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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 18:01 GMT
Queen sell pirate music to fans
Freddie Mercury
Queen are one of the most pirated bands in the world
Queen have decided to tackle musical piracy by offering fans the chance to legally download up to 100 pirate recordings currently in circulation.

Using expert advice, the band has selected the best illegal Queen recordings and will make them available to download on their official website.

The downloads will be available at the rate of three tracks each month, at a fixed cost of 5 per recording.

All proceeds will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, to combat Aids.

Pirate music has increased tenfold since Freddie Mercury's death in 1991.

Expert advice

As one of the most pirated bands in the world there is a mass of illegal Queen material now available on the web.

Only a tiny fraction of these are worth being sought out by fans and collectors and Queen have sought expert advice regarding the best of the material.

Queen bootleg experts Frank Hazenberg, Andreas Voigts, Frank Palstra singled out what they consider the most interesting and significant material, judged on quality of sound and range of material.

"Playing the bootleggers at their own game seems an appealing prospect for most of us," says Queen guitarist Brian May.

"Here we hope to do just that, hoping in the end it will lead to a sense of satisfaction all round."

EMI Music's Tony Wadsworth welcomed the band's stance against music piracy.

"This latest idea harnesses the power of digital delivery to enable queen fans to get the best of the many unofficial live recordings of the band - inexpensively and legally," he said.

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