joe Travers, who urged me to buy the Wazoo disc, which I did. I’m glad I did. I told Joe that the Composer’s Trust needed to get more out of the vault. The so-called vaultmaster shrugged and said, that’s up to the Composer’s wife.
    Despite the wife, the Composer’s music will live on, and maybe someday she’ll understand that engaging with the fans, and loosening up the music will be the ticket to satisfy her love of cash. Until then, I’ll think twice before I give her another dime.

  11. gnarlyartly says:

    There’s a legal concept that might be the cause of all this. A copyright holder must show that they’re actively trying to stop people using their works. If they don’t, then when the time comes when somebody really is stealing their work bigtime and making money off it the thief can use the argument that the owner wasn’t protecting their copyright and therefore implicitly allowed everyone to have it. This scenario actually played out long ago with Bill Gaines, publisher of MAD Magazine and the family of the artist who drew the original Alfred E. Neuman character back in the early 1900′s. Many people over the years (before Gaines used it) also drew characters similar to the kid but Gaines made him famous. When the family sued Gaines for infringement he argued that since the family never sued anybody else their suit against him was bogus. He obviously won.
    So to me, as rude as it is, your C&D could just be seen as part of her defense plan for the future. I don’t believe it is smart, but it’s probably the ZFT lawyers suggesting these actions.
    Obviously, more openess and friendliness would be appreciated by the fans. Maybe even some clear statements on what is and what isn’t permitted. The Grateful Dead and Phish are famous forever (around these parts anyway) due to their very clear tape trading policies. King Crimson had ‘bootleg amnesty’ and sells downloads of shows for a reasonable price.

  12. Roland says:

    I’ve heard things you people wouldn’t believe. FZ guitar solos on fire off the shoulder of Laurel Canyon. I heard notes … moving in the dark of a concert hall. All those … notes will be lost … in time, like music … in elevators. Time … to die…

  13. Dr Sharleena says:

    Take care, we could be receiving a C&D letter from Philip K. Dick (or Ridley Scott) in no time…

  14. Baby Snake says:

    Maybe I’m stupid, but if you stop with friday boots on KUR, GZ is a winner in this battle.
    Sad.

  15. Sully18 says:

    I`m all for the downloadable shows.I`ve bought over 30+ Zappa albums and I would pay whatever the price would be for the live DVD of FZ`s MUSIC AT THE ROXY.
    I had a quad bi-pass which is a really kinky thing when you think about it,12 yrs ago,and part of my physical therapy is to walk a lot.I always walk with FZ on my Walkman,so if I croak it`ll be a great way to go.I never get tired of these tunes.
    I also saw Dweezil(Zappa Plays Zappa) at Coney Island this past summer so my life is complete.
    I have turned many people on to Zappa`s music, so what`s wrong with a freebie once in a while?

  16. David Golden says:

    You’d think they’d want to make official releases of the most popular and widely traded shows.

  17. Paul Sempschi says:

    After consulting a Law student, he set me straight: there is nothing illegal about these recordings, there is nothing illegal about making a bootleg recording at a concert. The recording that is made hasnt been copywritten by anyone (the composer, bootlegger, etc.) and therefore free to distribute and sell.
    If you read the Lawyer letter sent to KUR, he is merely talking about breaking publishing copyrights (the distribution of a performance of copywritten material) because the recordings really dont belong to anyone. Meaning that GaZZ’s case is technically about the unauthorized performance or proliferation of Zeppo’s composition. I guess this relates to her wanting royalties for Zapplin cover bands. It really is illogical, you might as well go after all those schmuck’s who work out guitar tabs for their favorite band’s songs OR foreign-speaking writers who make unauthorized translations of their writings for other people to comprehend.
    As long as no one’s making a profit, who cares?
    I think that the whole lawsuit matter over KUR stems from a paranoia and ignorance that someone’s turning over a profit or somehow stealing from them, Eff Tstee had similar paranoia over bootlegs back when he sicked the FBI on them!

  18. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Barry’s Imaginary Publisher says:
    December 23rd, 2007 at 6:31 pm
    My question remains: is it illegal to post live audience-recorded Zappa shows? If so, why? And if so, why am I being served up as the proverbial black sheep? The ZFT would love nothing more than to divide and conquer — well I will not grant them that victory.

    Yes and no, Barry. Yes, bootlegs are by their very nature illegal recordings. That being said, once said bootleg, say, “Poughkeepsie, NY, 21 Sept 1978″ is out there it’s near impossible for the copyright holder to stop it’s dissemination among a hungry fan base. All they can do is limit who can profit from said bootleg (which was no doubt the reasoning behind Beat The Boots 1 & 2). In the age of file sharing, what better way to put those nasty bootleggers out of business than to allow the free sharing of said bootleg (and consider it as a form of free advertising for the official recordings).
    So should it be illegal to post live audience-recorded Zappa shows? In my opinion, no. And my reading of current copyright law backs me up (just look to the field recordings on the internet archive, including radio shows). Why not? Intent. To prove that KUR is infringing on ZFT copyright by posting bootleg recordings, they have to prove that KUR’s intent was to make a “profit” from said posting. The same goes for the thumbnail pics of Eff Zee Cds, quotes, interviews, etc.
    But as we all know, this has absolutely nothing to do with copyright infringement. It has more to do with expanding the definition of copyright. And yes, Barry, the plan of the ZFT (among others) is to divide and conquer: their first target is the right of fair use. That’s why they are going after those who cannot hope to fight them financially in court, first, and sending a chill to other like-minded websites.
    KUR, the proverbial black sheep? I cannot see a better honour, Barry.
    Time to circle the wagon folks.
    It’s gonna be a helluva party!

  19. Jeff says:

    icecreamman4ever.blogspot.com
    Here’s a link to a paper I wrote on bootlegs while I was in law school. I haven’t updated the research since I was in school, and I don’t currently practice entertainment law, so I don’t know if the case law I cited in my paper is still “good” law. Legalities aside, I think gail made a truly brain-dead move here with killuglyradio.com

  20. not Ben Watson says:

    gnarlyartly: The Alfred E. Neuman suit you’re talking about was a trademark issue. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure there’s no such “protect or lose” doctrine with copyright.

  21. gnarlyartly says:

    You’re probably right. What reminded me of it was this quote from Gail in the letter to the Crush all Boxes blog: “the many problems that we continue to face as the rights owners of all things Zappa is how to protect our copyrights and what is the risk of failure to do so.”

  22. jamie says:

    not a lawyer either,and the number of differing legal opinions offered on this site are a good indication of what the legal bill would be if you fight it. I have all the legal stuff,and I have downloaded boots, as well as purchased them on auction sites. What is interesting (as noted prior) is the number of downloaded mp3′s that I have already purchased the boot of…..so I no longer (or wasn’t, I guess) buying them. Still waiting for my Wazoo copy to arrive (and the outrageous postage I pay from the US to Canada should get it here faster than 6 – 8 weeks).
    Heavy sigh……..

  23. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Matt says:
    December 23rd, 2007 at 6:24 pm
    I know–I’m living in a dream world. It’s such a shame that GZ is more concerned with a mythical legacy than an actual body of work.

    Like FZ could leap tall groupies in a single bound? Or stop bad funk in it’s tracks with his secret weapon: the notorious black note? Whilst riding aboard Phydeaux III in the evil white zone?
    To me, the so-called vault is a euphemism that gz trots out whenever she really screws up, or wants to keep the fans on a tight leash. I don’t buy it (forgive the pun, folks). She acts like this all-knowing, all-seeing parent who continually promises one thing but delivers another: eventually you believe nothing that she says. To date, nothing original has come out of this so-called vault that even slightly measures up to earlier releases. Right now, a disservice is being done to the music of Eff Zee, in the name of Eff Zee, by the genetic material associated with Eff Zee. Too bad they didn’t listen to him while he was alive. Now that he’s gone, his only real voice is his music, which these familiar chromosomes seem intent on silencing at all costs…

  24. Alex says:

    “If there aren’t many shows worth releasing, there’s a ton of studio outtakes available for more “Making of…” releases.”
    From 1972 onward, Frank recorded every single one of his concerts. That leaves nothing about the early years, of which recordings do exist. So there certainly is not a shortage of material.
    “I really enjoyed the Making of Freak Out and would gladly purchase more of such a series.”
    Yes, but how much did we enjoy the Making Of Waka/Jawaka & Grand Wazoo (Joe’s Domage)?
    I see your point, though. The Making Of Absolutely Free or We’re Only In It For The Money? I can only imagine…Earth might stop spinning. There are definitely studio outtakes – the sessions that yielded We’re Only In It For The Money also gave us Lumpy Gravy, Ruben, Uncle Meat, and countless studio tracks from Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels. How about putting “Bognor Regis” out? Or a singles collection?
    There’s plenty that Zeta-Phi-Tau can do…they’re just going about a LOT of things wrong, pushing the Dweeze’s cover band rather than the original goods…
    “Maybe it’s time to continue the Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series, each one with a theme (special guests; amazing bandmember solos; audience participation). Downloadable shows and fan input could assist such a series.”
    That is about as Utopian as can be, my friend. We might as well be asking for ‘The History And Collected Improvisations Of The Mothers Of Invention’.
    “I know–I’m living in a dream world.”
    You said it yourself – but optimism is key. :)
    “It’s such a shame that GZ is more concerned with a mythical legacy than an actual body of work.”
    Yes, it is a damn shame…but I, too, remain optimistic. She won’t live forever, I keep saying.

  25. George says:

    I sympathize with the eff zee trust when folks are blatantly selling boots on Ebay or other commercial sites or when official releases are being torrented. Those who are selling boots or torrenting commercial albums are assholes and deserve every abuse the Composer’s wife can subject him to.
    But it ends there. This website, audience recordings, liberated boots shared freely, festival honoring Frank, bands playing the music, etc, should be seen as an asset to the artist, his legacy, and the music. Hell, if she had the power to run Zappanale or some similar thing, her track record shows that she couldn’t handle it.

  26. jim says:

    Arf!
    It’s a fuzzy/thorny/tricky thing you ask … just for starters: do we apply US or Belgian law – or EU law – or international law – or mayhap Swedish?
    Sorry to say, but in the US, it IS illegal – & getting MORE illegal every year: witness the fate of Napster if in doubt, or check out the recent Stormtrooper tactics of the RIAA. “We don’t fuck around” could be their motto … & they blithely continue to ratchet up the laws, to the point where even CONVERTING tunes you’ve already PAID FOR IN FULL, sans sharing, is well on its way to being a felony. Every commuter bobbing their bean to 50Cent & Nine Inch Nails on their iPod thus becomes another John Dillinger. Surreal? You bet. Also a bonanza du jour for lawyers. Archeologists might one day conclude that “E Pluribus Unum” meant “He Who Files The Most Lawsuits Wins”!
    But is it wrong? Hell no. Au contraire, mon frere. This case proves once & for all that THE LAW IS AN ASS – & yes, that is a definite whiff of Brown Lipstick in the air. Never mind the simple reality that this amounts to pissing on a forest fire at this late date … we should never forget, only one person gave Gail Zappa all this authority: Gail Zappa. Her late husband repeatedly & explicitly instructed her to SELL IT ALL. She knowingly disrespected his wishes. The rest is history. Protecting ALL things Zappa would’ve classed as paranoid delusion, even before there was an Internet: today it’s nothing less than black comedy. How the woman continues to parse a demonstrable impossibility eludes me. I think if FZ were around today, he’d be curled up in a fetal position, pissing himself laughing at the unmitigated INTERCONTINENTAL ABSURDITY now being purveyed by the law firm representing her Family Trust. It makes even less sense than her promotional blurbs. Between extreme mark-ups (seeing Imaginary Diseases in a store for +$40CDN was my personal wake-up-call) & legal blitzkriegs on cover-bands & fan-sites, GZ might “protect” all that beautiful music right down the primrose path of purity … into oblivion. A nasty reputation travels at the speed of light now, & so too do its results. Instant Karma isn’t just a catchy old John Lennon song anymore, kids.
    How she could proceed against you is also rather mysterious – can US law leap oceans & hopscotch over borders? Beats the boots off me.
    “People are not nice.”

  27. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    jim says:
    December 24th, 2007 at 7:31 pm
    It’s a fuzzy/thorny/tricky thing you ask … just for starters: do we apply US or Belgian law – or EU law – or international law – or mayhap Swedish?
    Sorry to say, but in the US, it IS illegal – & getting MORE illegal every year: witness the fate of Napster if in doubt, or check out the recent Stormtrooper tactics of the RIAA. “We don’t fuck around” could be their motto … & they blithely continue to ratchet up the laws, to the point where even CONVERTING tunes you’ve already PAID FOR IN FULL, sans sharing, is well on its way to being a felony. Every commuter bobbing their bean to 50Cent & Nine Inch Nails on their iPod thus becomes another John Dillinger. Surreal? You bet. Also a bonanza du jour for lawyers. Archeologists might one day conclude that “E Pluribus Unum” meant “He Who Files The Most Lawsuits Wins”!

    I believe that the law that is applied is determined by exactly where the original complaint is made. In the case of KUR, that location would be California, so California law would apply (why do you think gz is so litigation crazy, anyway, she’s living in the litigation capital of the world?). And you’re absolutely right, jim, on all counts. This ain’t the 1980s anymore. We are living in a completely new world. How these Stormtrooper tactics of the RIAA (and others) finally worm their way through the courts (no doubt California courts, I’ll bet) will determine our own personal rights vis-a-vie downloading, file sharing, and most importantly privacy, for decades to come.

  28. Paul Sempschi says:

    hey Alex, just for the record, I believe that “Joe’s Domage” isnt MoWJ/GW, isnt it technically MoW? I thought it was a rehersal tape for the band before they hit the road, if memory serves right. The WJ/GW sesssions would be very interesting, though I’d be curious with what was really left behind from the sessions from April-May that foul year of our lord, 1972.
    2 months in the studio is a long time in Zappa years though he got a lot of milege out of those 2 months, the 2 albums plus he was producing that Ruben and the Jets album, read all about it here: http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/chronology/1970-1972.html before Gail shuts it down!

  29. vince says:

    Maybe, in the end, the bucks aren’t ‘rollin’ in’ like they thought it was gonna.
    Maybe, they think it’s because of THESE SITES that their PROFIT is not what it should be.
    Maybe they should hold a drive; a questionaire; or something to the point of how many of us will buy ANYTHING they put out.
    I’m just assuming that MONEY is the root of all this bull-shit. They may have printed more copies of WAZOO that what sold, and now, they’re angry.
    Who knows?

  30. Fresno Bob says:

    Forget music, MONEY IS THE BEST!
    Right Gail?

  31. Jake St. Vitus says:

    So good to see Andre Cholmondeley comment here. One of my first thoughts when this debacle began for KUR (via the GZ/lawyer letter) was “If only folks could know what P/O’s been through over the years in their dedication to stellar performances of Eff Zee’s music.” Maybe we will all get to know.
    The P/O website has used the term “Eff Zee” for some time and it took me years to realize it was not a “cute way to write it…” but a protective measure to prevent attacks from the ZFT. The first wave of ZPZ concerts featured ads using “Project/Object” as a copyrighted term and a comment to “accept no substitutes”. This was clearly a dis in (slight) disguise.
    I’ve cooled down a lot since the day it happened and I applaud all the reasoning I am seeing in recent posts. It doesn’t help to heap scorn on the family of the composer we all so obviously admire (with a fire few other musicians create in their fans). What’s better is to clearly determine legal rights for KUR and let this masterful site continue.

  32. carlinhosdeipanema says:

    As a lawyer, I can answer your question briefly: legality of downloading live music of any kind depends on where you do it, for some countries have a wider view of the fair use deal than others. If, however, you are on the US, beware, the hounds are unleashed… As a south-american, though, I cannot see the moral issue, no harm done to anyone. But as a brazilian, which I proudly am, I feel, on the contrary, stimulated by the counterfeit aspect of the activity – as long as it is non-profitable. I have noticed that many of the sites which still keep on offering great Eff Zee boots downloads are runned by my fellowmen. The man with the moustache has made devoted fans down here. As a person, what can I say, I love the man’s music and to listen to it is an unpaired pleasure… so let’s do it, Barry, for the sake of our beliefs, let’s hear some more of this and await again for the return of the son of the man, one more time for the world…

  33. sxott says:

    What carlinhosdeipanema says is true.
    I have noticed, though, that ALL OF ZAPPA is still available on Deezer.
    Pretty much the whole catalog, even though most artists have been “greyed out”.
    What the…?
    P.S. What’s the weather like in Ipanema?

  34. Frank B. says:

    So i watched this Zappa/, Wazoo CD here at ebay, since seven weeks nobody likes to buy it for 39 and now 33 Euros. It’s still available. Is this the way they wan’t to sell it? They don’t will sell any of them without this Fansites, but i don’t care anymore, will NEVER buy any Product of ZFT again. Now you see it now you don’t. And they don’t will see my hard earned money anymore.

  35. carlinhosdeipanema says:

    to Sxott
    quite sunny, man, the heat is unbearable…
    if you are planning to come down, let us know, I’ll have the drinks ready and toss you welcome, cheers.

  36. bernard says:

    Let’s take things further into absurdity.
    Should birds take a patent on their songs?
    Senoir comoosers made an inteligent use of birdsongs:
    http://www.oliviermessiaen.org/birdsongs/

  37. bernard says:

    Just another one?
    http://www.bsmny.org/icp/messiaen/birdsongs.php

  38. bernard says:

    By the way, from the scholar side there’s still:
    IRCAM Paris ( dir is P. Boulez) : ( FZ page)
    http://brahms.ircam.fr/index.php?id=3427
    In US :Mills College Oakland / CA / US :
    http://www.mills.edu/

  39. Sterbus says:

    I liked Buffalo 80
    I liked Zappa Wazoo
    I liked Trance Fusion
    I liked Quaudiophiliac
    I liked Dub Room Special anyway…
    They’re just making something that are really good, and others that really sucks, like that lawyer’s letter. But I think there won’t be other Joe’s series but only succulent things, like all the last ones… after years of doubts, ON THAT POINT OF VIEW, they’r emaybe starting to do what they have to do.
    On the behalf of ZPZ, I still can’t understand what’s wrong with it.

  40. punknaynowned says:

    DRAW UP A PROPOSAL,
    ‘I’M AT YOUR DISPOSAL’ . . .
    Find common ground with the ZFT by first submitting a proposal, to be able to use licensed, copyrighted, heck eventually maybe even exclusive written, audial, viewable material with proper licensed links to zappadotcom and barfkoswill as ultimate purveyors of these sorts of things. For both of yer acknowledged interests.
    Work out a click thru scheme with the zappadotcom/ZFT and barfkoswill so you both can benefit.

  41. Paul Sempschi says:

    punknaynowned,
    The idea of this site coming under the thumb of the ZFT just doesnt sit well. Dont know why, perhaps it’s a conflict of interest but I prefer fansites to be just that, fansites. Remember, there’s a fine line between kneeling down and bending over and the fine line between shill and devoted fan is one to be respected and understood.

  42. Scott says:

    Dear carlinhosdeipanem,
    Obrigado, caro amigo.
    Scott

  43. jgrem says:

    I’m sure this idea has been mentioned before, but…
    Why doesn’t the ZFT just offer all of these concert recordings via their own music download website? The band Phish for instance, has their own site (livephish.com) where fans can register and search a database of soundboard-recorded shows throughout the band’s career, hear small samples, then pay a fee to download individual tracks or full concerts (They can also purchase CDs of same).
    This could be a win for everyone: Fans would have access to the best sounding recordings of shows while the ZFT would be able to digitally archive the vault for posterity while turning a profit from it, AND beat the boots in the process.
    Has Gail ever been approached about something like that? Hell, even without mixing or mastering, they’d still sound better than any boot tapes out there. I think most fans would be more than willing to pay for the quality.
    Thoughts?

  44. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Jake St. Vitus says:
    December 24th, 2007 at 10:36 pm
    So good to see Andre Cholmondeley comment here. One of my first thoughts when this debacle began for KUR (via the GZ/lawyer letter) was “If only folks could know what P/O’s been through over the years in their dedication to stellar performances of Eff Zee’s music.” Maybe we will all get to know.
    The P/O website has used the term “Eff Zee” for some time and it took me years to realize it was not a “cute way to write it…” but a protective measure to prevent attacks from the ZFT. The first wave of ZPZ concerts featured ads using “Project/Object” as a copyrighted term and a comment to “accept no substitutes”. This was clearly a dis in (slight) disguise.

    I recall back in the early to mid eighties The Grandmothers released their first of many compilations to follow, all of which I collected and enjoyed. Strangely, though, upon FZ’s passing, the name “Grandmothers” is suddenly trademarked/copyrighted by the ZFT, much like that of Project/Object — so now they go by the nom de plume: Grande Mothers.
    Does anyone else find these tactics bordering on criminal?
    A quote from urbangraffito:

    # Frank B. says:
    December 25th, 2007 at 9:51 am
    So i watched this Zappa/, Wazoo CD here at ebay, since seven weeks nobody likes to buy it for 39 and now 33 Euros. It’s still available. Is this the way they wan’t to sell it? They don’t will sell any of them without this Fansites, but i don’t care anymore, will NEVER buy any Product of ZFT again. Now you see it now you don’t. And they don’t will see my hard earned money anymore.

    Listen very carefully Gail and the ZFT: since FZ’s passing and the formation of the ZFT, I have bought not just one, but two copies of everything you have released. One to listen to and transfer onto my computer, the other for safe keeping still in it’s shrink wrapping for posterity. Current actions of yours are making me reconsider the wisdom of this continued economic course. I don’t believe in boycotts, or petitions. There is one thing that you understand, though.
    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Barry’s Imaginary Publisher says:
    December 23rd, 2007
    These unofficial live shows, in circulation right this minute in so many places, even if we at KUR no longer publish them, serve as food for thought and conversation. They are an essential part of keeping alive the musical legacy of Eff Zee. They provoke discussion among the Completists, lure the Curious Neophite into buying official releases; and as such, should not be banned from the net in my opinion.
    Your thoughts?

    As I’m sure we are in complete agreement: bootlegs are no replacement for official releases. This said, what are their appeal?
    Roland has said again and again that they give him “ear cancer.” I suggest he just hasn’t heard the right boots then, and the reason for listening to them as well. One can listen to all of the official releases and never hear the individual musician’s which made up FZ’s bands really shine like they do on the bootlegs (i.e Tommy Mars on “Little House I Used To Live In” and “Pound For A Brown” on “Poughkeepsie, NY, 21 Sept 1978″. For me, this is their ultimate appeal.

  45. Cub says:

    I ordered Wazoo 2 months ago and despite the fact that I paid a whopping $78.00 for the CDs and a T-shirt (and emailed Barfko 8 times so far) my package has never arrived (now I’m not even getting a response when I email them).
    I downloaded Wazoo yesterday & I feel no guilt about it. I will destroy my downloaded copy when & if the original I paid for arrives.

  46. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    SOFA says:
    December 24th, 2002 at 4:53 pm
    Works well…
    I’m not a huge fan, but willing to give phish a try. The download was pretty fast, and fairly easy. The sound quality is decent…
    This appears to be a subscription service. The ZFT should check this out; the format might work for them too.
    SOFA

    I was checking out KUR’s archive when I came across this nugget by Sofa from a post entitled, “Phish Live.” Strange how five years have passed and nothing changes at Zat Friggin Thang. The word “innovation” must be a dirty one over there (or they are in high level talks with the SONY corporation).

  47. C.S. Lewiston says:

    I addressed this very subject a couple of years ago on my blog. Here’s the permalink to that entry:
    http://thefuddler.blogspot.com/2006/11/piracy-schmiracy.html