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Rhino Kills Free Downloads For Deadheads

BURBANK, CA (Hypebot) — You could almost credit the Grateful Dead with creating the first P2P. Long before computer file sharing fans were encouraged by the band to tape shows and share them freely with friends. This was the original viral tool turning the band into a touring powerhouse despite often anemic record sales.

That tradition continued on the web with many sites including the bands own offering downloads of live shows. One of the sites biggest attracts has been the Taper's Section where each week a new gen was pulled from the band's legendary vault and made available for download as a free mp3.

Not anymore. Thanks to the folks at WMG's Rhino, who now control the site and most of the Dead's assets, the shows are now only available streamed directly from the site.

"Please note that beginning today all Taper’s Section audio streams are served via a new media player in both Windows Media Audio and QuickTime Audio formats."

No more free downloads. No more sharing shows with friends.

Just when Grateful Dead stops touring and interest in the band is beginning to fade, Rhino stomps on a tradition and puts and end to the viral promotion that created the Dead phenomena in the first place.