BootLeg Betty

Bette Gets Bootlegged! You Mean I Didn’t Come Up With That Name?

Middletown Times Herald Record
I of every 3 tapes bootlegged
October 30, 1974

HOLLYWOOD (UPI)— Hold it! That Elvis Presley tape cartridge you’re playing on your stereo outfit may well be bootlegged.

If you paid only $2.50-$3.50 for that Presley or Bette Midler 8-track tape then it almost certainly is a pirated product.

The United States Attorney’s Office says one out of every three tape cartridges is as hot as the Watergate recordings although considerably less earth-shaking.

Chet Brown, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, recently won conviction against a man named Richard Taxe in a multimillion dollar tape bootlegging operation trial.

Taxe was sentenced last month to four years in prison and fined $26,000.

“The case is important,” said Brown, “because it may help us get convictions from other tape pirates. It’s a nationwide problem.

“Every top recording star and group in the country is pirated.

You name the stars—Jim Croce, Three Dog Night, the Carpenters, Joe Cocker, Cheech and Chong, Merle Haggard, Johnny Mathis. All of them.”

The process is rather simple.

The bottlegger buys an album or a tape, records it over and over again on other tapes, slaps a different label on inferior cartridges and sells them for the genuine article.

Brown said the bogus recordings are sold at swap meets, filling stations, discount -houses and in legitimate record stores.

“It’s a $250 million business,” he said. “And one out of three tapes is pirated.

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