[mb-style] Adding pirated download links to releases as "can be downloaded for free from..." relationships

Philip Jägenstedt philip at foolip.org
Tue Jul 5 06:05:39 UTC 2011

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 05:35, Magda Stremeski <magda.stremeski at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm having a debate right now about how appropriate it is to add links to
> releases that tell a user where the release can be downloaded from.
> Edits in question:
> http://musicbrainz.org/edit/14739612
> http://musicbrainz.org/edit/14739579
> and a few others that have to do with the soundtracks of LucasArts computer
> games.
> The games never had an official soundtrack release. Some people created high
> quality rips of the soundtrack direct from the game and uploaded the
> bootleg. So, without a doubt, these are unofficial releases - bootlegs. This
> is not being contested. I'm OK with these releases being on MB (although
> there are other outstanding questions like, what is the real song title? But
> that aside...) It's more to do with the URLs being attached to the releases.
> MusicBrainz clearly states on its About page:
>> Copyright infringement
>> MusicBrainz provides data about recordings, not the music itself.
>> MusicBrainz does not condone copyright infringement and will not help you
>> find a place to illegally download copyrighted works.
> Regarding copyright infringement, I've heard (could be wrong) that the only
> way someone could get away with bootlegging content is as a protest because
> that content was not available legally. So it's possible that these bootlegs
> could be considered as protests.
> However, given that LucasArts has asked this bootlegger to takedown all the
> Star Wars and Indiana Jones soundtrack content, then maybe this is just out
> and out copyright infringement after all (forum link here this is discussed
> in edit).
> The bootlegger claims (although hasn't offered any evidence) that LucasArts
> was okay with him distributing these soundtrack files, so long as it wasn't
> Star Wars or Indiana Jones content. I think that makes it clear then that
> this *is* copyright infringing material but FOR NOW, LucasArts have chosen
> not to fight it.
> I voted to have these links removed. The editor in question has suggested
> that because LucasArts hasn't taken it down, then these links are okay. I'm
> not convinced, especially since games like Sam & Max and Monkey Island are
> now being remade by another company - Telltale Games, who ARE actually
> releasing official soundtracks for their games. These soundtracks obviously
> have some of the same songs (the theme songs in particular). While LucasArts
> may have been okay about the distribution in the past, we don't know that
> Telltale will be, or that LucasArts won't change their mind.
> I think that MusicBrainz risks legal action for providing links to
> bootlegged material (isn't this partly why we are against copyright
> infringement in the About page?). I don't think this risk is worth it, just
> for having "complete" metadata about a release. I think this risk is still
> there, even if LucasArts has not actively pursued the original bootlegger.
> I'd like some comments from the community - do you agree with what I said in
> the last paragraph? Would content like this still count as copyright
> infringing material and if so, does MusicBrainz's rule about never condoning
> or helping find such material still apply?
> The editor seems quite keen to have me change my vote to No or Abstain. The
> edit is valid for another week. I'm hesitant to let this edit pass so can we
> discuss this soon please?
> Thanks,
> Magda

If it were a link to a crappy torrent site that is going to be dead in
just a few months I'd agree that such links are not appropriate.
However, in this case it appears to be fan sites, and I don't think
MusicBrainz needs to worry about the legality of the things it links
to, only that which it hosts.

If someone complains it's easy to remove the links again. so I'm
voting yes to these edits.

Philip Jägenstedt

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