a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

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nathannn
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a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by nathannn » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:26 pm

i just came across this letter which is (pretty old) where some guy from audio damage software is bitching at some guy in a band for openly admiting he used pirated software.
what really got me about this letter was that the guy from the band "yacht" asked for a bill for the software but the guy from audio damage refuses and goes on threatening to black list him from the industry. what a cunt. the black listing part is in bold.

Dear Jona:

While it was kind of you to write me personally expounding on your comments in the previous post, I'm afraid I take issue with some of the points you made. I've chosen to print my thoughts publicly, both for the theraputic value, and in the hopes that future generations will find some small value in this missive.

First things first. I will say up front that I do not accept your apology. I do appreciate the fact that you requested we send you a bill for the products you stole from us, but we won't be doing that either. I'll get to the "why" of that towards the end, so you have that to look forward to.

Anyhow, since this is an open letter, Jona, I have to provide the backstory for the people just joining us; I realize you already know all this stuff, but it's important for posterity. You, in your role as the leader of the group Yacht gave an interview to Waferbaby in which you stated that you willfully and happily used cracked software, and specifically Audio Damage plug-ins, to aid in your musical endeavors. Since I raised a certain (and I believe justifiable) objection to that in the previous entry, you or Waferbaby edited that interview. Of course, Google cached the un-edited one, and I grabbed a PDF, which interested parties can read here.

So, now that everybody knows where things stand, we can get on with our discussion. I will set aside the obvious and annoying hypocrisy of the whole light and happy rainbows trip you're on, because I'm not interested in discussing the relative merits of the genre in which you choose to express your creativity. In that interview, you essentially gloat over the fact that most all of the software you use to make music is pirated. Leaving aside the ethics of that for a moment, let's address the wisdom or lack thereof about gloating in public about committing a crime. While it may be the charge of the Hippy Dippy Light Brigade that information wants to be free, etc., it usually isn't free. Just because it feels free doesn't change the fact.

I realize that you're young, and perhaps a bit stunned by the fact that someone might take offense to your words or actions, but know this: if someone creates something, and chooses to hang a price tag on that thing, if you decide to take said thing without paying for it, you are de facto a thief. There's really no grey area. People are welcome to talk (or even yell, wave their arms, and run in circles) about changing things, leveling the playing field, rolling around in the fields of egalitarian bliss, but bad luck, you live in the United States of America, which is a capitalist nation. As such, most people that create things choose to charge for them, given the option to do so.

Since a metaphor is usually called for at this point, I'll give it my best shot. I don't suppose you walk in to White Hen Pantry and steal candy bars, do you? It's really not that much harder to steal a candy bar than it is to steal a plug-in. What makes that candy bar more real than a copy of Dubstation? The threat of immediate repercussions? If Dubstation was a real hardware unit instead of a group of ones and zeros arranged in a meaningful fashion, would you walk in to Guitar Center and slip it in to your pocket when nobody was looking? Interestingly, the penalty, should you be caught taking a candy bar, is far less than getting caught stealing software. That alone should give one pause. However, I'm far from naive, and I know just as well as you do that as long as someone doesn't, say, put a record of their actions in a public medium, they're not going to get caught taking the software.

Just so we're clear, Audio Damage, Inc. is not going to sue you, or file a complaint with the Multnomah County Sheriff's department. We would be well within our rights to do either or both, and most other software companies certainly would do so. In actual fact, I believe you do have a couple summonses to look forward to from some of the other companies you mentioned in your thoughtless rambling. But that's not my concern.

My true desire is to show you that the group of ones and zeros you took from us, and others, are meaningful creations. Adam and I put months, and in some cases, years of work in to those plug-ins. They are very real to us, and selling them is how we put a roof over our heads and keep our heat on and our refrigerators full. Is Dubstation (or Kombinat, Reverence, and BigSeq, the other plug-ins you stole from us) helping you make music? That is actual real time that Adam and I spent coding, modelling, designing, porting, testing, and selling. I sat in the second bedroom of my rented house (which is, I'll mention, roughly 30 miles from yours) and worked on the design of Dubstation. Adam sat in the basement of his house in Boulder and turned my idea in to a VST and an AudioUnit. Following that line of logic to its obvious conclusion, Adam and I spent time making something, and put what we thought was an extremely reasonable price tag on our time, in the hopes that others would see our creation and think that our time was useful, and would help improve their own creations. While it is somewhat unsavory to insist on payment for our creation, we have to do so in order to enable the act of creation in and of itself.

If you choose to use what we make without compensating us for our time, we'll grant that there's very little we can do about it. (Unless, of course, you say in a public medium that you've done so. Which, I'll mention again, you most assuredly did.) However, know this: wrong is wrong. If you have to ask whether you're a bad person or not, that alone should be all the answer you need. We are willing to accept piracy as a fact of life in the business we're in. We've never done more than pay lip service to copy protection, and we've tried to put a value on the product of our creativity that makes that product easily attainable, to the point where piracy simply isn't worth the trouble.

In conclusion, I promised to tell you why we wouldn't be sending you a bill. On the one hand, I'm happy with the fact that you're beginning to grasp that your words and actions have meaning, and therefor value, which essentially puts you in the same boat as Adam and I. On the other hand, when you justify your actions with the old standby "well, everyone else is doin' it" then you mark yourself as a follower, not a leader. If you want to be a leader, your example has to be righteous, not petty.

So we won't send you a bill, but know this: you'll end up paying for our software one way or another. I imagine you'll want to book a show at a club where I'm friends with the owner, and you'll need that date to wheel part of a run. But that owner will know that you're not to be trusted, so he'll pass on the date. Or you'll want to license one of your tracks on an episode of television, but the music supervisor has a 15-year relationship with me, and he values that more than he needs your song. Or you'll finally get an interview with that magazine that will put you in front of the kind of people you need to be in front of, but come to find out Audio Damage spends $1500 a month advertising in that magazine, and that company needs our $1500 more than it needs to fill column inches with your pondering out loud whether you're a bad person or not.

I am sorry that the Google footprint of this site is roughly 1000 times that of your name alone, and thus this will be the first thing that comes up whenever anyone searches your name directly, but there's nothing I can do about that. I hope this has been a valuable lesson to you, and food for thought to others. Thanks for taking the time to expand on your original comments, and I look forward to your reply. Just so you're aware, if you reply to me privately, I will absolutely post that reply verbatim here, so you might as well just put it in the comments of this post.
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dhilsabeck
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by dhilsabeck » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:02 pm

Shit, that's long.

I will say this though: Jona is an excellent producer. By my standards his latest album wasn't very good and neither was his live show. I will always listen to his new shit because I think he is one of the better producers out there at the moment. I don't think I've ever bought any of his albums. Though in retrospect, I should have bought "See Mystery Lights" on vinyl when I had the chance.

That's all I know.

barryalva
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by barryalva » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:27 pm

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Last edited by barryalva on Thu May 24, 2012 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nathannn
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by nathannn » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:45 pm

dhilsabeck wrote:Shit, that's long.

I will say this though: Jona is an excellent producer. By my standards his latest album wasn't very good and neither was his live show. I will always listen to his new shit because I think he is one of the better producers out there at the moment. I don't think I've ever bought any of his albums. Though in retrospect, I should have bought "See Mystery Lights" on vinyl when I had the chance.

That's all I know.
i never heard of him until i read this, his music seems decent. i looked at their tour schedule and they are booked till the end of summer so i guess the ass at audio damage didn't succeed in creating a homeless man out of this guy.
as for reading the whole letter i suggest just reading whats in bold.
the guy at audio damage is a complete hypocrite, he starts the letter with crap like "this is how we pay our bills" then ends it with "im going to make sure you are never able to pay your bills" its like this guy is trying to pull some nerd mafia shit.
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Angstrom
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by Angstrom » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:48 pm

Chris Randall is a noted grumpy old man of the internet, he's pretty entertaining and I say he's allowed to go around loosing off random apoplectic bursts from his mind cannon.

There's a follow up to the letter above though, and specifically the bolded part where he tries to pull what's known around here as "the big I am", is ...
I wrote my infamous open letter to YACHT on January 24th, and the AD [vimeo] account was removed on January 25th. Come to find out, PDX native Dalas Verdugo, chief help-monkey for vimeo, is a big YACHT fan. I imagine he's affiliated with the band in some way, but I can't find proof of that.

Well, now. Ain't that a peach? Douchebag Fucktwat steals our shit and brags about it, I get a little incensed, and vimeo cancels our account for not scratching him behind the ears and hugging him. Are you shitting me?
which I know it's really bad form to laugh at that reversal.
So I didn't. and neither should you.

Note: I am also prone to angrily shooting my mouth off on teh interwebz and fully expect a similar rotten fish slammed into my face at least once a year.

BTW three points:
1: in internet years this whole thing is 412 years old.
2: C.R. uses Ableton Live and surely, surely, has an alt on this very forum.
3: In 2007 he developed software that enables him to punch people via the internet, so watch it bub

nathannn
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by nathannn » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:55 pm

barryalva wrote:The Audio Damage fellow lost his professional footing by writing threats. :x
I am always fearful of trying any pirated software because I don't know if it's infected or what.
Even stuff from download.com I shy away from even though that site is legit and probably not a threat.
I'm a chicken :x
the fact is most of pirated software is not infected with anything.

with all the cheap ios software out there i dont think most people really give a shit about pirating anymore.
the ios stuff usually has a better interface and is a lot more fun to use.
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by nathannn » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:00 pm

Angstrom wrote:Chris Randall is a noted grumpy old man of the internet, he's pretty entertaining and I say he's allowed to go around loosing off random apoplectic bursts from his mind cannon.

There's a follow up to the letter above though, and specifically the bolded part where he tries to pull what's known around here as "the big I am", is ...
I wrote my infamous open letter to YACHT on January 24th, and the AD [vimeo] account was removed on January 25th. Come to find out, PDX native Dalas Verdugo, chief help-monkey for vimeo, is a big YACHT fan. I imagine he's affiliated with the band in some way, but I can't find proof of that.

Well, now. Ain't that a peach? Douchebag Fucktwat steals our shit and brags about it, I get a little incensed, and vimeo cancels our account for not scratching him behind the ears and hugging him. Are you shitting me?
which I know it's really bad form to laugh at that reversal.
So I didn't. and neither should you.




Note: I am also prone to angrily shooting my mouth off on teh interwebz and fully expect a similar rotten fish slammed into my face at least once a year.

BTW three points:
1: in internet years this whole thing is 412 years old.
2: C.R. uses Ableton Live and surely, surely, has an alt on this very forum.
3: In 2007 he developed software that enables him to punch people via the internet, so watch it bub
good god hes a paranoid fuck isnt he? :lol:
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nathannn
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by nathannn » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:07 pm

Image

"Phosphor is a VSTi/AU instrument modeled on the alphaSyntauri, a vintage digital additive synth. The original alphaSyntauri required an Apple //e to operate, but we've gone ahead and eliminated the middle-man, and now you can have this classic digital synth in your DAW of choice."


so they cloned a synth made to run on some old apple computer, and now are gloating that you dont need apples software to run it.
how is this not a form of piracy? at the very least (if you want to be a technical dick and i do) its copy right infringement.
software devs get away with this all the time!! but still they bitch about piracy???
so its ok for a dev to rip some one else's work of but if you do the same thing you are getting black balled from the industry?
when behringer does this they get sued.



just a side note: i really dont give a shit if any one models anything as long as they are not being a hypocrite about it.
The Push / Novation Launch Pad / Novation Launch Pad Pro / Novation Launch Key
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dhilsabeck
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by dhilsabeck » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 am

nathannn wrote: as for reading the whole letter i suggest just reading whats in bold.
the guy at audio damage is a complete hypocrite, he starts the letter with crap like "this is how we pay our bills" then ends it with "im going to make sure you are never able to pay your bills" its like this guy is trying to pull some nerd mafia shit.
I did read that and I think it reeks a little like the Lars Ulrich/Napster rant. To be honest, I didn't know anything about Audio Damage, and now thanks to YACHT, now I do which I think is pretty ironic. But now I'll probably never buy or use their shit because the well-connected internet tough guy schtick is very off-putting to me.

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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by Forge. » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:49 am

fucksake. Reminds me of the game of thrones cartoon - instead of media companies adapting and accepting the internet and making at least some money from it, they fight it and sue people. It's just the way the world works now, nothing you can do about it.

Going by the torrent sites last time I looked the videos I make for my quite pathetic income are pirated something like 12 to 1. I haven't made a single cent from recorded music since it was on vinyl and I've been releasing digital releases for a few years now. It's just the way it is now and people who are still fighting against that are going to see to us getting a totally controlled internet where everything you ever say or think can be held against you for the rest of your life and you can be monitored at all times.

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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by swishniak » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:50 am

i purchased his last iOS app phaedra. i tried to send some helpful feedback to him, since ive noticed that most iOS developers really like this.

the 2 emails i got back from him were some of the most snarkiest, dismissive mails that ive ever received.

and when it comes down to it, the app aint that great. (would never revert to this kind of trolling if i didnt feel shit-on by the subject).

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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by doghouse » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:55 am

About Phosphor...maybe you're too young to remember the Alpha Syntauri It was a very early hard/soft hybrid machine where the computer powered the sound engine, much like today's Maschine, Spark, MPC Renaissance, Nord Modular.

They claim to have duplicated the sound of the synth so you no longer need to maintain an old Apple II to keep the "real thing" operational. That's hardly piracy!

Piracy wouldn't be happening if the laws could be effectively enforced, instead those of us who do pay for software have to put up with stupid copy protection schemes. Thanks a lot, guys!

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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by ikeaboy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:29 pm

I think If you want to judge CR read the whole post not just the part in bold. It's nice to know so much sweat goes into Audio damage plugs since I forked out for three of them

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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by aizo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:50 pm

I dislike his metaphor / analogy.

If you go into a store and steal something, said thing is gone.

If you pirate software, you've just made / downloaded a copy. Nothing is gone but "potential" money.

Eitherway, I don't care. I buy my shit because it works and updates....

LOL

bought Live..... updates......
ImageImage

dhilsabeck
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Re: a letter from some guys at audio damage pissed about piracy

Post by dhilsabeck » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:25 pm

aizo wrote:I dislike his metaphor / analogy.

If you go into a store and steal something, said thing is gone.

If you pirate software, you've just made / downloaded a copy. Nothing is gone but "potential" money.
This is a good point.

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