This site does not contain any music or audio files, nor
do we sell bootleg CDs. The covers on this site are intended to compliment the
GIA file server on Murmurs.com which is run with the knowledge of the bands management.
For more information see the Copyright and Disclaimer section.
are free to download and distribute the covers as much as
you like as long as they are not altered or used in the
sale of bootlegs. If you are after a variation or have an alternate tracklisting
to the ones available email me the details and I will add
it to the collection.
Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox
at 1024x768 or higher
page contains information regarding
usage of the covers, the resources
used in the design of the covers
and REM management agreements
the trading of non-commercial REM
material on Murmurs.
Copyright & Disclaimer
developed on REM Cover Studio is done in support
of the GIA network on Murmurs.com.
This work is not for commercial gain as it has been
created for non-commercially available recordings.
The artwork is therefore free for sharing within the
REM community and is specifically non-profitable. This
work is also not to be sold on Ebay or similar sites.
If it is found to be used outside of these requirements
further action will be taken.
The bootleg scene is based
around fans of the band freely trading non-commercial
works. Bootlegs should never be sold. If you love the
band buy their official mechandise as it's well worth
the money to support an amazing act that have given their
fans so much over the years.
PHOTOS - In most cases we have sort the permission
to use the source material. Most images are from people
who have gone
to shows and taken shots and have posted them
on Murmurs. These people are contacted
and asked permission to use their photos. All photographers
are acknowledged on this site and on the covers for
their contribution. For older shows we try and use
the official promo photos from around the time of the
The REM community has been of enormous
support in the development of these covers. Without
the continued input of fans sharing their photos
and feedback with me, these unique designs would
not be possible. Thank you to everyone who has contributed!
IMAGES - Basically all other non REM shots are
sourced from free stock image and photo share sites such
a design resource I could not do without.
If anyone believes that an image has been wrongfully
used and therefore breeching copyright, your complaint
will be acted upon immediately. If the complaint is
valid the image with be removed from the site. I have
done my best to provide interesting and dynamic images
and have operated in an ethical manner to provide the
best design compositions with often limiting material.
Murmurs Give it Away network has taken
a number of forms over the years but
basically it is a system that allows
REM fans to download non-commercial bootlegs
of Give It Away (GIA)
REM and Murmurs
have had a long and fruitful relationship. The site
is the primary meeting place for REM fans all around
the world. It was for this reason REM extended the
hand of friendship to Murmurs in 1999.
Although REM don't have an official bootleg
policy they did agree to let Murmurs run a file sharing
network that allows fans to trade in non-commercial
works. This, needless to say, created the most valuable
resource for an REM fan.
When GIA was started in 2002
it was revolutionary as it comprised of a WinMX and
DC++ servers. These two services were closed down due
to a number of factors. They were a hassle to maintain,
content control was difficult exposing Murmurs to
legal issues, they propagated bad mp3 encoding into
the trading pool and used up a lot of the system resources.
The technology GIA was running on was fast becoming
outdated as users experienced long queues and slow
GIA now consists of a BitTorrentTracker.
Bit Torrent has fast become the most popular P2P network
in the world. The new
system also makes it possible to distribute DVD and
other large format files that would have been impossible
on the old system.
Below are a couple af articles praising
the GIA network and the open thinking of the band and
there management to provide a wealth of material to the
Fans without losing any profit at all.
remain on the cutting edge in the digital
BY BRETT MILANO
If you're wondering how I've heard
the as-yet-unreleased "Bad Day" — not
to mention a live encore of the pre-Murmur demo "Permanent
Vacation" that was just performed on their current
tour, and many dozens of live rarities besides — it's
because R.E.M. have quietly made themselves one of
the most easily downloaded bands in rock. They've
allowed an archive of rare recordings to be available
on the Napster-style site WinMX. It takes a special
log-in to get there, but the instructions are right
on the R.E.M. fan site murmurs.com. Once you're in,
you can download virtually everything except the
regular studio tracks: complete live shows from every
era, shows from two weeks ago, the Paradise show
from 1983, fan-club Christmas singles, even live
material by bands that R.E.M. are either connected
to or friends with (Wilco, Radiohead, Pearl Jam).
Some bands have grudgingly endorsed downloading,
and most jam bands allow taping and trading. But
R.E.M. are giving away so much rare material - possibly
pre-empting future live albums and limiting what
will be available for any boxed sets - that it really
Which is probably why, even though the site makes
it clear that R.E.M. have given their blessing to
the project, Buck and Mills both claim they don't
know much about the arrangement. "I wouldn't exactly
call it a blessing, but we're not going to sue over
that kind of thing," says Buck. "We don't put out
live albums, so we're fine with people getting whatever
is available. "Adds Mills, "It was probably something
I signed off on that I don't know much about. I don't
mind file sharing in terms of getting that hard-to-find
rare track, or the live song that you really want,
just as long as it doesn't make people too cheap
to buy the next album. And as long as they don't
mind hearing the mistakes" In other words, through
it all, R.E.M.'s maverick spirit has remained alive
and well. I have a stack of freshly burned CDs to
IN THE PLACE WHERE YOU LIVE: The generally
unpoliced wide world of peer-to-peer file sharing
can seem overwhelming, especially for users sifting
through services to find specific rare or live tracks
by their favorite bands. Naturally, many services
are chock-full of unlicensed music, continually drawing
the ire of the recording industry. In a reaction
to this, the online hubs of a few bands have put
into motion artist-approved file-sharing services
that take advantage of the technology by dealing
in only legitimate or sanctioned trading of live
concerts and rare recordings.
A prime example is the service run on R.E.M. fan site Murmurs.com . "Give
It Away," named after one of the band's songs, is a peer-to-peer network that
uses WinMX software to connect R.E.M. fans and allow them to trade live and unreleased
music by the pop/rock veterans. The service was launched in October 2001 and
its creators say it averages about 170 gigabytes of regularly traded material.
R.E.M. has given its blessing to the service, says site founder Ethan
Kaplan, on the condition that it is not used to transfer album tracks
or official, label-released material. The Give It Away download page
contains specific instructions on what is and is not allowed for sharing
on the service. The only exceptions to the "officially
released" rule are R.E.M. b-sides and fanclub singles, which "the band have given
their permission to share on this service," reads the statement.
A crew of 15 moderators takes turns monitoring the service to ensure the rules
are complied with, and they have the authority to ban any user who fails to follow
Now that R.E.M. has embarked on its first world
tour in four years in Europe, Give It Away has become flooded with material,
predominantly live concerts. Kaplan says the service, which didn't exist at the
time of the band's last large-scale tour, is a useful tool for fans looking to
get a taste of the group's current sound. Recordings from the tour opener in
Utrecht, Holland, and the second show in Amsterdam were up on the network within
a couple hours of the concerts. "I have a feeling that we'll be seeing this trend
continue," Kaplan says.
Kaplan adds that R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, a noted record collector
and bootleg aficionado, has gone on record applauding the service and
the fact that it "cuts
out the bootleg middleman." In other words, if his band isn't going to make money
from concert recordings, he's glad that fans can get the music without a third
party reaping profits.
is a Bootleg Policy
An increasing number of bands are allowing fans to freely
trade live recordings as a way of supporting their fan
base. This is generally done with the understanding
that no money changes hands in the trading of these
Many bands have what is
known as a 'Bootleg Policy', noting what type of material
the band has allows to be traded and the acceptable
methods of trade to ensure nobody is making financial
gain out of the trading. Most bands draw a clear line
between trading commercial and non-commercial material
and it is imperative that fans abide by the rules set
down by the artist and be happy with the privileges
granted and not to abuse it.
The seminal music group the Grateful Dead up until
1984 allowed recordings of their shows, although no
official acknowledgment of this was made by the band
or their management. After 1984 the band began to publicly
acknowledge that they had no problem with bootlegs and
people taping their shows. On the US congress Internet
archive you can now download over 2800 Grateful Dead
Some bands' policies are formally written up and posted
on their official websites. Others are informal verbal
contract between bands and fans, often delivered through
Some acts, like the Dave Matthews Bands are very pro
recording as their ‘Bootleg Policy’ reflects.
"Dave Matthews Band allows audiotaping at almost
every live performance. We feel that each show is unique
and want to offer our fans the opportunity to recreate
the live experience through the audio reproduction of
our shows. At all taping authorized performances, tapers
can tape from any ticketed seating location in the venue.
Also, for many of these performances tapers are able
to purchase tickets for a specially designated taper
section, normally located immediately behind the soundboard.
No soundboard or power feeds are provided.
Taping is limited to audio-only, using only microphones.
Wireless receivers are strictly prohibited. We sincerely
appreciate all of our fans, so we ask that you please
be considerate of those around you by not obstructing
anyone else's view of the performance."
Peter Buck has long been a collector of bootlegs and
in a british interview in the mid 80s he even talked
about which were the best REM bootlegs he found in the
REM does not have an official Bootleg Policy. REM have
more of a verbal agreement with Murmurs. As mentions
in the above articles the band are aware of the service
and are happy to allow fans to trade non commercial
material mainly because it cuts out the middle man and
the possibility of people exploiting fans to make money.