We just received the shocking results of a study in close cooperation with the BSA (Business Software Alliance). We participated in this study to find an indication of the amount of pirated intellectual property of my companies PAM (Post Audio Media) and PMI (Post Musical Instruments).
I have produced between 15 and 20 different libraries. They contain well over 500 different instrument files. We sold a nice amount of these products so far but the study clearly shows that there are between 5 and 10 times more illegal users than legal customers.
The study was performed by visiting companies that are expected to use our property (both legal and illegal), a stealth on-line disk scan on the participant’s computer and a questionnaire.
The outcome is that only 1 out of every 10 people who have one of my instruments on their computer has actually paid for it. This is partly “polluted’ by the fact that the questionnaire and scans were performed on-line, so musicians that keep their music computer disconnected from the internet stayed out of sight. Even so, I find the outcome a disaster and far worse that I expected.
The results for my industry were calculated by the IDC. Their conclusion is that if piracy is reduced by 10% the income for our company would grow at least 30%. In my country more than 40% of all used software is illegal. The percentage of illegal soundware is over 80%. The rest of Europe shows almost the same pattern.
If I could find a way (I mean ANY way) to reduce piracy of my libraries with 10% I will certainly do so. I hope people will understand that given the current situation producing sound libraries without adequate systems against piracy should be considered suicidal behaviour from the sound library developer. I don’t mind disputing this stand point.
One good thing: we can now (within legal restrictions) actively search for illegal files on users systems. Illegal users can expect us to send an invoice for the fruits of their CD-writers spinning overtimes.