Monday, August 30, 2004

Friends Share

T

here was a time not too long ago when one would hear of the music Nazis going after those who were downloading or sharing songs for free. I can understand some of the need to protect copyrights and intellectual property. But then there is also a limit to what can be considered protectable.

As many of you know, I teach, and I want my students to read some books and articles or view a video for class. Sometimes, however, some books or videos are out of print. Since it is virtually impossible to get a new copy, I would think that making a copy and making it available to students would be okay. But nooooooooooooooo... That is a copyright infringement. Now, let's think about this. If a particular author / composer / artist wants to be known by a wider audience, it is necessary to be read or viewed by said audience. But if the author / composer / artist's material is out of print, and a new copy is unobtainable, AND I can't copy it to distribute it to my students, how the heck is the material going to reach a wider audience? I don't get it. Shouldn't there be a reasonable compromise between the protection of copyrights and the rights of the consumer?

Well, it is not my intention to create new law, and I'm not about to test the limits of my protection under the law as it is currently being interpreted. But I must say that I can't see the illegality of sharing music with a friend. I've been buying music since I was in the sixth grade when I bought my first album, Headquarters by the Monkees. Back in those days when an album cost about $5.00 and our allowances hovered around $1 a week, we had to resort to other means to get a hold of music. So my firends and I would allways attempt to buy different albums so we could share them. By the time I was in 10th grade, I helped out around my old elementary school in the summer and was able to buy my very own Panasonic radio-cassette player. The upshot of this was that I was able to borrow my friends albums and record them. Back in those days, one never heard of people getting sued by record labels for sharing albums. While the quality of reproduced music probably had something to do with it--there were pops and scratches in every recording--the bottom line was that we were able to share music without fear...

In any event, there are a few old Japanese songs that I've been tyring to find but have been totally unsuccessful.

  • フレンズ (Friends) by Rebecca
  • ふたりの夏物語 (Futari no natsu monogatari) by 杉山清貴&オメガトライブ Sugiyama Kiyotaka and OMega Tribe
  • ガラスのPALM TREE by 杉山清貴&オメガトライブ Sugiyama Kiyotaka and OMega Tribe
  • ボヘミアン (Bohemian) by 葛城ユキ Katsuragi Yuki
  • 哀愁夜 (Aishuuya) by 葛城ユキ Katsuragi Yuki
  • メモリ-グラス (Memory glass) by 堀江淳 Horie Jun
  • 哀愁のカサブランカ (Aishuu no Casablanca) by 郷ひろみ Go Hiromi
  • ふられ気分でRock'n Roll (Furare kibun de rock 'n roll) by TOM☆CAT
  • 夢の途中 (Yume no tochuu) by 来生たかお Kisugi takao
  • Romanticが止まらない (Romantic ga tomaranai) by C-C-B
  • あなた (Anata) by 小坂明子 Kobayashi Akiko
  • 待つわ (Matsuwa) by あみん Amin
  • そして僕は途方に暮れる (Soshite boku wa tohou ni kureru) by 大沢誉志幸 Osawa
  • 今だから (Ima dakara) by 小田和正、財津和夫、松任谷由実 Oda, Zaitsu, Matsutoya

Well, its a short list and ecclectic at that--pop, new music, idol. Now if only it were 30 years ago and I had a friend who would share them with me. *sigh*

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