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Tours de Farce: Stop The Insanity!

12:00 AM Friday 10/11/02 |   |

We'd like to comment on an issue that affects us all.

It's an issue that we've ignored way too long. An issue, that if left to grow unchecked, will bring down the entire business structure of the concert industry until we are left with nothing but a few dates for Vanilla Ice, John Tesh and Kip Winger, while promoters go hungry and booking agents are forced to seek second jobs flipping burgers and asking a starving populace "if they want fries with that?"

The issue is file-sharing. Or more specifically, the trading of copyrighted tour itineraries via file-sharing programs.

We're not blind. For several years we've realized that concert fans have been trading the schedules for Creed, Bon Jovi and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers via peer-to-peer file-sharing programs such as Tourster, Routster and Datezaa. However, due to the rising use of broadband connections, as well as CD burners, scanners and Xerox machines, we must demand that this practice stop right now.

Sure, you probably think it's harmless to print or copy a schedule, say for Morrissey or Prince, then email or fax it to all your friends. But what about the booking agent who routed that tour? Or the promoters that bought the individual dates? Are they being fairly compensated?

Protecting intellectual routing property is everybody's job. From the schoolyards to the universities to the corporate workplace, if we don't protect the rights of the people who put their artistic efforts into arranging a group of dates and cities into unique schedules for Mannheim Steamroller and Quintron & Miss Pussycat, we may someday wake up to a world without one night stands, without additional dates in major markets, and, needless to say, without a Pollstar.com.

That's why we're asking you to do your part. For if everyone were to freely trade the schedules for acts such as Dope, Blue Rodeo and Blind Guardian, our entire society will suffer. Mighty cities would fall, amphitheatres would crumble, and a once-proud civilization would go the way of the Mayans, the Martians and the Canadians. Please, for the love of all that is good in life, don't copy that itinerary!

After all, we're talking about tour schedules. It's not as if they were songs.

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