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Author Topic: Intellectual Property and Real Life  (Read 4440 times)

maarvold

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Intellectual Property and Real Life
« on: May 06, 2004, 11:39:06 am »

There is a bit of a dispute going on between Audio Ease (Altiverb) and some of its end users over impulse responses created by end users that were created with Audio Ease's proprietary software.  To me, it points up what feels like a desperate need for better administration and accounting in the realm of intellectual property.  Below is my response to Arjen--one of the owners (I think) of Audio Ease.
=================

On 5/5/04 2:38 PM, "Altiverbers@yahoogroups.com" <Altiverbers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> Please honour the license agreement.
>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Arjen
=================

The use and administration of intellectual property is 'a tough nut to crack'.  One could make a case for the fact that software manufacturers were partially responsible for the situation we have now:

In the days of Pro Tools on Mac OS 9.X, there were many, many cracked plug-ins floating around in Los Angeles.  I used quite a few of them myself, and was happy to have them, since I couldn't afford to own them at that time.  But as time passed, I started to buy a few of the ones I used the most (Waves, FilterBank, AnalogChannel, Reverb One).  Then came iLok.  Ilok was very, very slow to be implemented, imho.  But iLok (and maybe when used in conjunction with OSX) seems to be a pretty ironclad method of authorization and protection.  The problem is that, prior to iLok, industry practice (or lack thereof)--for years--trained the end users that, if they can live with their conscience, plug-ins are 'free'.  This is a bell that is very difficult to un-ring.  Napster has taught music downloaders the same lesson a different way.  

[Mostly] ilok, and later version Pro Tools encryption, has made an honest man out of me: now all my plug-ins are legitimate, paid-for plugs.  I feel better about the situation, and about myself.  And I like that I can call tech support any time I need to.  

But the real problem is largely the fact that creators of intellectual property have a difficult time protecting their claim to the fruits of their labors.  Simple respect for another human being would dictate that, just as Arjen wants to be able to reap the reward for the product of his efforts, so does Brian want to be able to reap the reward for HIS efforts.  

I am nearly 50 years old and one thing living in the US has shown me is that--regardless of the amount of legal wording in a licensing agreement--the bottom line is whether or not that agreement is enforcable; i.e., will it be worth the amount of time and money it will take for Arjen to pursue Brian in court to prevail.  
There needs to be a better way--the software equivalent of speed bumps in the road (I HATE speed bumps, but they do work).  Software creators (including artists) need to solve this problem themselves, maybe as a group, and leave the attorneys out of it.  Actually, I personally believe solving it should have been done before any software worthy of protection was created.  Maybe 'employees' (software designers or artists) need to implement a signed "reasonable protection" clause before they do business with any distributor.  That might start to get us all on the same page.  

Michael Aarvold
Audio Engineer
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Michael Aarvold
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raw-tracks

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2004, 12:59:16 pm »

maarvold wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 10:39

There is a bit of a dispute going on between Audio Ease (Altiverb) and some of its end users over impulse responses created by end users that were created with Audio Ease's proprietary software.


I am not familiar with the Audio Ease license agreement. Are they saying that impulses that you create, as a licensed user of their software, are not your own property? In other words, you are not free to trade or sell your impulses? How is that any different than Digi claiming that they own your recording that you produced using their proprietary software.

Maybe I am misinterpreting what is actually in the license agreement. If that is in fact what it says, I don't see how that could be enforceable.
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Eric

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Erik

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2004, 01:15:50 pm »

I'm not sure what you're arguing for below with regards to 'speed bumps' but the real issue here is 'speed limits.'

Sure, they post the signs, and a lot of people ignore them.  But for a variety of reasons, you have to post the signs.

That's what Arjen did with his End User License Agreement.  If somebody agreed to it, but now decides he doesn't like it, that doesn't give him the right to violate it.

Back to speed limits.  If people start driving 90 miles an hour through his neighborhood, he'll enforce it.  If not, maybe he won't.  But what we have here is the typical 'internet musician syndrome.'  The speed limit sign says 30mph but there's a bunch of lonely dorks circling the block at 31mph just to see what happens.

Let me tell you from experience what happens: sales go up.  The more people talk about a product -- positive or negative -- the more people check it out.  And if it's a useful product, they buy it.

Last time I checked there are about 5,000 companies selling knock-off convolution reverb plug-ins, so I bet there's plenty of options here that don't involve typing on the internet.

I do love watching musicians talk about law and copyrights, though.  Especially folks like yourself who expect to make money off music copyrights yet admit stealing the music software you used to create the music you expect to be paid for.

That never gets old.

--Erik
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Erik Gavriluk, Bomb Factory Recording Studios
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maarvold

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2004, 03:15:48 pm »

I do love watching musicians talk about law and copyrights, though. Especially folks like yourself who expect to make money off music copyrights yet admit stealing the music software you used to create the music you expect to be paid for.

That never gets old.

--Erik


Erik:
I sense some irritation in your response.  I am a former musician, now an engineer.  I currently own 1 copyright worth mentioning, and that is worth very little.  Yes, I did use cracks early on.  But, maybe with the exception of one analog simulation that I haven't used in years, the creators of the software I use, and used,  for music have all been paid for their efforts--paid for several years and through several upgrades.  So I made good and righted past wrongs.  It seems that your point is... well, I'm not exactly sure what it is.  You seem a little bitter.  
I guess my broadest point is that that producers of software shouldn't be surprised when some abuse occurs if the software they produce is protected primarily by words that appear once on a computer monitor before clicking "Agree".  
Intellectual property is, imho, a difficult concept.  But if too much revenue falls through the cracks while we are all trying to understand and deal with it, don't we all have a problem?  

Michael Aarvold
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Rob Darling

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2004, 04:50:05 pm »

If you are trying to sell Altiverb impulses to Altiverb customers, using the tool they created, you are trying to make money using a platform that someone else developed and continues to develop.  Your business is very directly derived from their art.  It is not at all out of hand for them to expect some kind of license fee, or stop you from profiting on their product if they have decided that the environment for impulses working in their product should be open and not profit-driven.  

Saying you didn't read the license agreement just means you didn't read a contract before you signed it, like it or not.  If this is what you agreed to, that is all there is to it.
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raw-tracks

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2004, 05:53:10 pm »

robdarling@mail.com wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 15:50

If you are trying to sell Altiverb impulses to Altiverb customers, using the tool they created, you are trying to make money using a platform that someone else developed and continues to develop.  Your business is very directly derived from their art.  It is not at all out of hand for them to expect some kind of license fee, or stop you from profiting on their product if they have decided that the environment for impulses working in their product should be open and not profit-driven.


I guess I am playing the devil's advocate here. How is this different than if someone goes into business selling templates for Microsoft Word or Excel? Does the Microsoft License Agreement prohibit that?
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hargerst

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2004, 06:50:30 pm »

raw-tracks wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 16:53

I guess I am playing the devil's advocate here. How is this different than if someone goes into business selling templates for Microsoft Word or Excel? Does the Microsoft License Agreement prohibit that?
Actually, I did that, except they were hotkey templates for Word, Excel, WordPerfect, Autocad, and a bunch of other companies. They were plastic, cutout templates that fit over the Function keys, but the principle is the same; do I have a right to do this?  In several cases, I asked permission from the companies to make these templates, and all the companies were very supportive of the idea.  They were called "Funkey Templates", short for "Function Key", and they sold very well.

If you're selling software templates, that might be a problem if you're hooking into their proprietary code.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2004, 07:00:21 pm »

Bottom line, play by the rules. If you can't do that, then you are breaking the rules; some of which have legal consequenses that may cost you in the long run.



Rules are good. Their are always good reasons for them all. Protection is the key.
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barefoot

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2004, 07:21:34 pm »

maarvold wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 12:15

Erik: I sense some irritation in your response...... It seems that your point is... well, I'm not exactly sure what it is.  You seem a little bitter.  

Hmmmm?  The guy spends a big chunk of his hard earned life developing some really cool products, only to find that 95% of the people who use them haven't paid for them.  Yeah, I can't imagine why he'd be irritated?  Rolling Eyes
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Erik

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2004, 01:52:10 am »

maarvold wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 15:15

But, maybe with the exception of one analog simulation that I haven't used in years, the creators of the software I use, and used,  for music have all been paid for their efforts--paid for several years and through several upgrades.  So I made good and righted past wrongs.  It seems that your point is... well, I'm not exactly sure what it is.


For starters, you didn't 'right past wrongs.'  You stole a bunch of shit, then, at some point you stopped stealing shit.  It's a pretty well-known fact that stuff isn't 'easy to steal' any more, so I'd guess that the fact that you couldn't steal shit might have had something to do with your newly-discovered scruples.

Quote:

It seems that your point is... well, I'm not exactly sure what it is.


My point?  None really.  I just totally understand where you're coming from.  We share the same lack of ethics and obviously were both raised by shitty parents who didn't instill any sense of morality in either of us.

You see, back when we started Bomb Factory, we didn't have any money yet.  Cause, like, how can you make money if you don't have product yet?

So, first thing we did was break into an orphanage and steal two Macs from their reading lab.  And, boy, electrical power in California sure is expensive, so we ran an extension cord to an outlet on our neighbor's patio.

Of course, we also stole every piece of development software required to develop software.  Musicians can't get a leg up without a big batch of stolen music software to make their music, so of course computer programmers can't get going without a rig full of stolen development tools.

Transportation to and from work was a bitch, so we stole some cars.  For gas--credit card fraud, of course.  We were living rent free by a scheme I cannot describe here.  And we relied on some 'family friends' for help in manufacturing and shipping.

Didn't cost us a dime in startup costs.

But the good news is the company was a big success and we're no longer stealing from friends, neighbors, and the very industry (and sub-industries) we rely upon for our continuing livelihood.

Of course, we haven't used those Macs in years, we bought fancy cars, and we live in big mansions now.  So everything is on the up and up now and there was absolutely no impact to the world at all because of our actions during the 'start-up' period.

The power company, our next door neighbors -- those kids without the mac at the orphanage.  I'm sure they realize that it was all for the best.  Well, our best at least.

It reminds me of my great-great-grandpa.  He always used to remind me that the nice thing about the "Old West" was that it was such a pleasant environment in which to do business... I can't think of one smart industrialist who was turned off and decided not to innovate anymore because 'the marketplace' was inhabited by a bunch of lawless pricks.

Likewise, I'm sure George here is excited to port his equalizer to the VST community at the first opportunity.

Have a nice day.

--Erik
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Erik Gavriluk, Bomb Factory Recording Studios
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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2004, 03:06:00 am »

In the old West, you stole, well.... you can figure the rest.

No wonder it was a good place to do commerce. The bad guys did not come home for supper!
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David Schober

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2004, 09:20:18 am »

I"ve been following this thread for a day or so and while so I thought I'd drop a few thoughts.

First, I'm actually glad the ilok system is working.  Back in the day, I never asked for cracks and always felt it was important to support the software developers.  From what I've heard, the hourly pay most plugin developers end up getting is about $2/hr by the time all the work is done. I'd be curious if since ilok came on the scene if there's been an uptick in sales.  I hope so.  After all, you see so many complaining about not having a pluin they like as much as hardware....how can it be expected to improve if people steal it?

I don't have Altiverb, so I'm presuming this discussion is that Altiverb restricts seling of custom made verbs.  Is that right?  

While I do understand that point of view and acknowledge that if you agree to the licensing agreement, then you've agreed to their terms.  Still....to me it seems kind of odd for Altiverb to go into a building they didn't design, construct, or pay for, record the impulse responses that sells their product, and restrict anyone else being able to create and sell theirs.  Yeah, I know they made the program that runs the impulse responses.  But to me it seems that's the intellectual property.  Similarly an OS of a computer is the framework that allows developers to create apps that run inside it.  The apps can't exist without the OS.  But the OS is useless with out the apps.  


The impulse reponses are a type of a snapshot of a room.   And in every case I've seen, that room doesn't belong to Audio Ease.  Maybe they rented the room for their work, but I doubt they were required to pay a license fee to the owner of the room for every program that includes it.  

I doubt seriously that even if they allowed users to sell their impulse responses that there would be much money changing hands.  It takes a lot of work to make a good room simulation and anyone that would try to make a business out of it would find they couldn't charge enough to  make it worthwhile.  At best they'd do well to break even.  And compared to the fine rooms Altiverb comes with, I doubt very many could compete.

While i understand Audio Ease has the right to set the rules for their softeare, and I'd be the last person to try to make money off of it, it seems that this restriction does little but antagonizes their customers over an issue that in the end, would make so little money, it's a moot point.  
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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2004, 12:07:58 pm »

maarvold wrote on Thu, 06 May 2004 11:39

There needs to be a better way--the software equivalent of speed bumps in the road (I HATE speed bumps, but they do work).  Software creators (including artists) need to solve this problem themselves, maybe as a group, and leave the attorneys out of it. Actually, I personally believe solving it should have been done before any software worthy of protection was created.


And by this logic, if a solution to this problem that meets your standards is never developed, then no software worthy of protection should ever be created.





Courtney Love

Corn Hole Music
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maarvold

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2004, 12:28:22 pm »

[/quote]

And by this logic, if a solution to this problem that meets your standards is never developed, then no software worthy of protection should ever be created.





Courtney Love

Corn Hole Music[/quote]

It doesn't have to meet MY standards.  But if cracked plug-ins are everywhere, maybe the copy protection scheme wasn't strong enough/ingenious enough.  
And please--by all means--let the next poster be someone who has never, ever used a piece of software in violation of the rights of the creators of that software.  

Michael Aarvold
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Michael Aarvold
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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2004, 01:00:34 pm »

maarvold wrote on Fri, 07 May 2004 17:28




And please--by all means--let the next poster be someone who has never, ever used a piece of software in violation of the rights of the creators of that software.  

Michael Aarvold
Audio Engineer[/quote]

Too bad, I don't think there are many people that qualify...    

javascript:%20insertTag(document.post_form.msg_body,%20'',%2 0'%20:?%20');
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nobby

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2004, 03:51:46 am »

maarvold wrote on Fri, 07 May 2004 12:28




And by this logic, if a solution to this problem that meets your standards is never developed, then no software worthy of protection should ever be created.





Courtney Love

Corn Hole Music[/quote]
Quote:


It doesn't have to meet MY standards.  But if cracked plug-ins are everywhere, maybe the copy protection scheme wasn't strong enough/ingenious enough.  
And please--by all means--let the next poster be someone who has never, ever used a piece of software in violation of the rights of the creators of that software.  

Michael Aarvold
Audio Engineer


I never have.
And please, by all means, let the next poster not imply that I'm a hypocrite without having a clue.



Courtney Love

Hell Hole Enterprises
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maarvold

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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2004, 06:22:30 pm »

nobjob wrote on Sat, 08 May 2004 00:51

maarvold wrote on Fri, 07 May 2004 12:28




And by this logic, if a solution to this problem that meets your standards is never developed, then no software worthy of protection should ever be created.





Courtney Love

Corn Hole Music

Quote:


It doesn't have to meet MY standards.  But if cracked plug-ins are everywhere, maybe the copy protection scheme wasn't strong enough/ingenious enough.  
And please--by all means--let the next poster be someone who has never, ever used a piece of software in violation of the rights of the creators of that software.  

Michael Aarvold
Audio Engineer


I never have.
And please, by all means, let the next poster not imply that I'm a hypocrite without having a clue.



Courtney Love

Hell Hole Enterprises
[/quote]

Then, and I mean this, we should all salute you and be inspired to follow your example.  Please don't beat me up for telling my truth about what I see some music professionals doing nearly every day.  

To me, although software protection seems to me to be getting better in some areas, the problem feels to me like the old saying (paraphrasing) that if you owe the bank $1,000, and can't pay, the bank is in trouble;  if you owe the bank $1,000,000, and can't pay, the bank is in trouble.  
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Re: Intellectual Property and Real Life
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2004, 10:33:03 pm »

Ok.. ther eis a big Misunderstanding here. Audio Ease is NOT saying that people cannot sell thier IRs. Or that they ( audio ease) owns them. They are saying that you cannot resample altiverb Irs for use in another program. When you make an IR, you record the room, and then use a piece of software that Audio ease created and made available free of charge ( it was originally a fre download, it is now bundled in the alitverb downlod, since it is worthless without altiverb anyway) to make it usable by Altiverb. If you wnat to take that sample and use another companies software to pre process it for thier convolution verb, go ahead, JUST DONT USE THE ALTIVERB SOFTARE TO MAKE SAMPLES FOR OTHER COMPANIES. It is not like they are restricitn what you cna do with your work at all, it is more liek they are sellign you a car, and letting you into the garage to do as much work as you wat on that car, make new parts excetra, but tellign you not to start using thier garage for free and then sellign the stuff you make there to thier competitor. totally diffrent issue, IMHO.
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