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Topic: A Copy Protection Discussion

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  1. #1

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    Doyle, I agree with everything you just said....weird huh?

    I think that as long as there is a medium that can be copied, there will be a way to do it.
    If multi-gazillion dollar-making record companies haven\'t been able to find an efficient way to prevent pirating, I really don\'t see how sample developers with limited resources could find it!

    I say just focus on your legal users and keep them honest by producing good quality products, with lots of extra goodies and documentation and a fair pricing structure. I think Gary Garritan is probably a great example of a developer who has got the right ideas. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    I have to agree that copy protection hassles suck. So it is crucial that there is no hassle for the customer. Emagic and Waves have elaborate copy protection schemes. Is it O.K. for them, but not for sample libraries? Are they more worthy of making profits? Honestly, you guys have no idea about how bad the pirating thing is. Let me enlighten you. In L.A., there are trading parties, frequently. I worked in a music store for a while and 9/10 composers were using mostly or all pirated software. They expected me to throw in libraries with the purchase of a sampler. This was done at most music stores. All of the bigger cities around the world are like this. I have heard similar reports or worse from distributors in rich European cities.People find ways to justify pirating like, \"This library sucks\"
    \"Sample Libraries are ridiculously overpriced\"etc.
    There are many thousands of guys in L.A. who have a copy of Miroslav. And yet roughly only 1000 copies have been sold worldwide since day one. When I worked at a music store, I sold 2 copies. And yet, most of the 100 or so sampler customers I dealt with, had it. I sold maybe 10 copies of the Roland orchestral library and almost all of my customers had it. This gels with others estimates that it is a 10-1 ratio amongst those that can afford it. How many of you have some type of pirated software on your computer???? For those who have access to pirated sample libraries, the temptation is too great. I have even met a famous composer who didn\'t bother buying all his libraries. He\'d be looking for sounds in a rush, assistants would find him stuff and he would use them. It wasn\'t greed, just circumstance, but there was no big effort going on to right this. Also many people only use a few sounds from a library, so they couldn\'t care less about sample developers, because they don\'t respect what we do and have been burned by bad purchases.

  3. #3

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    Nick sez: \"I have to agree that copy protection hassles suck. So it is crucial that there is no hassle for the customer.\"

    So it boils down to this:
    1) Do you think you will make any significant money with copy protection from those who now steal from you and cheat us?
    2) Is it worth chasing phantoms at the expense of honest customers?
    3) How much are you willing to inconvenience customers for the sake of copy protection that will never be unbreakable?

    Nick, I am glad you acknowledge that \"it is crucial that there is no hassle for the customer\". I highly value your services, and I plan on buying three more or your libs in the future when I can afford them. What I own of yours I bought legally, as are all my software, hardware and samples. It would be tragic if future libs of yours were so shackled by CP that it was lugubrious to use, and scary to own.

  4. #4

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    I agree with Nick. Although we don\'t have copy protection scheme in place right now we are looking into it. Also it isn\'t fair to say it\'s ok for software companies to have copy protection and not libraries. Let\'s face it...it\'s just a sign of the times. Twenty years ago my parents didn\'t have to lock the front door before they went to bed at night but now they have to have an elaborate security system. I don\'t like it any more than the rest of you but like I said it\'s just the way things are now.

    The \"key\" with all of this is to make it as transparent to the customer as possible.

    Donnie

  5. #5

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    DW,
    It\'s not phantoms. Did you not read what I wrote? These phantoms are the majority of composers out there, many earning good money with these libraries. You are not the norm. Sorry to inform you that you are a minority, the wierd kid who sits in the corner, the pillar of strength who sticks to his ideals. The fountainhead.

  6. #6

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    I\'d like to hear from the developers on this. Nick has posted on this (and another character with steam blowing out of his ears has managed to completely misinterpret what me, you and Bruce and others have been saying) but this seems to be a subject where users\' opinions are about all we ever get.

    I look at your list and cannot see it. If that sounds \'negative\' then I apologize. While it\'s possible to \'associate\' files with users in such a way that only that user could use them, it would be (very) expensive and require serious investment. I can\'t be bothered any more to go into the details because:
    1. Ultimately, it woudn\'t work in the sense that while encryption and dynamic password protection could \'protect\' the samples. Nothing in any software can detect whether someone is a \'pirate\' or not. The required manipulabilty takes the possibility of protection into the realm of the impossible.

    2. I\'m tired of making suggestions that might actually increase revenues and then having those suggestions (and my motives) lombasted by dimwitted remarks.

    Much more interesting to me is the whole moral and ethical dimension. I\'m not rying to change the thread, but here\'s a metaphorical (seeing as we never get much change out of developers on this anyway, and most users would agree with everything you and Bruce are saying):

    If Nick goes out and samples an instrument that requires a huge amount of skill to play and then programs the recordings in such a way that the end user can actually sound like a skilled player has he, in fact, created a new instrument deserving of the protection that developers apparently believe is their right? IMHO: Yes.

    If someone samples cowbells, timpani or any assortment of unlooped percussion, has he created a novel instrument deserving of society\'s protection? IMHO: No.

    IMHO the latter is \'theft\' of waveforms. The fact that the original builder of the cowbell or timpani is too uninformed to realize that this \'theft\' may be the death knell for his business (or even that it took place - how many developers ever made any effort to contact the instrument maker before copying its sounds?) makes it all the more repulsive when the \'thief\' then \'protects\' his stolen waveforms with what he would prefer to believe is a bona fide license agreement.

    Before we get too involved in figuring protection schemes for developers, I believe we should take a deeper look at the \'rights\' of those developers to sample waveforms in the first place.

    Nobody seems to care too much about this. We are not on the verge of putting string orchestras out of business, but if you need to include various \'percussive hits\' in your music, what is the difference between a recording of a percussive hit and a recording of a percussive hit?

    \"But percussionists have skill too!\". Indeed they do, and that\'s why some libraries may not be \'up to\' the various rolls or other techniques a session might require. But when you record a timpani or a cowbell, you are in a very real sense, capturing all of it. It doesn\'t really have a lot more to give. Few people buy a cowbell or a drum because they\'re beautiful to look at.

    A three-year old child could perform hits that nobody here could discern from a \'skilled\' hit, but the same three-year old might have some difficulty producing a usable violin sample.

    Roland and some other technology-savvy companies are already starting to protect the waveforms created by their instruments even though those waveforms can take on a virtually infinite form.

    I don\'t want to particularly pick on percussion, but it seems to be the most extreme example of sample libraries \'sucking up\' everything about the original instrument.

    I\'m not saying that there isn\'t skill involved either or that a skilled percussionist wouldn\'t provide better \'raw material\' (or at least material easier to handle and program) but I am saying that there must be (in the future) a strong case to be made that what the samplist has done is simply not enough to be afforded any protection.

    Whether he should be forbidden to even sample the thing in the first place or whether he should be allowed to sample but not given any protection is another moot point. Copyright protection is designed to protect the work and creative output of others. If our society does not think the waveforms from a particular percussion instrument are worth protecting, it is more likely that it thinks that because it simply hasn\'t been presented with the question, rather than believing that some waveforms are more \'worthy\' than others.

    I cannot believe that companies will not \'wise up\' to this at some time. Another percussive instrument; The Piano, provides a quite similar scenario. If we manage to stop thinking for a moment about how difficult it is or how much time it takes, we are left with someone extracting all that is ultimately useful about a piano and rendering it into a copiable form. Pianos are also nice pieces of furniture and many have a \'feel\' that people want that the samplist cannot copy. But are not the libraries that are \'closest to reality\' based on instruments that are the \'easiest\' to copy?

    The people at Steinway or Baldwin are not necessarily the best people to judge such things. Roland are a little more enlightened regarding these matters and therefore see where the \'property\' lies. Given enough time it is almost inevitable that these companies will realize that sample libraries copy everything that really matters about their products, then developers sell them for a fraction of the price of the original: A fact much repeated here by developers who may sell something for less than 1% of the price of the original - but the fact that the original is even mentioned implies knowldge of what is really taking place.

    \"A real Steinway/Bosey costs 100,000 or more, mine costs $250, how can you say that\'s expensive?\"

    How many times have we seen variations of the above paraphrased sentence? And what is wrong with the sentence? How can someone \'sell\' a Steinway he copied and get away with it?

    Because when you mention the word \'sample\' to someone at Steinway he hears the sound of a stylophone in his head. Then when you play the sample to him, he\'s tickled by the technology - but he cannot conceive of its implications for his future, or even that it might be theft of the very quality that sells his product in the first place.

    This is a waveform landgrab. We will see what happens when these matters eventually get to the courts. In the meantime, high horses can be ridden and high-mindedness may abound, but the almost paranoic fear of \'piracy\' within this little sector reminds me of something someone once said (and it wasn\'t Elvis who said it).

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  7. #7

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    Nick, if I have this straight:

    There are many thousands of guys in L.A. who have a copy of Miroslav. And yet roughly only 1000 copies have been sold worldwide since day one. When I worked at a music store, I sold 2 copies. And yet, most of the 100 or so sampler customers I dealt with, had it. I sold maybe 10 copies of the Roland orchestral library and almost all of my customers had it.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">So the rest of us who either are trying to be honest or don\'t live in a major population center (or both) are at a total disadvantage. It\'s not enough that we don\'t live near where the main job opportunites are, we have to compete with established professionasl who ARE using pirated libraries. There\'s no way to win!!! [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

    Just kidding.

    But the statement I am taking issue with-

    Emagic and Waves have elaborate copy protection schemes. Is it O.K. for them, but not for sample libraries?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Who said it was OK for them? Every time I have to rebuild my computer or upgrade to new versions of software, I have to go through an elaborate deauthorize/reauthorize process for my sequencer, my patch editor, my wave editor, etc. etc. This is NOT OK. There are better, non-intrusive methods, and these should be implemented for the sake of the customer base. But as long as we put up with these draconian legacy protection rackets-sorry, schemes , they have no incentive to change.

    And despite all the hoopla a few months back, your copy protection has so far proved to be transparent-I haven\'t even been asked for the CD yet. If it is going to be done at all, that IS the way it needs to be done-quietly, and without fuss. Thanks for not passing the hassle to your customers.

    Dasher

  8. #8

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    Originally posted by Z6:
    I\'d like to hear from the developers on this. Nick has posted on this (and another character with steam blowing out of his ears has managed to completely misinterpret what me, you and Bruce and others have been saying) but this seems to be a subject where users\' opinions are about all we ever get.

    I look at your list and cannot see it. If that sounds \'negative\' then I apologize. While it\'s possible to \'associate\' files with users in such a way that only that user could use them, it would be (very) expensive and require serious investment. I can\'t be bothered any more to go into the details because:
    1. Ultimately, it woudn\'t work in the sense that while encryption and dynamic password protection could \'protect\' the samples. Nothing in any software can detect whether someone is a \'pirate\' or not. The required manipulabilty takes the possibility of protection into the realm of the impossible.

    2. I\'m tired of making suggestions that might actually increase revenues and then having those suggestions (and my motives) lombasted by dimwitted remarks.

    Much more interesting to me is the whole moral and ethical dimension. I\'m not rying to change the thread, but here\'s a metaphorical (seeing as we never get much change out of developers on this anyway, and most users would agree with everything you and Bruce are saying):

    If Nick goes out and samples an instrument that requires a huge amount of skill to play and then programs the recordings in such a way that the end user can actually sound like a skilled player has he, in fact, created a new instrument deserving of the protection that developers apparently believe is their right? IMHO: Yes.

    If someone samples cowbells, timpani or any assortment of unlooped percussion, has he created a novel instrument deserving of society\'s protection? IMHO: No.

    IMHO the latter is \'theft\' of waveforms. The fact that the original builder of the cowbell or timpani is too uninformed to realize that this \'theft\' may be the death knell for his business (or even that it took place - how many developers ever made any effort to contact the instrument maker before copying its sounds?) makes it all the more repulsive when the \'thief\' then \'protects\' his stolen waveforms with what he would prefer to believe is a bona fide license agreement.

    Before we get too involved in figuring protection schemes for developers, I believe we should take a deeper look at the \'rights\' of those developers to sample waveforms in the first place.

    Nobody seems to care too much about this. We are not on the verge of putting string orchestras out of business, but if you need to include various \'percussive hits\' in your music, what is the difference between a recording of a percussive hit and a recording of a percussive hit?

    \"But percussionists have skill too!\". Indeed they do, and that\'s why some libraries may not be \'up to\' the various rolls or other techniques a session might require. But when you record a timpani or a cowbell, you are in a very real sense, capturing all of it. It doesn\'t really have a lot more to give. Few people buy a cowbell or a drum because they\'re beautiful to look at.

    A three-year old child could perform hits that nobody here could discern from a \'skilled\' hit, but the same three-year old might have some difficulty producing a usable violin sample.

    Roland and some other technology-savvy companies are already starting to protect the waveforms created by their instruments even though those waveforms can take on a virtually infinite form.

    I don\'t want to particularly pick on percussion, but it seems to be the most extreme example of sample libraries \'sucking up\' everything about the original instrument.

    I\'m not saying that there isn\'t skill involved either or that a skilled percussionist wouldn\'t provide better \'raw material\' (or at least material easier to handle and program) but I am saying that there must be (in the future) a strong case to be made that what the samplist has done is simply not enough to be afforded any protection.

    Whether he should be forbidden to even sample the thing in the first place or whether he should be allowed to sample but not given any protection is another moot point. Copyright protection is designed to protect the work and creative output of others. If our society does not think the waveforms from a particular percussion instrument are worth protecting, it is more likely that it thinks that because it simply hasn\'t been presented with the question, rather than believing that some waveforms are more \'worthy\' than others.

    I cannot believe that companies will not \'wise up\' to this at some time. Another percussive instrument; The Piano, provides a quite similar scenario. If we manage to stop thinking for a moment about how difficult it is or how much time it takes, we are left with someone extracting all that is ultimately useful about a piano and rendering it into a copiable form. Pianos are also nice pieces of furniture and many have a \'feel\' that people want that the samplist cannot copy. But are not the libraries that are \'closest to reality\' based on instruments that are the \'easiest\' to copy?

    The people at Steinway or Baldwin are not necessarily the best people to judge such things. Roland are a little more enlightened regarding these matters and therefore see where the \'property\' lies. Given enough time it is almost inevitable that these companies will realize that sample libraries copy everything that really matters about their products, then developers sell them for a fraction of the price of the original: A fact much repeated here by developers who may sell something for less than 1% of the price of the original - but the fact that the original is even mentioned implies knowldge of what is really taking place.

    \"A real Steinway/Bosey costs 100,000 or more, mine costs $250, how can you say that\'s expensive?\"

    How many times have we seen variations of the above paraphrased sentence? And what is wrong with the sentence? How can someone \'sell\' a Steinway he copied and get away with it?

    Because when you mention the word \'sample\' to someone at Steinway he hears the sound of a stylophone in his head. Then when you play the sample to him, he\'s tickled by the technology - but he cannot conceive of its implications for his future, or even that it might be theft of the very quality that sells his product in the first place.

    This is a waveform landgrab. We will see what happens when these matters eventually get to the courts. In the meantime, high horses can be ridden and high-mindedness may abound, but the almost paranoic fear of \'piracy\' within this little sector reminds me of something someone once said (and it wasn\'t Elvis who said it).

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I know your going to think I\'m picking on you but you don\'t really believe half the stuff you just said do you?

    [/b][/QB][/QUOTE]
    A three-year old child could perform hits that nobody here could discern from a \'skilled\' hit, but the same three-year old might have some difficulty producing a usable violin sample.
    [/b][/QB][/QUOTE]

    That has got to go down as the most rediculous thing I\'ve heard in awhile and proves you know nothing about tone production on any instrument. If you don\'t believe me on this play back one of our snares against the AO or Miroslav snare. If it\'s \"just a hit\" then it should sound just as good; right?

    [/b][/QB][/QUOTE]
    I\'m not saying that there isn\'t skill involved either or that a skilled percussionist wouldn\'t provide better \'raw material\' (or at least material easier to handle and program) but I am saying that there must be (in the future) a strong case to be made that what the samplist has done is simply not enough to be afforded any protection.
    [/b][/QB][/QUOTE]

    So let me gets this straight...and please tell me if I\'ve misunderstood you on this.

    Because you feel \"percussion\" is so easy to sample it doesn\'t deserve to be protected!?!?!?

    If thats true and you do feel that then I take back what I said about the first thing you said being the dumbest thing I\'ve ever heard.

    Donnie

  9. #9

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    Nick,

    The Waves copy protection scheme is NOT ok. It is the Pace system, and causes untold grief (including and up to the need for a reformat and reinstall of EVERYTHING) for many of its users. I bought Autotune from Antares before I knew that it had Pace protection, and now I cannot (will not) install it on my DAW as a result. It\'s just not worth it. Go to PROREC.COM and read the article about Pace copy protection. I fully support your intellectual property rights as a developer, but agree with the others about copy protection. It has NEVER worked for software and it never will. There is a cracked version of Waves and Autotune within days of release (sometimes before release) available. I don\'t know if you are old enough to remember Ashton-Tate, one of the first software vendors (dBase II). They tried copy protection for a year or so, and it caused them so many problems with their users that they eliminated it, and there has never been a version of dBASE since with copy protection.

    Your market is not all of the people that may use your software. It is all of the people that are willing to pay for it. Those that are not willing, will steal it no matter what you do. You\'re only hurting the honest ones with copy protection.

    -- Martin

  10. #10

    Re: A Copy Protection Discussion

    OK, speaking from my corner over here (well I got this party started), I can see blindness and missing of points. Ok, Nick and Donnie: I can see this pirate thing drives you all bug-nutz, and if I were in your shoes, maybe I would get a little nutz too. But you both blew by the core issues:
    1) Do you really think you can do something that will get any money out of those who are ripping you off? Will you profit from copy protection?
    2) Do you really think it is possible to get effective copy protection?

    For the record, I never said sample developers deserve any more or less than anybody else. I would point out, that of all the software I own or worked on, only music software seems to have such ponderous registration and protection, probably due to the small market. I am sure there exceptions.

    OK, lets just blow off the question of if there should be copy protection. I can see that you developer guys are so incensed by pirates you feel that by god you just have to have some kind of “protection”. Lets just assume, despite its dubious value, there will copy protection. I grant it will happen. While ignored, I did state above, \"...there is going to be sample copy protectin...”. The real question is, in a nutshell, just how much of a pain in the butt is it going to be? Then I listed points of what it should and should not do. It was the main point.

    (Let us keep this civil. Do not personalize this. Attack the issues, not the person. This is a discussion of points and issues.)

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