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Okay, so a kind'a provocative title. Here's a thought I've been meaning to blog about, but might as well put here to be discussed:

What incentives do we have for buying Omnisphere, or Kontakt, or Z3TA, or Zebra, or whatever commercial tools we're looking at? Does buying it mean we get something that we wouldn't get with a cracked version?

I'm the kind of person that pays for what I take seriously - like synths and DAWs and stuff. I'm wondering if that puts me at a disadvantage, and what developers of sample libraries, synths, effects, and DAWs could do to (and better yet, what they currently do) to have ppl actually buy their stuff.

I mean, I sympathize with the random poor person with talent for music but who can barely afford the hardware and thus can produce better stuff with pirated software in order to improve his quality of life and maybe afford the stuff for realz (whether he then cares to puchase those tools is another matter). I kind'a get why someone would pirate something that lets them circumvent obtrusive dongles and stuff tho that's not a reason to not buy the software. I don't think it's fair, however, that ppl who pay for the stuff are at a disadvantage when pirates have access to everything... do software companies ever go after suspected pirates somehow?

Thoughts on what the developers could offer to their customers only, the measures that could be taken to limit piracy or profit using pirated software, or piration in general?

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There's so much great free stuff out there you can use nowadays, both synthesizers and samples. It's not like you're crippled just because Omnisphere isn't within your reach. I don't even feel like I need Omnisphere or any of the other modern "high-end" software.

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Is the question "Does buying it mean we get something that we wouldn't get with a cracked version?" a rhetorical question? Because no, you don't get anything extra when everything in the full version has been cracked.

I do think that the first reaction to piracy that companies took, that of extra DRM, limited # of installations, dongles, serials and such is the incorrect one, as yes all that really does is create extra problems for legit customers, the same could be said of the pc game market [sup GFWL]. I haven't bought that many sample libraries but when I did it was a pain in the ass, you have to go online and register everything, whereas with a crack everything is done offline and works, and is always faster and with less problems if you get it from a good warez team than if you got it from the company. Weird, I know, but it's true.

The way I see it is if you plan on making money with your music, definitely buy what you're using legit, since you kind of owe them that money at that point. I have no moral problems with continuing to use the cracked version after I buy the software, so I don't have to go through with the registering bullshit.

and yes gecko is right, all you need is a free vsti host and VOPM and you can make music forever.

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Some people go "well it's on the internet as a download so it's free and they're not losing any money".

I don't really count this as a valid point to persuade something to pirate or justifying pirating in general.

They intended to sell their product and you're using it without a real license. For DAW's themselves, you don't even own the music you make.

I don't know about anyone else, but for any software music-related, I actually READ the terms and conditions to make sure of what I can and can not do, and I've seen in the FL Studio one that Image-Line actually have rights to your music if you didn't get a license.

I KNOW that "it's not like they would ever bother" but I don't think that should be relevant. I don't follow the "it's not stealing if you're not caught" (or whatever they say, "stealing isn't bad if you're not caught" or something like that) crowd.

Plus, I like looking at my Kontakt box and thinking "I paid for that." which translates (for me) to "I earned that."

Is the question "Does buying it mean we get something that we wouldn't get with a cracked version?" a rhetorical question?

I think Rozovian is asking "what's the incentive to buy something instead of just pirating it?"

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I buy everything music related, including music itself. I can't say I don't pirate games, because sometimes I fall victim to abandonware once I realise I can't find something anywhere. In general, though, I support people who make things I like. Maybe it all goes down to morals, I don't know, but I believe in paying for things because I think it's the right thing to do.

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I buy everything I use. I'll pirate some of the more overhyped VSTs like Omnisphere and Trilian to try them and see what they're about, but if I plan on using something in my music, I buy it.

At the absolute LEAST you should never pirate your DAW. Updates and support can be very very important, and legitimately licensed software always works better for me. A simple registration process with a serial number it makes no difference, but with bootleg dongle emulation drivers you run into many issues.

I mean, if your music isn't worth a few hundred dollars to you, then why the hell should I bother listening to it?

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I don't really see what the big deal is about pirating if you don't actually use the stolen software to make money, or you're just a noob and you don't want to invest much money in something you're not even sure you'll like.

I used to be really into pirated software and games, but I came to realize that it really a pain in the ass sometimes (trying to follow retarded installation instructions) and it can be risky. I guess you can call me lazy, but its better to just come out of pocket and have a clear conscious, acquire it and install it the right way,than snatch a program off the interwebz and worry about viruses or tracking software that can report back to the publisher (I think that's just a scare tactic, but I'm not gonna risk it).

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I think Rozovian is asking "what's the incentive to buy something instead of just pirating it?"

Exactly. Steam gives us a single place for lots of games, a convenient way to buy them and a way to access them from wherever, easy networking with friends in multiplayer games, special sales and deals... it's convenient. And it's a form of DRM... and a store... and an incentive.

What do we get from buying from NI, or Spectrasonics, or Cakewalk, or wherever? Especially as, as Gecko pointed out, there's great free stuff out there.

Also, I dig the FL license thing. :D

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Exactly. Steam gives us a single place for lots of games, a convenient way to buy them and a way to access them from wherever, easy networking with friends in multiplayer games, special sales and deals... it's convenient. And it's a form of DRM... and a store... and an incentive.

What do we get from buying from NI, or Spectrasonics, or Cakewalk, or wherever? Especially as, as Gecko pointed out, there's great free stuff out there.

Also, I dig the FL license thing. :D

You get software that's worth the money. All the free stuff out there is okay, but it's nowhere near as capable, powerful and well rounded as the stuff you pay for, I know, I've used them all. To me, Spectrasonics is a ripoff. I don't like their products at all, but there are countless people who swear by them, so at some level it does come down to preference.

As for the noob argument: if you're too much of a noob to pay for music software, then you're definitely too much of a noob to get anything more from the pay software than you would from the free stuff. It's no excuse to be pirating. Get a job, stop buying useless shit for your phone and girlfriend who will break up with you in a few months anyway, and invest in your craft.

"But Snappleman I have expenses like books, transportation, food, clothes, life in general, stfu and let me pirate this shit" Fuck off noob, anyone can save $500.

What? You're a student? Nice! Then your software is 50% off! Anyone can save $250!

What? You're a noob with no need for advanced integration features? Get the 1st step down version, $100 with your student discount! Anyone can save $100.

What? You'd rather spend that $100 on useless shit? Fuck off noob, use the free shit, which is most likely still way above your skill level.

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As for the noob argument: if you're too much of a noob to pay for music software, then you're definitely too much of a noob to get anything more from the pay software than you would from the free stuff.

QFT times infinity. Sound design and mixing skills come from the user 85%, and the software 15%. Having the best programs won't magically improve your skills, so there's really no point in getting high end super-expensive programs until you've pretty much hit the limit with what you have. As soon as you know what needs to be done to make your music sound better, that's when you should do it.

If you're thinking "this sounds like crap, it should sound better" you probably need to get the skills to understand why it does. If you can fix the problem with what you have, then do so, if you can get around it, do so, but if you absolutely can't do either of those, that's when you should probably think about getting the best tools. Not when you have no idea what you'd do with any of them.

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As for the noob argument: if you're too much of a noob to pay for music software, then you're definitely too much of a noob to get anything more from the pay software than you would from the free stuff. It's no excuse to be pirating. Get a job, stop buying useless shit for your phone and girlfriend who will break up with you in a few months anyway, and invest in your craft.

I disagree. Rather, being a noob is EVERY excuse to be pirating.

I write music as a hobby and nothing more. I don't make any money off of what I create, and I never intend to. I have no musical training and probably never will. I also don't plan to spend the time or effort to learn an instrument. Therefore, everything I use consists of samples, synths, and VSTs.

The only software I have that I've bothered paying for is FL Studio, which I don't plan to upgrade because I dislike FL10. The only library I have that I've bothered paying for is Shreddage X, because it was affordable. The odds that I'll ever end up paying for Kontakt or any of the other software I use are next to none.

It literally takes me 10 minutes to download a new toy at zero expense or personal risk to myself for what amounts to just another way to kill time. It also results in zero loss to the software publisher, since I would never buy their product anyway. In fact, in the case of FL Studio, it won them a new customer, since I never would have bought it if I hadn't pirated and learned to use it in the first place.

Tell me why I shouldn't pirate.

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Tell me why I shouldn't pirate.

Because you're a decent human being who feels about about stealing something?

People too often use the argument "I wasn't going to buy it anyway so technically the company isn't losing any money". But what if you weren't ever going to buy a luxury car, would stealing one make the company lose nothing? Every single box of software that a company prints costs them money, and if you download it, that's one less box that's being sold.

And most of the music software out there is created by small companies or even individuals, who literally take a hit to their finances every time someone pirates their software.

Big software packages like Cubase are backed by tons of money (Yamaha owns Steinberg, Roland owns Cakewalk), so pirating their software hurts the people working on it less, but in that case they have the money to implement tons of protection and anti piracy measures, that when cracked makes the software less stable, so in that case you really get a lot more out of buying it.

You can justify yourself in whichever way you like, but don't try to tell yourself that you're doing no harm by bootlegging software.

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you're just a noob and you don't want to invest much money in something you're not even sure you'll like.

REAPER, Audacity, Kore Player, Kontakt Player, Reaktor Player, Zebra 2 demo, soundfont player, soundfonts...

Dabbling in music to see if you like it isn't like guitars where you need to buy a GOOD one right off the bat. The free stuff is more than capable.

which I don't plan to upgrade because I dislike FL10.

How do you like 9 but not like 10? 10 is 9 with more features... Also, if you say "I don't feel like spending money on FL10" I am going to fall out of my chair laughing.

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REAPER, Audacity, Kore Player, Kontakt Player, Reaktor Player, Zebra 2 demo, soundfont player, soundfonts...

Dabbling in music to see if you like it isn't like guitars where you need to buy a GOOD one right off the bat. The free stuff is more than capable.

Synth1 VST is an absolutely fantastic synth, and I find myself using it at least as much as I use, say, Z3TA+(yes, I bought that!). It's also freeware. You can get by without spending a thousand dollars a month on software and still have a degree of skill (admittedly, I'm probably not the best example, but hey!).

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How do you like 9 but not like 10? 10 is 9 with more features...

100% of the reason why I don't like 10 is because every time you close and open the piano roll, it defaults to zoom level 4 instead of zoom level 2.

This drives me absolutely fucking insane and is pretty much the sole reason why I still use 9. I'll gladly switch to 10 as soon as I find a way to fix this.

Also, if you say "I don't feel like spending money on FL10" I am going to fall out of my chair laughing.

How wonderful of you to just assume I'm an idiot. Thanks so much.

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I write music as a hobby and nothing more. I don't make any money off of what I create, and I never intend to. I have no musical training and probably never will. I also don't plan to spend the time or effort to learn an instrument. Therefore, everything I use consists of samples, synths, and VSTs.

this is sort of a weird approach just because that same logic could apply to anything you aren't making a profit doing. nobody makes money off of their hobbies, really - does that mean we shouldn't have to pay for anything related to those hobbies? it just seems like a silly argument to me.

in terms of the original topic, unless i'm misunderstanding it, it seems like the point is that software companies should provide something above and beyond the actual software to make it worth buying, right? this also seems a little silly to me. i understand that piracy is a reality and it's super easy for people to get away with, but i'm not convinced that the burden lies with the software companies to make their product worth buying legally. realistically, it wouldn't hurt if they threw in extra shit. i guess, hypothetically, it could entice more people into buying their products. but i don't know if consumers should be adopting a mentality where companies have to keep adding more and more to their products just so that their userbase doesn't steal all of their shit online. it seems like an odd sense of entitlement to a product that you technically shouldn't have in the first place if you can't pay for it.

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The music I write for myself is just a hobby of mine. When I go into a studio to work on music that pays my bills, they have their own hardware+software setups that I use. I've invested well over $15,000 into my home studio and it's still primarily used for my hobby.

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The music I write for myself is just a hobby of mine. When I go into a studio to work on music that pays my bills, they have their own hardware+software setups that I use. I've invested well over $15,000 into my home studio and it's still primarily used for my hobby.

How fortunate for you, then, that your chosen hobby and your source of income are one and the same.

I, however, could never justify spending that kind of money developing skills that aren't quite so valuable to me.

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It would be unreasonable for someone to say they can just steal Magic: The Gathering cards because they're not professional MTG players. Obviously, the vast majority of people who create music are not pros. But the companies that make musical instruments would not be able to sustain their businesses if it were not for this large hobbyist market. Take it from me - Impact Soundworks sells a lot of libraries to hobbyists as well as pros.

There is such an abundance of excellent free and low-cost software that there really isn't any justification for pirating it.

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100% of the reason why I don't like 10 is because every time you close and open the piano roll, it defaults to zoom level 4 instead of zoom level 2.

Press 2 the same time you open the piano roll. It's 27 milliseconds worth of effort.

I, however, could never justify spending that kind of money developing skills that aren't quite so valuable to me.

If you love something and you're passionate about it you would sacrifice for it. If you don't love it and you're not passionate about it, you don't deserve the same stuff that people who do love it sacrifice for.

I'll say it again; you don't deserve it. And developing skills doesn't come from buying software. It comes from using it. It doesn't matter if you buy Cubase or download REAPER, you don't have to spend any money developing skills because software does not teach you anything.

The only reason to buy software is to "upgrade" your sound when you find that your current stuff is too limiting. If you pirate it, you obviously don't love it enough to sacrifice for it, which also probably means that you don't have the skills for it.

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It would be unreasonable for someone to say they can just steal Magic: The Gathering cards because they're not professional MTG players. Obviously, the vast majority of people who create music are not pros. But the companies that make musical instruments would not be able to sustain their businesses if it were not for this large hobbyist market. Take it from me - Impact Soundworks sells a lot of libraries to hobbyists as well as pros.

There is such an abundance of excellent free and low-cost software that there really isn't any justification for pirating it.

Sure, but that's why I have Shreddage: because it's a good library and it doesn't cost $400. If I build a MTG deck buying cards individually, it certainly isn't going to run me anywhere near $400. (EDIT: Not to mention that I could just buy Magic Workstation and play anyone over the internet and never have to bother with physical cards at all.)

It might be worth noting that if I weren't pirating Kontakt, Impact Soundworks wouldn't have my money, either.

For the record, I don't pirate PC games. Why? Because I can afford them. It's ignorant to just say, "Oh, well anyone can just save up money, you're just a LAZY THIEF." I'd be ecstatic if I could just throw that kind of money around. Maybe if I didn't spend any money on gaming for half a year I could save $400 to drop on Kontakt. That isn't worth it to me, though, so I pirate.

Press 2 the same time you open the piano roll. It's 27 milliseconds worth of effort.

...that I don't have to expend if I just keep using FL9. Which I paid for. So I don't know why you're bothering with this.

If you love something and you're passionate about it you would sacrifice for it. If you don't love it and you're not passionate about it, you don't deserve the same stuff that people who do love it sacrifice for.

I'll say it again; you don't deserve it. And developing skills doesn't come from buying software. It comes from using it. It doesn't matter if you buy Cubase or download REAPER, you don't have to spend any money developing skills because software does not teach you anything.

The only reason to buy software is to "upgrade" your sound when you find that your current stuff is too limiting. If you pirate it, you obviously don't love it enough to sacrifice for it, which also probably means that you don't have the skills for it.

Well I don't really love it all that much so I guess... you're right? Also I'm pretty sure skill isn't a requirement to use Kontakt. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to load up a Shreddage multi.

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There is such an abundance of excellent free and low-cost software that there really isn't any justification for pirating it.

that

I've payed for a lot of synths but it seems like I still mostly use a lot of free stuff anyway at this point, the last 3 that I've bought I basically never use

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I remember one day I sent an email to those who made Guitar Pro, telling them that I use a pirated version of their GP5 but that I had the intention to buy the product in a near futur because I used it for a lot of years and that it helped me so much.

In the reply, they asked me to 'spread the word' about their software to my friend who composed (talk good) as a penitence until I buy it.

I think they were more glad to have a someone sold to their product before even buying it.

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