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An anti-pirate curious about the warez enemy!

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by REDBOX04, Apr 26, 2009.

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  1. arkadin

    arkadin Mr.

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    Alright, so I've been swamped and completely flaked on getting back to this thread. Honestly, the best way I to understand what i'm trying to get across is by reading this short essay: http://cryptogon.com/docs/pirate_insurgency.html

    Obviously it goes well beyond the scope of audio production, but if you learn about electronic piracy than this is a must read.

    While you may think something looks like "another wimpy excuse mixed with pseudo-revolutionary nonsense" it does not make it so. At what point does pseudo-revolutionary become revolutionary? When there's casualties?
    I would argue that when the tactics become effective then it ceases to be "pseudo" and becomes real. Clearly electronic pirates have been extremely successful at what their aiming to do. I don't think anyone can deny that. Hell the Pirate Party in Sweden even got seats in their parliament.

    However, not all pirates are driven by ideology. Some people do it just for the fun of it and don't care about anything beyond that; and in some cases it's even extremely profitable. For example, in cities like Hong Kong there's lots of shopping malls dedicated almost entirely to selling pirated software/music/dvds/porn/electronics. It was well known that most of those operations are were run by the Triads, which was why the stores would be up and running again the next day after a police raid. For them it's just another racket like prostitution, drugs, gambling, loansharking etc.

    And as for "the market isn't set up so that everyone can dick around as they please", are you talking about the music production industry or are you talking about the larger, macro-economic concept of the "free market"?

    One could even argue that piracy is the logical outcome of the free market. I'm not going to make that argument since i don't fully agree with it, but i can understand where that person would be coming from.

    I can think of plenty of situations where theft is justified (admittedly, a lot of these situations include some kind of prior offense). Either way, that is irrelevant since justification is almost entirely objective. And it doesn't matter whether you can justify someone's actions, it matters that the person committing the act can justify it. If they can justify their actions, then they will carry them out. And as far as I can tell, human beings can justify just about anything. For example: the holocaust, the inquisition, the rwandan massacre or any of the other way to numerous and heinous incidents in history.
     
  2. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    In this case 'pseudo-revolutionary' is an attack on 'trying to justify actions under the guise of a greater good in hopes that it will seem more romantic, intellectually-driven, and justifiable than the ever-present underlying motive of greed'; if the motives given under such arguments are to be considered effective (even giving such 'pirates' the benefit of the doubt and assuming that reform of IP laws and all that jazz are actually the main motivation) we must see a massive step towards the consumers' rights in legislation acted upon by countries where this 'revolution' is taking place. This has not happened.

    Since things that could be labeled as 'good arguments for piracy' are *very rare* in the wild, I suspect the motives of anyone who claims to be taking part in this 'revolution' - surely they'd have better reasons than greed for their actions, and they can't all be so stupid as to be deceived by horribly illogical nonsense and wordplay like what's out there right now, can they?

    For a movement that seems to want to liberate both producers and consumers from *something*, they've done active harm to both - the former by leading directly to lost business, the latter by bringing about massive 'crackdowns' by corrupted 'piracy-prevention' organizations that run in a way more like Inquisition witch-hunters than criminal investigators of any merit. Again, I don't side with the bloodhounds brought onto us by specific parts of the recording, film, and software industries - but if I saw any other massive changes in legal news as a result of the 'movement' in question I might have a slightly better impression of it.

    Outside a few nations that actually have representation like the Pirate Party (I should also note that I know of no progress being made *there*), what I see is a big stink, a lot of pseudointellectual bullshit in Slashdot, and 'success' exactly where the goal was to obtain property illicitly.

    'The market' I was referring to was the plugin market specifically, but the point is for anything related - people don't put their tools out there for arbitrary use, they're trying to keep running as businesses.

    I'll get to the article when I don't have as much work to do; I started on it but had to switch to something else as soon as I realized that the voice of Alex Jones was reading it in my head.

    As for 'justification'... I don't mean 'makes me feel all right after shoplifting that Playboy' justification, I mean 'a sequence of logical arguments starting with an arbitrary person and ending with that same arbitrary person in possession of objects previously belonging to others that were not obtained through fair, mutually-accepted trade'. Some people can ignore their conscience, but that's not the kind of 'justification' I'm looking for - if you're running on a logical system of beliefs about justifiable actions, supply a proof; if your actions are not guided by a logical system of beliefs about justifiable actions, I'm going to go ahead and consider you a dangerous lunatic.

    I can't say I'm too familiar with you, so I should warn you that I play by much stricter terms than most have deal with - consider it an occupational hazard that follows me home. I deal with pure logic for a living - if if were possible to be logical to a fault, I'd be causing major earthquakes - and everything I do needs to be boiled down to that as a result; the only assumptions I've made can be broken down to 'fucking with people and their shit is dick, yo' (hopefully such colloquialism is easier handled than the paragraphs it would take for me to write as I usually do), so if you have any beliefs in property rights at all you're probably running on very similar assumptions.

    If you can find a decent argument that piracy is a logical outcome of the free market (which would be interesting, at least in the 'wow, look how quickly that system utterly obliterates itself!' sense), let me know.

    Jeff
     
  3. Charlie E.

    Charlie E. Member

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    It seems to me that most people pirate stuff simply because they can and because it's easy. I'm pretty sure most people who illegally download API and SSL plugins for instance wouldn't have the balls to steal an API comp/eq or an SSL console.
    So they believe "hey it's no big deal, it's 1's and 0's". But the more I think about it the more things are going to become digital, and they already are! Studios are getting smaller because of higher quality plugins, ease of use, practicality, and space saver. We should be thankful for this and not fuck companies over because of it.
    Just like we wouldn't steal an ADAT machine back in '95 we really shouldn't consider stealing DAW's and other software plugins. It's just wrong. Accept the fact that these are the tools of professionals and should be reserved by those lucky or hardworking enough to afford them. You wanna try them out? Great news! 90% of these companies offer demos. :rolleyes:
    I'd be curious to know just how much money developers make. And it really pains me to see a post such as the one by ScottRiley. :(
     
  4. arkadin

    arkadin Mr.

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    The guy who wrote that does run a blog that touches on conspiracies. However these are mostly financial/corporate/political scandals and other tangible things, unlike the "elite are devil-worshippers" crap that Alex Jones peddles. Don't get me started on that nutjob.... (although i guess even a broken clock is right two times a day)
    Maybe you've grouped anyone that has a problem with the current power structures on both sides of the political spectrum with the Alex Jones crowd. If this is the case than I think you're doing yourself a huge disservice because there are plenty of sober-minded, logical people out there that are equally disillusioned with the current state of affairs. All i can say is that I assure that the guy is nothing like Alex Jones, and the guy who wrote the article worked in corporate IT firms for years and is definitely qualified to to write about the subject matter.


    I completely agree. The thing is, these people wouldn't be able to download cracked plugins unless someone bothers to do the following:
    1. Buy (or obtain) the software.
    2. Crack the software.
    3. Distribute the software.

    These are done by a handful of ripping groups (for music production software; there's probably thousands of ripping groups that do other stuff). So basically you have the same handful of groups that are responsible for releasing the majority of cracked music production software. In this sense it's non-hierarchical and somewhat centralized, that is until the cracked software makes it down to torrents, p2p software, filehosting (rapidshare etc.) sites etc. At that point it is completely decentralized and unstoppable.

    Blaming software piracy on the downloaders is like blaming drug violence on the dope fiends. In order to solve either of those problems, they have to be dealt with at the supply and demand end. It's important to differentiate between the consumer and the supplier.
     
  5. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    I haven't arbitrarily lumped everyone in with Jones, and I can see where some points in the article are coming from - but I mainly suspect them of blaming 'evil' where 'stupid' has a stronger role. I hope you're right about the guy not being a nutjob, since I hate being associated with Jones for asking too many questions myself, but any time I see the problem just mentioned I lose a great deal of hope.

    I also think you need to check your economics slightly - no demand means no supply. Both 'suppliers' and consumers are being cracked down on (consumers more frequently, since they're easier to bully into settlements, of course) but the absence of one side means the death of the other. Your analogy is also somewhat misleading for two reasons - first, blaming software piracy on downloaders is like blaming drug *consumption* on the dope fiends (which is entirely accurate), and second, unlike what occurs with drug suppliers there is not as great an increase in motivation to pirate software after a crackdown as there is to deal in drugs. When drug enforcement increases, the drug lords raise prices to cover their costs and risks, and deals that go well pull in even more cash - pirates, on the other hand, are not asking a price of any kind, and no 'compensation' you can name for them is going to increase as dramatically with higher risks.

    Jeff
     
  6. dani

    dani beat defective

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    Jeff, you raise some good points. i kind of can't really make up my mind on the whole debate, you seem to be fairly set though.

    first off, i hope that you're willing to agree with me, that there is a problem with the industry as a whole at the moment?

    let me elaborate - audio related equipment/software is just *too* expensive, and companies are just too willing to blame everyone else for their jackassary, wrapped up in the hype that pirates are evil people, etc, than to admit at least some responsibility for the situation we're in at the moment.

    let me pick waves, for example. but this goes for pretty much every high end plugin set (or DAW software) in existence;

    i don't record any body other than myself particularly often (infact, in 2 years, i've recorded 1 band, and that was for free). i still want my mixes to sound good though. i can't justify really *buying* a really expensive plugin set. even if i earned say £30,000 a year, that doesn't leave much in way of disposable income, especially as i don't know if i'll even like/continue to use this plugin set. (how much even is waves platinum?)

    so i'm caught in a dilemma. i can stick to free plugins, and be plagued with issues (as i have for the last 2 years [since i bought cubase 4], in an effort to be "legit"), such as lack of reliability/compatibility/support/all of the above, and then at the end, finished mixes just don't sound as good as they could. alternatively, i could download plugins illegally, and make my mixes as good as i can, and have much more support, and even directly apply the settings for said plugins from their many users.

    it's been hard sticking to the position i've adopted for the last 2 years. it really has been. free stuff is getting better (thanks to gods like poulin of soloc, and nick crow), but it's still falling short, hugely, of paid software/plugins.

    now, i can relate to you some personal experience which leaves me little incentive to continue buying expensive software. i bought cubase studio 4, 2 years ago, with a student discount (which is near half price). this is still a lot of money, especially as i do maths and computer science (ie not a related course).

    stienberg recently released cubase 5, and hence cubase 4.5.2 is the last update that will be released. now, cubase 4.5.2 isn't perfect. far from, infact. there are a lot of bugs, which if i want fixed, i now need to pay another shitload of money which i really don't have to be spending on a DAW. i'm *not* against paying for new features, at all, but i'm not going to start paying for bug fixes any day of the year.

    thanks stienberg.

    secondly, and arguably a bigger annoyance than the first part. ARTIFICIAL LIMITS.

    there are a growing number of companies that are realising - arbitrary limits to software functionality FUCKING SUCKS. if i'm going to spend a lot of money on software, i want to know that all the features i'm using, are coded to the best of the companies abilities, and NOT SET TO SOME SECRET STANDARD. for instance - say i want to record with inserts in cubase. oh wait, i can't do that, i need to pay an extra couple of hundred pounds for that functionality. what's perhaps even worse about this, is that i can track without the plugins, then apply them on the track, and then bounce this track, and import it back into the project, so it's not like i can't ever do it, i just need to do it in a different way (same with the "control room" and various other things in C4 but not CS4).

    not satisfied with these arbitrary fuck-arounds, some companies don't even let you *sell your own fucking software*, i'm looking at you, steven slate. i'm sorry, but this is just not on. the rational for this, is that if people sold their software, they'd go out of business because people would install their software and then sell it, but keep their copy. well, thank you for calling all of your actual customers (by definition - i can't sell something i don't own) fucking criminals. i may want to (entirely legitimatly) do this when a new version comes out, or when i want to change the software/samples i use, or when i decide i no longer want to be in the recording scene (something that is seeming increasingly more attractive), but i am "locked-in".

    it's been hard not buying SSD3, as it is so fucking good, but it is for that reason alone that i will never own it.

    i've ranted enough now. summing up;

    companies need to grow up, stop blaming their potential customers for the (sometimes) idiotic decisions they make, and be more responsible with pricing. i'd buy everything if i could afford it, and i know i'm not alone.
     
  7. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    If you think the software is too expensive, don't buy it - in fact, don't even use it. Tell the manufacturers to shove it up their ass, and be done with it all.

    Your dollar is the closest thing you have to a vote that can get anything done. I agree on some of the arbitrary software limits, and have simply decided that I'm going to use and support free (as in 'free and open source', not 'free of cost') software so I don't have to worry about when I can and can't share something I've found or done.

    How else do you expect to see things happen? Let these companies know how you feel (I suspect that some of them - like Waves, who will never see a penny of my money - have inflated their prices so high that their profits would go up by an order of magnitude if lowered enough) and support those that price things to your liking. In the meantime, toss their software out the window.

    Jeff
     
  8. dani

    dani beat defective

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    the common pirate has taken a middle ground to your approach;

    don't buy the software, but use it anyway.

    something i sympathise with, and have considered doing for a while now.

    but yes, this has lead to companies blaming pirates rather than changing their decisions, this is in part why i've stayed legit for so long.

    EDIT: JBroll, i see you were considering using ardour. if i were to make an analogy as to why you shouldn't use it.. it'd go like this.

    imagine you have to cross a canyon, 1 mile long.

    owning all the software and plugins (ie having a lot of money to spend on this sort of stuff) is akin to having a car and driving across the bridge. show off.

    stealing the them is akin to getting on a bus and going over the bridge. and not paying.

    using free plugins with something like reaper, would be like walking a tight rope across said canyon.

    however, using ardour would be like replacing the tight rope with barb wire, tieing your hands up behind your back, wearing a shock collar and the firey pits of hell are burning beneath you.

    sticking to free plugins is one thing, but not using VST is an entirely different ball game (ardourVST is NOT my idea of fun [read stable]).
     
  9. GarethSE

    GarethSE New Metal Member

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    what some guy said about encouraging pirating dvds got to me
    i just realised i have a HUGE, and i mean motherfucking HUGE double standard
    i enocurage buying dvd's from an industry that is corrupt as fuck, but when it comes to plugins im far more liberal, and as far as i can see, theres a hell of a lot of smaller business taht could use the money more than fucking warner bros or something
    id probably hate myself if i stopped buying dvds
    hell the only film ive even considered downloading in the last two yearsi s lost highway, and that's only because its so hard to get the english release, but i caved in and bought the dutch import anyway, cos its fucking david lynch and the man deserves my money
     
  10. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Gareth, I'd imagine your financial contribution to David Lynch's monetary empire is equivalent to spitting in the ocean :loco: But I guess it's the thought that counts! :D
     
  11. Mesa4x12er

    Mesa4x12er Member

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    I've investigated this before. In the unlikely event they wanted to sue you here would be their argument.

    We sold you a CD with music on it. Not the rights to the music. AKA you only own the CD, not the music itself, therefore by downloading it you have a stolen copy of the music as you only purchased a single CD which it happened to be on. :Smug::loco:

    I read this in response to someone asking about making backups.
     
  12. Mesa4x12er

    Mesa4x12er Member

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    To an extenet I really agree with this. They need a better model. Of course a better model would piss of certain users. For instance... if the big Waves bundles were like $200 I think a lot more people would buy them. For user's using them professionally they should have a price, and for the hobbyist there should be a price.

    Let's use Mercury Bundle as an example. Someone that is a pro and constantly has business coming in and out would be making money with these. It's more of an investment. On the flip side, you have the home recording kid that does this for fun but still wants to sound good. There are probably THOUSANDS of people that downloaded that that didn't pay. If I was at Waves I'd look at it this way... "Do I want to make $0 off these people, or would I like to make less than I want, but definately more than $0?"

    Imagine if they sold that bundle for $100. Make $7000 of 300 people or make $100 off of 100,000 people? The alternative that they are using now is the same model except instead of making that $100 they make $0 of those piraters. Granted they technically aren't losing any money because most piraters don't buy because it isn't possible. It's not like the availability of pirated software is why some kid didn't buy it.

    When I was doing sales I always beat everyone. Sure I'd whore stuff out sometimes and not make a whole lot on a single sale, but I'd sell 5x more than the next guy. Smaller profits but more sales can equally end up being more money overall. The sooner companies understand this the sooner they can make more money.

    Again the principle is simple. Make it feasible to buy and more people will buy it. :headbang:
     
  13. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    Clarification: you're legally entitled to a backup copy (for personal use) of media you own.

    Jeff
     
  14. GarethSE

    GarethSE New Metal Member

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    But as for downloading an album rather than ripping it off the CD (sheerly because I can download shit quicker than I can rip it off the disk...) Is that illegal? Cos I'm still not entirely sure. I'm guessing it is?
     
  15. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Dude, who gives a shit? You sound like some Christian trying to rationalize how it's ok for him to not go to church on Sunday or something :lol:
     
  16. Erkan

    Erkan mr-walker.bandcamp

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    Interesting thought. What about TV-shows and stuff? We are allowed to record TV-shows on VCR/DVD/whatever media, since we pay TV-license to watch all of that mumbo jumbo. Let's say you wanted to record yesterday's episode of some show but you didn't make it home on time or something just fucked up, would it be OK to just download it instead?

    I'm not sure but that scenario seems to be just like the one Gareth explained. You've payed for something, but for some reason you download a copy/backup of it rather than ripping/recording it yourself.
     
  17. Mesa4x12er

    Mesa4x12er Member

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    Clarification: This isn't about what you're legally entitled to. It's about what size boot they are going to try to fuck you with.

    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2006/02/6190.ars
     
  18. NattyJ.

    NattyJ. Member

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    Can't believe I just read all fucking that. Wow. Very interesting stuff and well fleshed out ideas (in the majority).

    I'm going to say my personal take (for my situation), not to start any flame wars (especially not with you Jeff, you're too Br00t@l for me haha), and I'm not here to get your approval, but I thought it might some be food for thought,

    I'm a freshly 18yr guy in a town in NSW, Australia. It's pretty dinky and small and theres not much of a music scene, let alone anything.

    I'm still at home, living with a single parent who lives on the DSP (Disability Something Pension), going to school (final year) and have a part time job with an AE company doing live gigs and on average i work maybe once for very little cash.

    As a metal\prog metal guitarist it's bloody hard to find anyone decent enough at drums\guitar to have a good jam with in my town, so I've always loved the idea of drum machines.

    Last year I started getting really into the idea of being able to record myself and build ideas with layering guitars and writing drum parts. My guitar teacher gave me his cracked cubase 2 or 3 and i loved that for the majority of last year, just using basic midi drums to record and recorded guitars direct with my teachers pod he lent me.
    This led to me wanting to grow more in knowledge and application, and around this time I learnt of Periphery and all that superior drummer and modelling guitar jazz and instantly fell in love. So with more cracked (and a fuckload of freeware) software I've practised and practised with just personal stuff until the time I get good enough to offer my services to bands.

    Next year however I'm most likely going on full time with the company and at that time I'll have money enough to start buying all the software I use (from developers I use and love e.g. toontrack, steinberg, arobas music (GP5!!!!), valve, blizzard (just starcraft 2 <3)) Then probably after I get a new guitar I might look into donating to Onqel, that guys a deadset legend.

    The way I see it is that I never really knew I had a love or a passion for doing production in any way, I only ever thought I was going to play guitar. Realistically I NEVER would've forked out $500 on a copy of cubase to "see if i even liked production", so in fact the warez helped me immensely, showed me a career path i'm striving to achieve now. Looking into recording universities for after my gap year (feel free to drop reccomendations for SAE or whatever :))

    That being said, I agree warez is wrong, it's stealing. When I have the funds I will correct this :D
    Hell, if I remember this argument in a year i'll post pics of boxes for all those cats who say PICS OF GTFO
     
  19. amarshism

    amarshism Member

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    If you're only thinking about getting into guitar do you go steal one from a shop and then pay them for it only if you start really getting into it?
     
  20. NattyJ.

    NattyJ. Member

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    Similiar analogy, but not quite the same, imo thats heavier because its not just you getting something, its them losing something. Stealing all the same thought.

    In fact, my first guitar i borrowed off a friend untill my birthday when my grandad bought an old broken acoustic and got someone to fix it for $20.
     
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