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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 13:20 GMT
Classic bands top net bootleg chart
The music of older, established bands is being distributed illegally over the internet much more than that of their younger, chart-topping counterparts, a survey has revealed.
British rockers Queen - whose lead singer Freddie Mercury died a decade ago - have the highest number of bootleg websites, with 12,225.
Even 1950s and 60s artists like Donovan and Buddy Holly have over 1,000 bootleg websites each - but current boy band Boyzone have only 541.
Chart bands have far fewer sites dedicated to distributing their illegal recordings in general, the survey says.
Some sites are run as hobbies by fans, but others are operated as businesses by people selling digital music files as well as CDs and cassettes of copied albums or live performances.
The survey was carried out by My-Reputation, who say they are able to act as an internet bodyguard and protect a celebrity's interests on the internet.
They say that the huge difference in the numbers of sites dedicated to older bands may be down to "silver surfers" - a name given to older people connected to the internet.
"But bootleggers should watch out," says Mel Croucher, CEO of My-Reputation.
"In line with the recent Napster ruling, many seasoned artists are becoming aware of the extent of continuing interest in them and are no longer prepared to be victims of cyber-mugging."
Napster is an internet service allowing music fans to swap songs with each other without having to pay royalties to the artists.
But an American court recently ruled that it must block access to those tracks where it was breaching copyright.
Queen were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and American institution that honours those who have made the largest contributions to rock music.