First, Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Second, I’m going to complain a little bit and ask for advice. I play more video games than are good for me. There is a computer games company which has given de facto permission to other people to make free updates and modifications for those games. Modifying their copyrighted material for the purposes of these is thus ok. However, one particular mod I’d wanted to play turns out to have a small amount of a third party’s copyrighted material (fifteen or thirty seconds from the American Beauty soundtrack) for background music. I try not to break the law, but things like this… should I ask the mod maker to add in something different (music already in the game) or try to edit it myself, or is it not actual theft because no one’s making or losing money off of it?
The complaining part: US copyright law is so irritatingly stringent. The stuff people put on YouTube or Google Video, I can understand why it’s wrong, but taking something the value of which to license it would be far more than what the image/sound clip is worth seems harmless. Is the law intended to be this stupid?