According to The Wall Street Journal, the online service's move was prompted by inquiries regarding the legality of the practice by Inside Media magazine, which published an article on such trading today.
The area in question, called "Tape Trader's Central," was sponsored by ABC television and overseen by a consultant from the network, the report said. ABC executives were also questioned about the site by Inside Media.
ABC has reportedly issued a statement saying the company was under the impression that the rock bands listed on the site "supported the free exchange of concert tapes." The statement went on to say that ABC was contacting the bands in question to be sure they have no objection to having tapes of their performances listed in the AOL area, the report said.
Still available, however, is a separate AOL bulletin board used by members of the online service to trade concert tapes.
In an interview with the Journal, Frank Creighton, a vice president with the Recording Industry of America, said that even if the band approves the taping of their concerts, the trading of the resultant tapes via a commercial site such as the one sponsored by ABC would probably be a copyright violation.
RealAudio coverage: CNET Radio