In the seedier corners of the internet, people have traded and distributed ripped music tracks from Harmonix's Rock Band franchise for some time now.

This might not seem any more remarkable than the pirated MP3s that we're already so familiar with, but you should remember that these are based on the songs' masters and stored as "multitracked audio with isolated guitars, drums, vocals, etc.", perfect for remixing.

Flash developer Mike Nowak insists, though, that for everyday listeners and even collectors, this isn't a big deal:

"Multitrack audio like this is heavy and bloated and not really of interest to the average listener. These are of interest to obsessive completists, fellow musicians, and/or mash-up artists. For them, there already exists a shady underground network trading original master recordings (this is how those SongSmith versions of popular songs were created) so, for them, the Rock Band rips are actually low quality. The only thing of interest is new multi-tracks for songs that might not have had masters leaked, but I don’t know if this is the case here."

So, taking all that into account, why should you care about the miscreants out there distributing these files? As Nowak puts it, "combine 'rip multi-track audio from Rock Band' with The Beatles Rock Band coming this September and, well, things seem a little more notable.