Last time, we talked about the concept of music piracy in the days before the MP3 came along. It was the era of the bootleg record and CD. People will somehow gain access to material that was never supposed to be released and released it anyway. Quality varied, but there are some bootlegs that sound absolutely awesome and are treasured by collectors. Ever wonder who started all this?
The sale and trading of unauthorized recordings go back to 1900 when Lionel Mapleson, the librarian at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, started making surreptitious recordings from a secret perch 40 feet above the stage. He would then share these recordings with, uh, like-minded music fans.
File sharing and music piracy–or in the case of Lionel Mapleson, wax cylinder sharing–has been around longer than just about anyone realizes.