It all boils down to this. If you purchase bootlegs you help to finance illegal activities and line someone's pocket with thousands of dollars for material that does not belong to him.
However, for years and years, when reel to reel recorders were first available, people have been taping albums from libraries, their friends, from universities, wherever. With the availablity of cassette recorders, people have been making dubs of any and everything for decades.
I'm sure some of you have friends who have stacks and stacks of cassettes of songs taped from the radio, as well as from other friends albums, tapes, and CDs. There are lots of people who buy blank video tapes and tape hundreds of movies from cable TV and build a huge library. But most people don't try to sell them for profit. They simply have them for their own personal enjoyment.
And the reality is, millions of people have built collections like this, lived their lives, died, and then their whole collection either gets stored in a family members garage, or gets tossed in the dumpster.
It's OK for us to trade things and tape or burn things we are interested in for our own personal enjoyment without the pursuit of profit. We just have to restrain from advertising in forums for all to see that we want someone to make us a copy of something.
Email someone in private, or see if you have any friends who have any material you are interested in adding to your collection. And by all means, buy every commercially available audio or video product that is out there to support your favorite artist. Then the rare stuff is just extra special. Merry Christmas!