Itâ€™s been a year since BanPiracy, a company devoted to stopping piracy in the audio software industry, was formed. This is our report card to you, our cohorts in an industry that we love, but one that is also in serious trouble. Has it been lonely walking the walk as one of the only groups willing to enforce copyright protection for our clients? Absolutely. Do we wish we had more support from audio software developers who are getting their software â€œcrackedâ€� and are afraid to stand up for their rights as businessmen? Most definitely. Are we going to stay the course in our battle with pirates who abuse international copyright protections? Bet on it! This past year has been one of lessons learned. We learned to accept the harsh reality that the way our company was structured -- as a for-profit LLC which gets its operating income from the collection of fees from those who are unjustly enriching themselves by using unauthorized software â€“ might be a tough sell to manufacturers accustomed to looking the other way when their copyrights were violated. We learned that those whoâ€™ve come to depend on â€œcrackedâ€� software see their illegal activity as an unalienable right to exploit the efforts of talented professionals who labored to author that software. And weâ€™ve learned that there are brave people that will not be cowed by the noise of the rabble who want to take whatâ€™s not legally theirs. It is a tribute to our industry that it supports such ethical publications as Pro Sound News and its European counterpart, Pro Sound News Europe. Both publications in mid-November published extensively-researched stories about our enforcement efforts. The writers of these stories were not afraid to take their shots at what they perceived as our shortcomings, but they bent over backwards to get both sides of the story, and we at BanPiracy acknowledge their professionalism. In a Pro Sound News story written by Christopher Walsh, Andrew Kirk of PACE Anti-Piracy Inc., the developer of the ILok and InterLok tools, noted the uneven history of audio software manufacturers fighting the pirates, and noted: â€œBanPiracy has a noble goal,â€� and added that the audio software markets â€œdo need some enforcement â€“ think about a society in where there was no enforcement of law.â€� Another of our counterparts in the anti-piracy campaign is Ray Williams, director of the International Music Software Trade Association. We salute Mr. Williams for his efforts, which were heralded in the Pro Sound News story. â€œOur whole reason for being,â€� Mr. Williams told PSN, â€œis to try to have musicians respect the work of the companies who supply their software tools the same way they respect the makers of their hardware tools.â€� We at BanPiracy also welcome the voluminous opinions on Internet message boards about out campaign. One of the most interesting challenges to what weâ€™re doing was posted on Peter Kirnâ€™s Create Digital Music website. In referring to the only client weâ€™ve been able to sign for BanPiracy, Waves Audio, Mr. Kirn wrote, â€œWaves, I put the challenge to you: either demonstrate you have other developers onboard with you, or stop trying to convince people this is an effort on behalf of the industry.â€� Mr. Kirnâ€™s theory is that until Waves Audio, the initial client of BanPiracy, is joined by other software developers, any effort by Waves Audio to promote its involvement in BanPiracy is NOT a legitimate effort on behalf of the audio software industry. A note to Mr. Kirn: The clients of BanPiracy are not asking your permission, or anyone elseâ€™s, to stand up to audio software copyright infringers. BanPiracy hopes that others will join Waves Audio in this fight, but the fight will go on as long as there is one man or woman willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Adrian Anders, who posted the following in a user forum on Mr. Kirnâ€™s website on November 14, 2007. â€œI think the studio owners were being very irresponsible to their paying customers,â€� Mr. Anders wrote in response to the many proponents of â€œcrackedâ€� software who frequent Mr. Kirnâ€™s website. Mr. Anders then added: â€œCracked software often causes severe problems in DAW environments and may even contain trojans, viruses, and/or worms that could compromise the data of their clients. Beyond the moral obligation to buy the software they use, [the studio owners] violated the trust of their customers by having potentially damaging software on their machines.â€� Count on this, Mr. Anders: Youâ€™re not alone in this fight. By Tomer Elbaz, BanPiracy COO and Michael T. David, BanPiracy CEO, Nov. 20,2007
We hook up a bunch of synths - now where's my cape?