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Friday, October 27, 2006

Innovative Solutions for preventing Piracy

A few days ago, I was able to download all tracks from Pakistani band Call's debut album Jilawatan, and have been listening to these over and over again since then. I like some of these more than the others and, obviously, listen to my favourite tracks even more often.

The last time I was so enthused by a musical, was when I listened to Rabbi Shergill's eponymous debut album (titled: Rabbi), after a friend had very kindly led me to a website where I could download the relevant mp3 files. Besides, I have been collecting Qawwalis by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for some time now and my Rock collection prominently features the Irish band U2.

In fact, apart from the 'Tibetan Incantations' compact disc I picked up on a recent trip to Nepal, I can not seem to remember the last time when I purchased a music cassette or a CD. I believe it has been at least 5 years, if not more. God bless the folks that invented the mp3 and similar digital formats and those who provide the files online, for me and the rest of the world to download!

There are brief interruptions, of course, when a Napster or a Kazaa becomes a paid service, but alternatives are available soon enough and one can always find a way to download, without having to pay anything in addition to the cost of internet access, music albums or movies of one's choice.

Like in the case of Rabbi and 'Call', sometimes I do feel the urge to purchase a music album, just because I like the artistes' work so much that I want to support and encourage them. However, meditation has helped me learn to exercise self-control and self-restraint. So, I am mostly able to overcome the urge, unless it appears too difficult to be able to locate and download the music for free off the internet, which, as mentioned before, has happened only once in the past five years.

I am sure there are many others like me in the whole ding-dong world.

It is not as if a good artiste/band will not be successful on account of this, as is evident from the album sales of those that I have mentioned, but they definitely do end up losing a lot in terms of potential revenues.

The orthodox or conventional approach has been to locate websites that offer free downloads, file copyright violation suites against them and to force them to pay up. This leads them to being faced with two options, either to close down the service or to offer downloads, but not for free. Most service providers, when caught in such a bind, choose the latter option.

The way the internet has evolved though, new P2P (Peer-to-Peer) networks offering free downloads always spring up when existing ones are caught out.

I believe the artistes and the music companies should look for some out-of-the-box solutions rather than means to herald the end of the free-download era.

For instance, they could offer high-quality downloads, for free, on their own websites. Revenues could be generated by inserting 10-second long advertisement-jingles in the mp3's (or files of a similar digital format) before or after the piece of music that a user wishes to download, in addition to the advertisements displayed on the site.

I am sure they could earn a lot more in this manner, rather than selling music downloads online.

Similarly, movie files offered for download on the producers' own websites could contain full-length commercials.

If you can not beat them, as they say, join them!


Sidhusaaheb said...

Quite true, after I heard of warez and kazaa there was no point buying a CD/cassette. Music Stars should make money by having concerts or selling memorobilia
Cyberkitty | Homepage | 10.27.06 – 2:00 pm | #


Yup!…and a lot of them are doing that too…

I was trying to figure out a workable way for them to make good money by going along with, rather than against the trend of free downloads. I believe this can work!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.27.06 – 8:59 pm | #


But some time you do like to physically possess things so you still buy. No?

Innovative idea!
shirazi | Homepage | 10.28.06 – 7:31 am | #


Thanks, Shirazi Sa’ab! I hope the idea will be implemented some day.

Many people do buy the CDs or cassettes because of the reason you’ve mentioned, I agree.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.28.06 – 8:01 am | #


SaReGaMa.Com, itunes, etc, I guess sell CDA and MP3s that are pretty much legal.

Now it is upto the thickheads in the industry to realize that ripping an Audio CD is as easy as copying an MP3 File.

So, they, maybe HMV, to begin with, could LEGALLY give us a GOLDEN COLLECTION of Kishore Kumar Hits, rather than my friendly little pathetic pados-waala MP3 vendor…

So, that is my stand on this…

There was a time when a GOOD friend was in this illegal business I bought decent MP3 cds for 150 each. That was 10 times more than what he spent on the product, but that was quality that I paid for. So I can pay HMV as well..

What do you say??? Prepare a business model and send it to the OTHER MBA Morons running / ruining the show at these musicos…

Ra | Homepage | 10.29.06 – 8:47 pm | #


That is a very valid point indeed!

If they bring out well-compiled mp3 collections, I would expect those to sell since that saves the effort of searching for and downloading each track individually. So, this should definitely add to their earnings.

However, these are also likely to find their way to availability for free downloads soon enough. Therefore, I believe that earning advertising revenues from what are essentially free downloads, is one of the things that they should be trying to do.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.29.06 – 9:51 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Hey, finally I find an Indian blog I want to read and follow. Thanks for dropping by.

I feel rather guilty about this Mp3 situation believe me. I loved Rabbi too though havent been able to get into Call’s music quite yet, probably because the first time I ever heard them was in a live concert pre-release of their album and the lead singer was so out of tune I wished I could climb over the 2000 girls assembled and run for the exit than suffer their opening act.
sabizak | Homepage | 10.30.06 – 4:46 pm | #


I am honoured!

Call seem to have done a fine job in the recorded music that I’ve been listening to. Perhaps it was something about the audience at the concert that you attended, which unnerved the poor lead singer!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.30.06 – 6:38 pm | #


lol sidhusaheb! That just may have been it since it was an amphitheatre full of just girls.
Have you heard EP?
sabizak | Homepage | 10.31.06 – 2:16 pm | #


Hehe…that was what I was alluding to… :P

Since I don’t really know what you mean by EP, I can’t say whether I have heard EP or not.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.31.06 – 6:47 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

EP – Entity Paradigm .. you can search for their WAQT song … the voice is reall rocking of the lead singer … and dont ask anyone the number of their group members

Well call rocks … and have you listened to Kaavish’s bachpan … you can search for the lyrics on my blog and if you’ll be interested I’ll upload it and will send a link … the most beautiful number – you’ll find it worth listening to …!
Asma | Homepage | 11.01.06 – 5:12 pm | #


Okay! I will definitely check out EP’s and Kaavish’s songs that you have recommended and will seek help if I can’t locate any of those.

Meanwhile, the number of EP’s group members does sound like an interesting one!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.01.06 – 8:38 pm | #


@sabizak: i know some who (even if they liked the music enough to want to stay) would love to exit by climbing over 2000 girls.
zakintosh | Homepage | 11.15.06 – 2:45 am | #


Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.15.06 – 1:29 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Good points! To be honest I’m a bit lost between what i can and cannot do on-line, and whatever i do do is bound to get me into bother, even without meaning to :D

Seriously I don’t mind buying the odd CD, I kind of like nosing around music shops, and think it would be a shame if these went completely out of fashion – saying that, many musicians make ridiculous amounts of money anyway…a few less pounds in the bank wouldn’t do them any harm, I’m sure they wouldn’t be left begging on the streets because of it.

…and yup! I have a couple of U2 CD’s which I enjoy listening to!
Fi | Homepage | 10.27.09 – 4:31 pm | #


That is why I tried to think of a solution that should prove advantageous for the listeners as well as the artistes. :)

I had transferred my entire U2 collection on to a DVD when I formatted the computer. Now, the DVD appears to have developed a snag. :|
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.27.09 – 5:05 pm | #


okay, fine, but how can we/you stop those, who buy CDs and DVDs and put it on web for other users at no cost.
Zain Shaikh | Homepage | 10.28.09 – 6:17 pm | #


If they could have been stopped, would I have had to think of such a solution? :D

The idea is to create a win-win situation for the listeners as well as the artistes, in place of the win-lose situation that exists at present.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 10.28.09 – 9:08 pm | #