Just Say No To Cracks – Buy Your Software

Don’t Do Crack(s)At the recent NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, one of our Namba Gear neighbors were the guys from IMSTA. The International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA) is a nonprofit association which represents the interests of the music software industry. IMSTA’s primary goal is to change end-user behavior in order to reduce the demand for pirated software. I had some lively discussions with IMSTA’s executive director, Paul Fattahi about why people and especially musicians might feel perfectly warranted about using cracked software.

This got me to thinking about a visit to Buenos Aires with my friend and associate Chris Adams of Studio Sound International. One day we had lunch with a very famous Latin American drummer, whom I was surprised to learn was also on the forefront of technology. I was surprised that he was technology fluent not because he was from Latin America, but because he was a drummer. (OK, I promise, no more drummer jokes.) As we talked about various music software, it seemed that our drummer had just about every piece of music software on the planet. When questioned about this, he boasted that he had cracked versions of everything and had paid little, if anything, for the majority of his software collection.

Now I wouldn’t claim that I was “without software sin” in my past, but his attitude just pushed my buttons. I couldn’t help myself and confronted him by asking if it would be OK if I distributed a pirated copy of his latest CD? Or if I came to one of his shows, took a line out of the main console and recorded the show, then made a CD of their live show and distributed it or posted it on the Internet for anyone to download for free? Now I had pushed his buttons and you would have thought that I was Dr. Evil by his reaction.

You get the point I’m sure. Whether you are a songwriter/performer or a software developer, everyone would like to be reimbursed for their labor (even if it is a labor of love). It’s not right for someone to steal your songs or your performances and it’s not right to steal software.

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