How Apple can help fix the music industry.. (Pirated software)

If you’re a music maker chances are, you have some pirated software on your computers and if you have I hope you know that it’s just not right, yet, because it’s so easy to obtain pirated software online we all download it. We say quietly to ourselves that we will try it before buying it but you kidding yourself right?
It’s not easy to pay for something that everyone else is getting for free especially now that you have fully working crack on your computer.

That’s a simple way to look at things and a very self motivated kind of reasoning, “everyone else is doing it”, this is how we justify not buying software or music.

I cannot deny that I also fall into this category after many years of never using pirated software and cursing those in music for doing it. I felt I was doing it the hard way (buying software) while the fly by night producers were putting nothing into the cost of creating their music.

It took a while for me to realize that the moral high ground does nothing for your music making when competing with music being churned out by other not so moral producers who pay nothing to access the enormous sounds and synth libraries they have installed for free.

They say a creative can be creative with anything but that’s a crock of ****. when it comes to electronc music, to be on top of your game you have also to be current and also up to date with the latest sounds, synths or any other creative arsenal at your disposal. I’m not banging sticks on a hollow block of wood just to claim that I can be creative.
New sounds and synths allow me to take the big adventure into being creative and the bigger the arsenal of sounds and synths at my disposal the more options I have to work in a constant flow.

For a few years I moved more towards the dark side of the pirated software and one person very close to me started to call me a bigot (and they were right) it made me re-evaluate my own morals and standards.

I remember Steve jobs saying that he had to pirate music in order to create the iPod and that left a bit of a lump in my throat when he said it, but I also realized that there was no other option for him at the time due to the laws of copying and transferring music and so the iPod was born out of a dark /gray area of piracy laws at the time.

Musicians don’t have that argument to fall back on as they can buy the software they are using to create whatever they create.

Quite A few years back (just a few years after the release of the iPod) I emailed Apple about pirated music and software and they told me it was only 1% of the sales volume and I should not worry about it but I was not convinced as i had a fear of losing everything to the pirates once the cat was out of the bag. This feeling still has a powerful hold on me due to my distrust in digital perception with consumers and the pirate world that exists still.

My point.

They say that piracy kills innovation and I have to agree as these last few months I have seen many developers of cool music software start to fold and this means that there will be no further updates when there cool plugins stop working on my laptop. These companies are making great software but once that software gets on the pirate net the sales will inevitably slow or stop and the loser will be the developer first but then everyone when an update is needed.

Slowly the Artistic brains that make the synths and music plugins I love and use to make my music will start to go and so in turn this will limit my choice and options, it’s an inevitable spiral if people don’t pay for others hard work.

I have always known this and although I have downloaded pirated/cracked synths plugins, I have always bought the legit version if I find a place to use the software in my music. This choice to buy is not just out of principle but also because I want the updates and support that comes with the purchase.

when you read the statements on the pirate info it always says “always support the developers “ or “ if you use it support it” but I feel that this is a total contradiction for 90% of the music makers who are using pirated software as the final stage. They don’t care about the developers or the long term damage that not buying software will have.

The world is very self-obsessed and selfish place. It’s all about “what can I get for me to promote myself” when will people start saying things like “what can I do for others that are helping me in my personal mission”.

I would honestly say that I have about 5% of pirated plugins that have yet to be used/purchased by me but they are sitting in my arsenal for me to try when I’m in the music and being creative and if I do get the chance to use it I will always buy it so I know the trade is fair and I can sleep with a clear conscience.

I do check the torrent sites and also the legal shops for any news of something i might not know about or have missed as to me, they are my only news feeds for information. I don’t chin wag in the music business to know what is hot or new i just surf torrent sites and the shops and site i know and get info from via emails.

I understand that time limited software is never enough time to find the right track to experiment on and I don’t want software that stops working after a set time in a demo download, so I am open to using cracked version as a starting point just so I have the fully feature version to try when i get the inspiration to be creative, but I always buy as I use or and although that’s not exactly how the developer intended I can honestly say that they will get my money.

If all music makers at least had this ethos about paying for pirated software they use then everyone could get paid and earn the money we all need to keep being creative.

Apple has a responsibility to protect the eco system

I do feel Apple have a responsibility to help keep their eco system alive by making pirated software harder to run in logic Pro and I think I have a solution to this.

I think it’s about time Apple integrated some kind of update system that changed the plugin archetecture (in Logic pro) ever so slightly on each update so that all plugins had to be updated at the same time. This would shut out all the illegal cracked plugins to the last version of Logic Pro and encourage those not paying but using the cracked plugins to actually pay the developer for the product so they could continue to use it on the latest version on Logic Pro. Once the user has bought the plugin they never need to worry, as all updates are fee to paid users.

This could be a special secure enclave for developers who want to port to logic and use this ever changing architecture and Apple could still allow others that don’t want to use it to still work automatically by design in every logic update.

I understand the cracks will come eventually but not all and sometimes not ever or very late and the dysfunction of so many cracks not working on the latest version of Logic Pro would become a hassle that could be fixed by just buying the software from the developer so as to get all the free updates.

I’m sure there will be many music makers that don’t like my views on this but as an artist and creator of something I believe has value I think it’s only right and just, that those that help me be creative are also paid.

If you love making music you should feel the same even if your making music for free your getting the enjoyment from doing it and possibly the ego enhancing boost you want so much for your Facebook fans?
However you look at it you should pay to play!

I hope Apple try to do something that protects the developers of these cool plugins they are creating for musicians as I want to keep trying, buying and creating and to do this we all have to be getting paid.

Haters
Finally before anyone moans about the cost of plugins all I can say is that almost all developers all have special offers from time to time if you register to their mailing lists and I have contacted many developers and asked for a checkout discount code and 99.99% have always obliged which shows they care about supporting those that are supporting them.
Finally if you don’t like the price don’t use the product.

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Mark Ruff Ryder © Strictly Underground Records Since 1988