Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Soundtracks and Copyrights

I apologize for the dearth of new content, but this dark phase continues for another week.

In the meantime, Andrew's siren song of a mythical place where one can download video game soundtracks is juxtaposed in time next to a threat sent by Cal to its crew of mangy pirate students:

Dear Student,

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), copying and sharing copyrighted materials without permission is illegal.

[...blah blah blah...]

To comply with the law and to protect yourself from possible litigation, we strongly encourage you to remove illegally-obtained copyrighted material from your computer, and to stop downloading copyrighted material illegally if you do so now.

A curious brow I raise: I understand that the only reason I am getting this warning from my university is due to the RIAA's recently increased fervor in nabbing college students in the act of bringing sexy back and sharing it with all of their friends. Just a week ago, 405 pre-litigation settlement letters were sent to colleges across the nation. Berkeley received 19 notices. Sucks to be you, guys.

What I would like to understand more is the risk involved in downloading other forms of copyrighted media. Is there a Video Game Soundtrack Association of Japan that is just as interested in protecting producers' and artists' rights as the RIAA? Does downloading the Zelda theme song make me a bad person? A nerd, maybe, but also an easy target for lawsuits?

I know it still is considered illegal, but who, if anyone, pursues flagrant videogame soundtrack piracy? Inquiring minds want answers!

And some respite from midterms.

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