New Pony Records
New Pony Records

New Pony Records is Fan-based

We’re tape, disc and file traders, authors, scholars, collectors, and even some lawyers, who have spent decades collecting and sharing the music we love. We’ve amassed literally thousands of recordings, indexing and preserving them for posterity. We’ve applauded each installment of Sony’s Bootleg Series as it brings a sampling of this huge catalog of unreleased Dylan recordings to a wider public. And we applaud each new unauthorized recording as it circulates within the trading community. We have no formal connections to Sony, Dylan, or the commercial bootleggers. We’re simply interested in seeing these recordings reach the broader audience we believe they richly deserve. To us, it’s all about the music and our right to listen to it.

New Pony Records is a Not-For-Profit Record Company

We see the mass market record industry and the commercial bootleggers as obstacles to broad public availability of these recordings. The record industry, through its trade associations, has sought to criminalize any access to recordings which do not maximize their bottom line. The commercial bootleggers, exploiting the lack of transparency among unreleased recordings, charge exorbitant prices for recordings of highly variable quality. We’re articulating an alternative to the major labels and commercial bootleggers; an alternative that sincerely strives to accommodate the competing interests of artist, distributor, and fans alike. We’re asking Dylan and Sony to grant us a license to distribute the best of Dylan’s unreleased live recordings. We’re offering to pay Dylan a royalty on every recording sold. We’re restricting distribution to web-based mail order so we don’t get in the way of Sony’s mass market official catalog. We’re creating a one-stop website which can unify and clarify the vast and jumbled market in these recordings, assuring fans they’ll know what they’re getting and can trust it reflects the best of what’s available. And we’re a non-profit corporation, required, by law, to retain earnings for the purposes of the corporation and not for the profits of any shareholders.

New Pony Records Challenges Copyright Laws Which No Longer Serve the Public Interest.

We’re talking about recordings of live paid public performances. Dylan and his band have been paid once through ticket sales for these performances and we’re offering to pay Dylan a second time to license the recordings. We’ve watched copyright restrictions expanded in recent years to criminalize the unauthorized recording and distribution of performances such as these. Strict compliance with the law means these live performances are lost to the ages, an ironic twist on the avowed purpose of copyright law: To promote broad availability of copyrighted works by granting the copyright holder a distribution monopoly for a limited period of time.

What meaningful basis can there be for restricting access to these performances once they have been paid for through concert ticket sales? Contrary to the insidious arguments of the industry, copyright is not a property right, but a limited-term exclusive right to distribute recordings in an effort to hasten broader availability. How ironic to see copyright extended just as the means of distribution have been liberated by the digital revolution. How absurd to find the “Information Age” marked by laws undermining, even rolling back, the public domain. When did the economic interests of record distributors become more important than our freedom to hear and listen to what we want? This is great music which speaks to — and ultimately belongs to — the ages. How can it reach those future generations if copyright law can be used to prevent it being recorded, punish distribution, threaten possession, and stifle discussion?

So here we are, offering an alternative which honors both the free market and the public interest copyright law was meant to protect. We’ve chosen Bob Dylan because his performances are worth the fight. His management team has shown a deep understanding of the struggle between art and commerce and chosen integrity throughout. His fans -— now and in future generations — deserve the opportunity to hear his music because, like all music, once it reaches our ears it’s no longer only his.

New Pony Records is Both the Question and the Answer

We’re not the record industry; we’re not star-struck sycophants; we’re not looking for free music; and we’re not fools. We’re public, direct, action and we need your help.

New Pony Records Board of Advisors

Watt Alexander (General Manager, New Pony Records)
Watt really has done all the things Bob Dylan used to tell people he’d done, but hadn’t. As a lawyer, Watt’s been on the losing end of copyright litigation from Nevada Small Claims right up to the United States Supreme Court. As a Dylan fan, he never managed to finish a really interesting website about Dylan’s unjustly maligned “gospel” tour. As a father, he continues to embarrass his teen and pre-teen progeny. As a husband, he is indulged by an angelic Italian vixen. Now he’s putting his good name and meager assets on the line in a vain attempt to move mountains. Indulge him.
Pete Baker
Pete was born in the late 50’s and has been collecting Dylan audio since the early 70’s. If he doesn’t have a particular recording chances are he knows who does.
Clive Barrett
Clive has been listening to Bob Dylan sincethe early 60’sand was forever changed by watching the 1965 BBC TV broadcasts. He has been a minorbackground participant in a number of Dylan-related activities from journal productionto collaborative collecting to archiving. Like Pete Baker, if he doesn’t have a recording himself, he tends to know who does.
Pat Bauer
A law professor in Iowa since 1979, Pat grew up in Minnesota and has been an avid (but amateur) fan since 1964.
Olof Bjorner
Born in Stockholm and a fan since 1963; an early contributor to rec.music.dylan and a recovering completist; Olof’s Chronicles — alongside Dundas and Krogsgaard — is the authoritative statistical guide to Dylan’s recording and touring career. Also author of “Words Fill My Head — Written, Spoken and Sung by Bob Dylan and Olof’s Files, Volumes 1–12 and Index.
Simon Campden-Main
Simon has been the Librarian and webmaster of the Unofficial Bob Dylan Free Library since October of 1995. He has been called the Patron Saint of Newbies and, as George Harrison once said about someone else, “a friend to us all.”
Alan Fraser
A UK Dylan fan since 1963, Alan is the webmaster of the Bob Dylan Official Rarities site (Searching for a Gem).He has contributed to the UK magazines "Record Collector", "Q", "Mojo" and "Uncut;" as well as to the New York "Village Voice;" Dylan fanzines "Isis" and "The Bridge;" and several books on Bob Dylan including "The Bob Dylan Companion."
John Howells
A longtime fan, John launched the world's first publicly available Bob Dylan website (Bringing It All Back Homepage) in 1994, and is currently webmaster for the official Graham Parker website (Squeezing Out Sparks). He has also been a contributor to the Usenet newsgroup rec.music.dylan since its inception in 1989.
Eduardo Monteverdi Ricardo
Ed Ricardo was born in Habana Cuba in 1963, the son of a prominent television actress and a nightclub singer and guitar player. He has been a long term member of EDLIS, the hard to pin down anarchical group responsible for so little but behind so much. He has been a professional chess player for much of his life, playing chess in all 35 of the countries bombed or invaded by the USA in recent years. He claims to have been inspired as a toddler by watching Che Guevara playing chess with Fidel Castro. He also edits the series of academic monographs put out by Lord Hardinge's firm: Bob Dylan All Alone On A Shelf.
Gil Walker
Gil is a lawyer and education reform consultant, as well as a Dylan enthusiast who maintains websites like the Bob Dylan Field Recordings Guide and Bob Dylan’s Live Debuts. He drinks far too much coffee and chooses pseudonyms badly
Paul Williams
Paul Williams is the founder of the world's first rock music magazine, Crawdaddy!, in 1966. He is the author of four books about Bob Dylan, including the Bob Dylan Performing Artist series and the collection Bob Dylan, Watching the River Flow, Observations on Dylan’s work in progress,1966-1995.