New York, NY (October 10, 2007)--At the recently concluded 123rd Audio Engineering Society Convention, Ban Piracy, a for-profit company formed to fight intellectual property theft in the audio software industry, pledged to sue recording facilities found in possession of pirated software.
At an often-contentious press conference on Oct. 7, several attendees took a skeptical, even hostile view of Ban Piracy's stated intention. While none present endorsed the use of unauthorized, or "cracked" software, several expressed irritation and even amazement that a commercial facility would be liable for a client's actions with regard to software installed on facility-owned equipment during sessions.
Yet Ban Piracy COO Tomer Elbaz and CEO Michael David were adamant in their assertion that commercial facilities can and should be legally responsible--and prosecuted--for any unauthorized software discovered on their premises. Elbaz "has been engaged in a worldwide gathering of information used against recording studios involved in litigation with Ban Piracy," according to a statement from the organization. Ban Piracy is owned by the shareholders of Waves Audio, which is currently its sole client. Ban Piracy attended AES to seek additional clients.
Elbaz noted the hypocrisy of a hypothetical recording engineer freely using unauthorized software and decrying lost sales due to illegitimate downloading or CD burning. There is no question that software piracy is a leading concern among developers, and that lost revenue threatens future research and development, and even a company's survival. Yet, the trade media gave a somewhat frosty reception to the concept of holding facilities responsible for monitoring and policing the software usage of their clients.
"I'm proud to be part of an organization that strives to eliminate audio software piracy in the for-profit recording industry," David said at the press conference. "The use of unauthorized or 'cracked' software in the recording of music isn't fair, isn't right, and it isn't legal. Ban Piracy intends to stop the abuse."
During the course of visits to offending recording studios, Elbaz said, "I was shocked to discover how many recording studios in all these different parts of the world have so little respect for the rights of those who create this incredible software used in making music."
David said he is supervising litigation efforts in North America involving lawsuits being drawn up against several recording studios who are using pirated audio software. "Our focus is on for-profit studios and production facilities and people who are making money using stolen software tools.
"We don't relish filing lawsuits against any potential customer of one of our clients," David added. "But there's a simple way for recording studios to avoid getting in trouble: They should stop using pirated software."