There’s always debate about the illegal downloading of music. It is alleged that downloading a musician’s work without paying, or at least without permission, is a danger to their livelihood and the industry as a whole.
I agree; I you enjoy someone’s music enough to download it, you should pay for it. It’s that simple.
(This video is actually completely irrelevant. I just like it.)
But what about when the music isn’t even available as a legal download? Is it still wrong to download it “illegally?” Of course, this is rarely a problem with most music, which is available on CD, iTunes, Amazon, and most other places, but most video game music is not released anywhere of the sort. Some companies, such as Square Enix, are very good about making their games’ (in this case, Final Fantasy) soundtracks available for download, but less popular games are rarely this lucky. Also, many game soundtracks are released only on CD or in certain areas (I’m looking at you, Kingdom Hearts), which is both inconvenient and prohibitively expensive.
Strangely, Nintendo is one of the worst offenders; they have almost none of their game’s soundtracks for download, even for hugely popular series like Super Smash Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. You’d think that Nintendo would jump at the chance to make some money from music sales, especially when the music itself was so important to the game experience and painstakingly created.
Because I so enjoy game music, and there is no official outlet for legally acquiring it, I don’t begrudge those who “pirate” it from filesharing sites and the like. I listen to most of my favorite game soundtracks on YouTube, which works just fine, but it would be convenient to have an official music release that could be listened to away from the computer with a music player. Also, this would be a great way to give back to the artists who made the music and deserve to be paid for it.
Thankfully, not everyone is so behind the times. The soundtrack for Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, which coincidentally releases tomorrow, can be had right here as an official, artist sponsored, payment-optional download.
Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come.