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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 16:19 GMT
Charts count 'approved bootlegs'
Tom Chaplin of Keane (left) performs to fans
Keane charted earlier this month, partly because of a live download
Songs recorded at gigs and sold legally to fans as they head home have become eligible for the UK music charts.

Acts such as The Feeling have signed up with production company Concert Live to counter bootlegging by offering CDs and downloads once they leave the stage.

The process was used on a live version of Keane's recent single Nothing in My Way, contributing to a top 10 place.

The Official UK Charts Company (OCC) said it was "monitoring the progress" of this "relatively new" approach.

"Concert-goers have the ability to purchase digitally the latest single by the band they have gone to see and also buy a CD recording of the gig they have just attended," director Omar Maskatiya told the BBC News website.

This singles format had been made eligible for the chart and if record labels and companies such as Concert Live agreed, "then obviously we are in a position to include albums", he added.

We have to be very, very sure that what we do is in line with expectations
James Perkins, Concert Live

One of the entrepreneurs behind Concert Live, James Perkins, described the process as a form of "legitimate bootlegging".

He said he was aiming to make the purchase of such souvenirs the norm as "something fans can expect when they come into gigs".

And each group received a share of the revenue generated, ensuring the money was being taken from bootleggers and put back "into the artists' pocket", he said.

'Unique code'

Describing how the process worked in the case of Keane, Mr Perkins said: "We can sell pre-paid download cards with the live single and do an exclusive version, which will enable you to clock a single sale right there and then at the venue.

"We generate a unique code for each person who's buying a song and then we trace it back as well.

Dan Gillespie-Sells of The Feeling
Recent gigs by The Feeling are among the material being recorded
"Obviously the credibility of the official chart is the most important thing - the integrity of that and all the foundations that it's been built on. So we have to be very, very sure that what we do is in line with expectations."

That particular single had been priced at 89p, with the full set retailing at 15, he added.

Last month singer Ricky Ross said his band, Deacon Blue, had signed up with the company to produce "a CD that we would be proud of".

"Unlike an unofficial bootleg, the recording quality with these guys is exceptional, close to a retail live album, and we're sure our fans will love the concept."

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