"Take it, You Can Have it": Grateful Dead Taping and the Idea of Open Access
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Historians and commentators have long praised the Grateful Dead for their razor-sharp business acumen, especially the band’s audience taping policies. What started as way to stem the tide of bootlegs (while keeping a certain segment of the fan base happy) accidentally turned out to be an brilliant marketing tool, as well as a cornerstone of Deadhead culture. This presentation re-contextualizes the Dead’s taping policies from a marketing context to that of Open Access, the unrestricted access to scholarly work mandated by a growing number of colleges and universities and ardently supported by many academic librarians. By tracing the history (and the similarities) of the two policies, this paper suggests what librarians and OA practitioners can learn from its precursor, a cutting-edge music sharing platform that remains strikingly relevant today.
Grateful Dead (Musical group); Open access publishing