Report Music Piracy Online and Recommendations for Prevention

Help Us in the Campaign Against Music Piracy.

There is a big change in selling music today. Before, all we could do is go to our favorite store and buy the albums of the artist we love. Now it is different, music is easily accessible everywhere. We can find a lot of music in the internet. This is an advantage for both music consumers and recording artist. It is because music consumers can find music in the internet which is very easy to do. In the side of the recording artist, any indie can sell songs for downloads and can easily promote songs than before.

However there is a big problem with selling and marketing music today and it is piracy and unauthorized use of recording medium. This is really affecting how the music industry earns. I feel bad music is easy to exploit in the internet, I am a music creator myself and I need to fully protect my ownership. Music consumers and listeners should understand that songs are forms of properties and such commercial usage means compensation for the use of such rights unless it is clearly waived by the songwriter.

Songwriting is a form of profession which we earn money from songs, professional songwriters’ changes peoples lives and inspire them. In return they get income in the form of royalties and license payments for the use of songs. A song and an iPod is no different, you buy an iPod for yourself to be entertained. So, the same with the songs you are loading with it, you have to pay for it also.

If you are Steve Jobs, and you heard someone is replicating illegally the iPod, how do you feel? It is the same feeling of the songwriter, when he/she knows that someone is illegally replicating the songs without proper compensation.

So how can you help the songwriters in the campaign against Music Piracy???

The easiest thing is to report music piracy online. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is very active in preventing music piracy. Actually, in good faith, it is normal to download songs for your own personal use and you should not share it with others or it will become a piracy. Also I can hardly believe why some countries particularly Philippines is very slow (or almost show no resistance at all!), in arresting pirated products.

If you visit Philippines especially in the major cities, you will see stores selling pirated products of artist songs in urban areas and even very near to Government City Halls and Police stations! I have a friend in Canada and US and this is not the case. I strongly believe this only happen in the Philippines.

I hope someone in RIAA will paid a visit to Philippines and you will surprise millions of pirated audio CDs are being sold almost everywhere in the country’s major cities. This cost millions to music industry business.

In the case of the internet, there are many file sharing sites and downloading sites I have seen. I know it is very hard to detect but it worth reporting to RIAA for examination of these type of sites. I do not know if these sites have legal licenses to operate. I strongly recommend that if a site offers some free downloading without a license you will report it immediately to RIAA, so that they can take a look at it whether it is operating with proper business license and copyrights.

What are my recommendations to solve music piracy?

I would like to contribute realistic solutions to the music industry which could prevent music piracy problems:

1. Encourage awards to people reporting music piracy websites and store locations. This is the same case when pursuing hard hitting and hiding criminals, there is always an award for someone reporting the hideout location. Think of Al-Qaeda terrorist, someone that will report the hideout will get something in return ($$$). Piracy is a crime.

2. If advance in music and digital technology makes piracy very easy, then make use of the technology to beat it also. One of the pitfalls in digital music revolution is the birth of Compact disc (CD) and MP3, we are praised with this invention. It is so easy to play, shuffle and select songs using a CD player. The quality of the digital audio is superb such as MP3. But this revolution is a nightmare to many music entrepreneurs, with some hideous criminals easily setup CD replication plants to illegally manufacture audio CD or burn MP3 without proper authorization and sell those MP3’s.

I am thinking of having a unique code embedded in the sound wave of original recordings, and when a song streams or being downloaded in the internet, it will send packets of signal to a master server where all copyrighted sound recordings are in placed with corresponding unique code. Then a song publisher or recording label can then add a complete authorized users of the song. Any illegal streaming or downloading sites can then be traced, caught and arrested if they cannot present a license.

What is needed:
a. A technology to embed unique code in the sound wave of final master recordings done by a producer. So any recording producer should have this type of technology and embed code into the sound wave to protect the master recording. This software should be open source and I challenge all open source developers to work on this. This embedded unique code will not change in any change of format (like MP3, WMA, etc). How good this type of software development is measured in how hard or how impossible it is to crack.

b. A master web server which handles the database of all of master recording unique codes submitted by all producers or sound recording owners. This master server should be able to receive all transmissions from a player that is capable of sending packets to the server. The job of this server is to get the data of those unique codes and compare that with the database. The database will then give information of the legal users of the song. This identification could be a form of licensing number used during the licensing process. The licensing number uniquely identifies a certain user based on the terms of the music license. So during music licensing the owner and the user agrees where the music will be used, this includes websites where it will be published for use. If any mismatch occur, it is a red flag of piracy and will send an email to the copyright holder. The copyright holder can then gather those facts reported by the server and gather enough evidence to file copyright infringement cases.To protect both songwriters and owners of sound recordings. A single song written by a certain songwriter x should only associated with a single/unique code in the sound wave. The songwriter information is included during registrations in the master web server for monitoring. Any duplicated cases requires licensing from music publisher and should be detected during web server song registrations. Any submissions should be cleared first for piracy before being added to the system.

c.A player like some sort of flash plug in or flash web page media player but this is capable of sending packets containing those unique codes to the master server. This player should be industry web standard and any old versions of player will not play if the audio (any form whether MP3, WMA, others) contains the embedded unique code. This is very easy to do.

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