LONDON – David Bowie (search) has invited fans to bootleg his music -- and he's offering prizes for the most creative theft.
The musician's Web site urges fans to mix classic Bowie songs with material from his latest album, "Reality," (search) to create a "mash-up" -- a track that uses vocals from one song superimposed over the backing tracks of another.
Developments in music software has made the technique long employed by record producers easily accessible to thousands of "bedroom DJs" -- a fact that has alarmed record companies battling for control of Internet music distribution.
But Bowie, 57, was quoted as saying in Monday's editions of The Times newspaper that mash-ups were "a great appropriation idea waiting to happen."
"Being a hybrid maker off and on over the years, I'm very comfortable with the idea and have been the subject of quite a few pretty good mash-ups myself," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
The music software needed for the task can be downloaded from Bowie's Web site, along with tracks from his new album.
Following the end of the contest on May 17, Bowie will choose the winning tack, and it will be released as an MP3 single. The winner will also get a new car.
A reported 1 million copies were downloaded from the Internet before it was blocked by record company EMI in February.