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Topic: Suggestion to limit piracy

  1. #1

    Suggestion to limit piracy

    I developped softwares for a thinny market and I know all the energy and the pain it require for gaining a couple of dollars.

    May a suggest a way to increase the sample and software sales and limit the problem of piracy.

    First of all, as already mentioned, crackers will always find a manner to bypass technologic inventions that aim to protect software. The most sophisticated tool improving copy protection will lead on more challenging to break up the padlock. It is a never ending story because the last word always belongs to the hacker.

    But the issue could disappear if we introduce the notion of humanware in the debate.

    Two parts are concerned in the problem of piracy, developper and hacker. But there is a third part which could help the developper to limit the spread of illegal copies. We talk about the music composer which, if we agree, has the ultimate goal of be listened by the most people as possible.

    Once upon a time,

    Imagine a freeware (for instance WaterMark Reader), reading Mp3, wav files, etc... and telling a fan that the 10 seconds score\'s extract he loves has been composed with GOS and QL brass. An better, WM Reader also tell him that GigaStudio and Sonar has been used in the making of the score.

    But the fan wants to know who is the great composer of this score. Fortunatly WM Reader has the URL address inscribed for each WaterMark\'s product and thus, links the fan to the Web site of, let say, GigaStudio. Great deal, WM Reader is also a free advertisement for GigaStudio and increases the traffic on his Web Site.

    At this point one of the three situations will arise :

    The GigaStudio Database got the registered number sent by WM Reader and found the name of John Doe. Great deal, John gave is Web Site and Email addresses when he registered is copy and the fan is linked to his Web Site. Lucky man, WM Reader sent also the Web Site address and oddly the two Web Sites addresses name does not match. John is automatically awared by an Email.


    The Database did not find the registered number. Lucky man, WM Reader sent also the title of the score to the Database and the technicians will soon deploy the armada to find who\'s the poor guy forgot to register his copy. Finally the John Doe\'s Web Site (containing the John\'s Email address) is found. John is reminded to register his copy and also to leave his Web Site and Email adresses for free advertisement.


    The Database found the name of Jim Blow upon this registered number. Oddly, James composed 62 scores since the last three months! The Database contains those 62 titles and Web Site addresses. Soon, the technicians will deploy the armada to find who are those bad guys using illegal copies. Finally they discovered 35 composers. They offered to bad guys to register a valid copy of GigaStudio. Lucky men, they can leave their Web Site and Email addresses. When registrated the Database will point the title of their score to the valid registered number and they will have free advertisement.

    The End

    I call all of this humanware because two parts, developper and composer, get a positive reinforcement in acting for the interest of the
    other part. The other part hacker will now be replaced by the fan part who has decided to compose music since he knows wich software
    and samples are involved in the making of a score. And finally, the day that sales increases, many new developpers will offer new products and the competition will lower prices.

    About the WM Reader, with an established protocol on how the watermarks should be formatted, the humanware thing should work.

    I hope to have translated my thought enough clearly.


  2. #2

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Here\'s the problem:

    There\'s No Armada.

    Prosecution of piracy is extremely time consuming, expensive and there is no help from the legal system without mounting lawsuits that you fund yourself.

    The whole watermark thing is utterly pointless to me. The music industry is already so small that it\'s always been extremely easy to find people abusing your stuff. Identification is easy...and there are far simpler ways to do it than elaborate watermarking schemes.....it\'s Prosecution that\'s the real problem.

    That\'s why it\'s way cheaper to invest in making your product a little harder to copy, than to build an \"armada\" to prosecute the zillions of bad guys.

    Has anyone ever had the experience of prosecuting am intellectual property crime before?....it\'s incredibly time-consuming and a royal waste of time. The lawyers love them because they makes loads.

    We\'ve prosecuted a bunch of different people in a wide variety of situations and it is never as easy as anyone says it is. There\'s a lot of ways to do it, but finding them has always been the easiest part.


  3. #3

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Originally posted by spectrum:
    Here\'s the problem:

    Prosecution of piracy is extremely time consuming, expensive and there is no help from the legal system without mounting lawsuits that you fund yourself.

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Spectrum,

    Who is talking about prosecution ? On the contrary it is question of commitment.

    Would you be enough stupid to spread your music (which is on the public domain) with illegitimate samples and software if a WM tool would exist on the net ? Your public image could suffer for sure.

    The market is small you say ? I live in a small city and about every neighbour plays music on computer.

    What I say is that registration should be mandatory. The users could have free advertisement if they want. And a sort of a software tool engine would help composers and developpers to increase the trafic on their Web Site. Hey man, machines work for you !

    Sure it would cost something but not as much if the cost are shared among the software developpers community. A good hacker could develop WM for almost free.

    Anyway I feel your are angry and I sympathize with you. I just tried to help a little bit.

    Thank you to listening to me.


  4. #4

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    I see another problem with this idea.

    I think alot of composers working with samples have the big goal of making the illusion of a real orchestra. They want people to say: \"Hey man, this orchestra sounds great!\" and not \"Hmm, these strings sound somewhat synthy. Ahh yes, of course he used samples!\"
    But if anybody who wants to can read a watermark and find out if sample libraries are used in this certain track, I\'m sure this would piss some composers (including me) off.
    Samples, especially orchestral samples are to imitate a real ensemble or instrument as real as possible and such a method you are proposing is like working against the basic idea.
    I personally don\'t want people to know without much problems if I used samples or not. My goal is to sound like a orchestra and not reveal immediately that it\'s sampler made, which would maybe make some listeners think it\'s kinda \"cheap\" music or whatever, which would probly make them less aware of the art that is behind such a track. I\'m sure many other composers think the same way as I do (I hope so at least).



  5. #5

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Originally posted by MothU:
    I think alot of composers working with samples have the big goal of making the illusion of a real orchestra.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">MothU,

    If your score sounds as a real orchestra and people discover that it as been made with Jelly beans strings and Frying pan percussions your nothing less than a genius !

    A lot of people will annoy you for getting advices and once in a while, because your knowledge worth a lot of $, you will resigne to give week-end sessions on music technology. Big productions will be on stand-by because your schedule is loaded. Women will fight to have the privilege of escort you in the big gala evening.

    Seriously if your score fool people, it deserves to be known. Be proud and assume your talent. And the day you\'ll die Stravinsky will ask you \"Hey mothU how did you manage things to make this score sounds so incredible ?\" [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


  6. #6

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Well, I was rather referring to the near future. After listening to the demos of the Vienna Symphonic Library for example, I\'m sure it will be possible in near future to create a convincing orchestra sound at least for not well experienced orchestral listeners with not much programming talent. And your proposal of copy protection also refers obviously to future sample libraries. I definately agree that it\'s not yet possible to create a convincing orchestra sound with samples (at least for me), even not with alot of programming talent. I was thinking of the times when a convincing orchestra sound will be nothing special (and I\'m sure these times will come sooner or later). When this happens, I think the things I said in my last post will apply even more than today. But even today I\'m sure some listeners won\'t identify a well done sample made piece as \"not real\" and I want it to keep it this way. I think the biz of sample programmers is a little bit like a magician\'s job. The perfect illusion is the goal everyone of us reaches for (correct me if I\'m wrong [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] . And your scheme is like revealing the magic tricks and destroying the illusion.
    I hope you understand what I\'m trying to express [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]



  7. #7

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    And your scheme is like revealing the magic tricks and destroying the illusion.

    To add to this:

    Would this knowledge also affect the producer, film director? Would they pay less for a soundtrack they knew wasn\'t a \"real\" orchestra? If they knew it was \"real\" , would they pay more,like it better? It would be interesting to get some honest feedback from those who purchase our compositions..music! And if knowing it was real or sampled sounds has any affect on them.

  8. #8

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Originally posted by Serge:
    Anyway I feel your are angry and I sympathize with you. I just tried to help a little bit.

    Thank you to listening to me.

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hi Serge,

    My apologies if that came across as angry...I\'m not at all, and I do appreciate you sharing your ideas. I just wanted to express the reason why we don\'t use this technology and why I believe it is of very little value in solving the problem. Many people on this forum have expressed their desire to see WM become the standard library protection technology...because it is the least intrusive, and most convenient method for users. In a perfect world, it would be great.

    The main flaw IMO is that I cannot see that Watermarking technology has any kind of significant benefit to developers beyond mere identification of offenders. Everything being discussed here is primarily on the identification part....which as I said is very easy to do already. (OK, maybe it\'s a little more difficult with multisampled Orchestral libraries, but we can spot Spectrasonics samples very quickly and easily, so we have a lot of experience here). Identification is the easiest part, and does not solve the problem.

    The idea of deterrance via identification is not that good either. Unfortunately, there are thousands of composers worldwide who think nothing of producing music professionally with unlicensed samples. The fact that the samples can be easily identified does not deter them. The expense and difficulty for the developers is in how to deal with offenders. We can use the term \"intellectual property rights enforcement\" if \"prosecution\" is too strong a term for you. But ultimately, any system is only as good as it can be effective. In my experience, protection at the source (on the product) is far more effective and less expensive than trying to implement protection on the destination side (scanning thousands of music files, and contacting individual users for example)

    All the best,


  9. #9

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy


    There are only two kinds of music, good and not good, and as anonymous person in the day-to-day life we listen to music with our heart.

    Perhaps it will really appears as sampled but it is a minor concern if it blow away people. A producer (That is for you birdwizard) will come
    and say \"I am interrested...\". Will the producer say \"It\'s not a real orchestra...\" ? I guess not. And Ironically an orchestrator will adapt this beautiful unorthodox score to a real orchestra. That is about the magic. When \"Le sacre du printemps\" from Stravinsky (Yes I am a fan) has been shown for the first time the art of orchestration has been enlarged dramatically.


    Is WM exclude implementing protection at the source approach ? You don\'t have either to scan thousands of music files and contact individual users. At least you own a marker to establish the profile of your customers. It is also a nice increase of value for the due form registered customer if the fans are linked to his Web site. Registered customer will take advantage of your promotion. For the non-registered customer the database will return \"Not registered...\" to the WM Reader query. If the WM Reader query returns the itchy \"James Blow\" for the John Doe score you hit the target. Since the database schema is implemented and the registration procs are running ok, you just sit down and let things append.

    You are certainly more competent than me to run such a business like yours. You can even think with greater reason that I totally ignore
    about problems you encounter. But I know human nature and this is what I am talking about. Being identified does not deter questionable practice... unless it arise from the underground and is evoked in the public place! Ask Bill about this...

    Is all this illegal ? That is the question... If yes, well it\'s been nice to talk with you anyway.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Suggestion to limit piracy

    Originally posted by birdwizard:
    And your scheme is like revealing the magic tricks and destroying the illusion.

    To add to this:

    Would this knowledge also affect the producer, film director? Would they pay less for a soundtrack they knew wasn\'t a \"real\" orchestra?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">They\'re paying for the witch, not the wand.

    These relationships are based on trust and the mutual pursuit of a great end product. Nobody tries to \"fool\" the producer or director. These are collaborative decisions.

    So, really, the question of \"is it sampled\" is moot. Worry about revealing truth, not fooling people, and your art will speak far more eloquently. The true artist celebrates his medium rather than trying to hide it. Great paintings don\'t pretend to be photographs...likewise, sampled orchestras shouldn\'t pretend to be \"real\" ones. They should be art in and of themselves.

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