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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Forgotten Victim of File Sharing
Friday, December 11, 2009

Artists have practically begged fans not to steal their work and download it for free. The RIAA and the record labels have cried foul, saying that file sharing has been the cause of the incredible sales plummet the music industry has experienced. Just about every possible person who could be affected by file sharing has come forward as a victim, but what about the real victim? What about the one person who can’t make profits off touring like an artist can, and can’t lock artists into money sucking deals like a label can? I’m talking about the forgotten victim of file sharing, the guy you used to see all the time but has now become extinct - the bootlegger.

In the glory days of CD bootlegging one could find these marketers of marked down music at practically every street corner in the city ("the city" being New York City). They were the guys who were the first on their block to have a CD burner and they kept their folding table, or blanket, stocked with copies of the latest hits. The albums had horribly photocopied front and back inserts that always looked like whatever copier the bootlegger had used was running out of ink, but you could get just about anything you wanted for five bucks, oftentimes getting a better deal with the more you bought. File sharing, however, for as bad as it’s been for the artists and the labels, put the CD bootleggers out of business.

Now relegated to hawking fake Gucci bags and cheaply made Obama merchandise, our once heros of album price adjustment have had to make some adjustments of their own. The t-shirts they now sell may say “Change,” but you know they can’t be happy about the changes they’ve had to make. Nothing moved quite as well as cheap CDs.

Sadly, with the end of the bootlegger, as the years go by fewer and fewer people will understand the classic Onyx skit “Bichasbootleguz.” In fact, in honor of what file sharing has done to the bootlegger, let’s take a look at the lyrics of that skit one more time in hopes that we can keep the bootlegger’s memory alive for at least one more day.

[Immigrant bootlegger] Onyx tape, $3.99 my friend. Come
buy from me. No no... [ gun shots]

[Onyx] The bitch ass bootlega mothafucka sellin my tape,
you get shot

The bitch ass bootlega mothafucka sellin my tape,
you get shot

The bitch ass bootlega mothafucka sellin my tape,
you get shot

The bitch ass bootlega mothafucka sellin my tape,
you get shot.

Oh, you got shot Mr. Bootlegger, shot down in the prime of your bootlegging.

So the next time you hear an artist, or a label, complaining about file sharing, remind them of the intrepid bootlegger who is now sitting sadly behind a folding table, trying to sell you a fake Rolex. He’d rather be giving you a deep discount on a potentially scratched copy of a copy of a copy of Rated R.

Labels: ,

posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:24 AM  
2 Comments:
  • At 8:14 AM, Blogger J. said…

    Wow! I have been seeing less and less dudes selling cds. They still have stores that sell mix cds, but with file sharing, who needs mixed cds? I like how you used the Onyx skit in the article. Hilarious!!

     
  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    Thanks! That Onyx skit really is classic, and to think, the next generation will know nothing of tapes or bootleggers. So sad.

     
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