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Live Aid Video Rights to Be Auctioned

Live Aid Video Rights to Be AuctionedThe custodians of the historic 1985 Live Aid charity concerts have given the green light for their official DVD and video release.

The Band Aid Trust has agreed to auction the global rights for the concerts for the first time. The decision came after pirated copies were found for sale on the Internet.

The concerts, staged at London's Wembley and Philadelphia's JFK stadiums, raised about 40 million pounds ($73 million) for famine-decimated Africa. Stars such as U2, Queen, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath and Mick Jagger participated in the globally televised extravaganza.

"The Band Aid record and the Live Aid concert are the sole assets of the most wretched and put-upon people on this earth," says trustee Bob Geldof, who organized Live Aid and the preceding single, "Do They Know It's Christmas."

"Every pirate or bootlegger must be aware that when they sell illegal copies of these assets, they almost literally take the food from the mouths and the needles from the arms of the hungry and sick." He adds, "I will personally stop at nothing to see the bootleggers in jail."

The Band Aid Trust will retain TV broadcasting rights, which contribute to a "continuing flow of funds" for famine relief.

Organizers are hoping for a Christmas release for the videos.

© Billboard, by Lars Brandle

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