In my last article
, I spoke about one of my own experiences concerning file sharing's role in CD sales.
What I failed to mention, was how I came into contact with another side of file sharing. And that is the role file sharing plays in Asia's thriving bootleg market.
In a Hong Kong HMV store, I purchased Tata Young's album "Temperature Rising" for HK$150 (approximately USD$20). I considered this to be a reasonable price, perhaps a little cheaper than the cost of your average album in Australia.
I thought nothing else of it... until about an hour later when I walked into another CD store, where every CD sold at HK$25 (about USD$4). As luck would have it, there was a large stack of "Temperature Rising" CD's.
Everything on the outside looked legitimate. The album covers were identical (as they were for every album I bought), there were holograms on the CD's... it was all quite well set up. So I bought the album, at only a couple of dollars it was practically free.
Later that day when I'm back in my hotel room, I give all of my albums a closer inspection. As the price I paid would suggest, every one of them was bootlegged. Judging from the song quality, it sounded very much like the songs had been downloaded and burnt, rather than purchased and duplicated. One of the songs was the rare "Sexy, Naughty, Cheeky" - all over the world the song is titled "Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy", besides Malaysia where the censors didn't approve of the title. I guess it makes the guessing game as to where the bootlegs originate from a little easier.
The story doesn't end here though, the bootlegged version of the album "Temperature Rising", it contained two CD's.
CD1 contained 22 songs, 12 of which were from the original album. The other 10 were from Tata Young's first English album, "I Believe" (I will point out that the album originally contained 12 songs also, so the bootleggers mustn't have been able to get hold of a few...).
Other than a couple of singles which I had managed to download, I had not heard any of the "I Believe" album before. I have since purchased the album on the internet, after having listened to it and being very impressed.
So again, file sharing has played a role in CD sales, even if this time, it was indirectly through the ingenuity of bootleggers. Granted, it took quite some time for me to purchase the album, but that was only because I hadn't seen it.
In case you have have been wondering what was on CD2 of the bootleg, well, it was a totally unrelated artist with completely unrelated material... oh well, that's a bootleg for you!