By Christopher Walsh
New York, NY (November 15, 2007)--"Enforcement is nothing new in copy protection," says Andrew Kirk of San Jose, CA-based PACE Anti-Piracy Inc., developer of the iLok and InterLok tools. "Major software publishers outside pro audio have been using such tactics for years, in some cases tactics that could be considered far more extreme."
PACE Anti-Piracy claims over 65 pro audio software companies among its clients, including AVID/Digidesign, Mark of the Unicorn and Waves. "When we came out with iLok," Kirk explains, "one of our hopes was that the pricing of software products would be market value-based, not the fact that because of piracy the vendor can only sell 100 copies and therefore has to price it accordingly so they can stay afloat.
"What Ban Piracy has going for it is the hypocrisy that the MP3s many consumers are being sued for sharing illegally are often being created with pirated software. That's something this industry should be ashamed of. Actively working to educate the industry to correct this is crucial."
Ray Williams, director of the International Music Software Trade Association, also expresses solidarity with Ban Piracy. "IMSTA is sympathetic to any software company pursuing its intellectual property rights," Williams said in a statement. "Our whole reason for being is 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. No one feels good about doing a record with a stolen guitar. At IMSTA we are focused purely on education and making musicians think about piracy. We want musicians to buy the software they use."
Kirk agrees that "Education will be key," adding that lawsuits are not market friendly, nor do they fit well into a business model, yet "In some cases, the law is the last resort to flagrant piracy." The anti-piracy movement is working, says Kirk, evidenced by the 123rd AES Convention. "I can tell you" he asserts, "if piracy rates were equal to the level of seven or more years ago, more than a handful of pro audio software companies and their products would simply not be at AES, nor would they even exist. Just about anyone would agree that this would be detrimental to the market.
"The Ban Piracy team has a noble goal," Kirk adds, "and I think they will find their way. I think such markets do need some enforcement--think about a society in which there was no enforcement of law.
"We are aligned with Ban Piracy by the very market we are in," Kirk summarizes. "We have a good relationship with that team. How that relationship grows and in what direction will be mostly defined by how many of our customers Ban Piracy locks arms with."
Pace Anti-Piracy, Inc.