It's always a sad reminder for us when we see people (who can obviously afford our software) stealing it :(
I admit I've pirated a lot of software in order to try it over time, but I end up buying what I start using in my workflow. I don't make money producing music (yet!), so I definitely use trials or pirate expensive plugins (I'll often try to re-trial something if my trial lapses and I haven't yet used it enough).
Serum? I downloaded the trial, used it, then bought it. The same with LFO Tool. It is a complete steal at its price point, and an absolute beautiful piece of software. I hope Kanye gets more flac for this.
Keep up the great work! I'm constantly blown away at the work you and Steve do.
I see him as more of a 128 kinda guy.
While I empathize with most of your comment, you lost me at the end. Let's not use hyperbolic rhetoric. The crime is copyright infringement (unlawful copying), not stealing (theft), and not plunder and murder on the high seas (piracy). Yes, the sheet music publishers back in the day were able to convince people to use the language of the terrorism of their day (piracy). The hyperbole still harms discourse.
Do you think a kid in his bedroom who hasn't saved up enough allowance to buy Serum, start his own subscription-based music streaming service, and hire his own legal team to sue pirate bay, probably has a mom who has already purchased it and licensed on another computer at home, too?
> but it is taking something from somebody
Here is where the inaccurate language harms discussion. Nothing is taken from the author. The author still has just as much as they had before the unlawful copying, apart from lost opportunity. They have lost a potential sale.
The analogy with theft breaks down quickly, and using the language of theft (or worse, insisting that it is really identical to theft) hinders clear thinking about the issue. Yes, it's a useful rhetorical device, since infringing on someone's physical property rights produces a strong emotional reaction. However, that strong emotional reaction doesn't foster rational discussion.
The only thing actually taken from the tool creator is opportunity cost. If you set up a cluster of two machines that illegally copy back and forth as fast as GigE allows, things aren't taken from the tool's creator at a higher rate.
Consider if you made ... something to sell. Something great, that you know people want. But no one bought it. But they want it, they just waited you out until you gave up and threw it away, and then yoinked it from your trash.
It's a violation of social decency, as much as pilfering something from your home -- maybe more so. The mere act of physical appropriation can't be the most important thing, since we don't complain about stealing some dirt or water from your property, and we don't complain about, say, chopping down a tree.
Perhaps a better word for copyright violation is vandalism, not theft. It destroys the value of someone's work, the taking isn't the important part.
excuse me, I'm a representative from the Word Industry Association of America (WIAA). My client actually owns the publishing rights to the word "pilfering", as his 8x-previous ancestors were the first recorded authors to use that word in print.
We take our IP very seriously, and it appears you are using a word to which you do not own the license, which is, as you know, theft. We can settle this now for a small $3800 license fee plus a 20% attorney's fee or we can risk going to trial which on average costs 5x as much.
Please consider this legal notice and send an official response withing 7 business days to avoid a protracted legal battle. Thank you.
Which isn't a very strong argument, since you also lose a potential sale if someone decides to purchase your competitor's product rather than your own. And hopefully no one would call that "stealing."
I used to be in the camp in philosophical support of piracy, and I still pirate some of my media. But, I no longer try to excuse the behavior behind a thinly veiled philosophy.
Maybe it's not stealing, but it sure isn't harmless.
That's true, but the firm's bottom line is the same regardless of whether they lost a sale to piracy or lost a sale to a competitor.
> I used to be in the camp in philosophical support of piracy, and I still pirate some of my media. But, I no longer try to excuse the behavior behind a thinly veiled philosophy.
Then either I'm on the same philosophical road as you but further back, or my philosophical support is stronger than yours was.
Yes, the firm's bottom line remains the same. But the difference between losing a sale to a competitor and losing a sale to piracy has vastly different consequences. When losing a sale to a competitor, there is competition and money continues to flow into "Product Market X", fueling competition and innovation. When a potential purchaser in "Product Market X" gets the best firm's product for free, it hurts competition and innovation by decreasing the sale to the best company.
>Then either I'm on the same philosophical road as you but further back, or my philosophical support is stronger than yours was.
Only time will tell. I totally agree information should be shared and spread for the good of humanity, but there needs to be some returns for people that seek it (to a reasonable amount of money... Adobe can get bent).
Here's a relevant quote on winxp's 'pirated' audio,
-- According to Benjamin Kern, attorney at Chicago-based law firm Gordon & Glickson LLC, the use of a pirated version of Sound Forge can result in a copyright infringement claim : "Other legal issues, such as patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation and contract breach may also be relevant, but copyright infringement is the most prominent," --
No high seas murder or plundering involved.
So every time I download Linux, I am stealing?
I have never heard anything like in my 35 years of playing, writing, and producing music, and altho I am sure there are other synths that perform as well, given the low price and accessibility of it as a VSTi, it constantly blows me away.
Thanks for developing it.
Kanye is probably bad with money, but he remembers what it's like to be a poor musician.
If you haven't already come out at him outraged, maybe you can talk to him about your product and get some good publicity. Or start a temporary 'Kanye' discount and offer it to him first.
But it was the opposite.
You're one of the good guys and it sucks that this happened to you.
Even if that means you will top the VST piracy charts...
In fact, is this just a genious marketing stunt..?
> I used a pirated copy of sylenth on my last 4 albums. #TrueReveal
Steve Aoki was also caught using the above software in a music video with Linkin Park, though he proved that he had bought the software but his assistants installed a pirated version on his road laptop. http://stoneyroads.com/2013/08/steve-aoki-responds-to-claims...
I think this all comes down to effort and usability. To purchase the software you have to go through a bunch of screens, enter payment info, download, install, and then enter a serial number. For pirating software you just search for it and it's usually easier to install, with some cracks even bypassing steps. What's interesting to me is that people don't question their own ethics before doing this, especially music producers like Kanye who don't like pirates. Then again we've seen similar backlash against people using adblockers, but most would sympathize with them instead for other reasons.
> “lmaooo wtf why does it matter?”
LennarDigital (the company behind Sylenth) decided to reply to his tweet and said that they "are happy to make it a matter".
He later on went and accused Razer that it was their laptop in the video, which resulted in them canceling the contract with him and removing that god-awful tutorial from their website. I laughed so hard as the accusations went on and on.
Unless perhaps the software ships with audio samples that are granted royalty-free usage to anyone who has a legit license to the software package? Extremely unlikely, just trying to imagine why someone would think this.
> I don't know what it does, it just makes everything super louder. [...] It just sounds very very way more stronger.
"I end up usually taking 'out' so it just makes it shorter and tighter so... normal would be... you know, you can kinda hear the difference a little, shorter and sharper."
Subtitle: "Increase 'out' parameter to isolate the attack transient"
Yep, exactly what he said.
You're forgetting the iLok. Physical license keys are one of those laughable gimmicks of pro multimedia. My laptop only has 3 USB ports - fairly normal - one is always taken up by this dead weight (or I have to use a hub).
Plus, since iLok has the monopoly when it comes to dongles, they racket everyone into purchasing an additional "insurance", otherwise if you lose your key, your licenses are gone forever, unless you pay $130 (+$50 for the new iLok, + $30 for the insurance I belive). Seems obvious to me that this figure is not based on any actual required work, but on the fact that most people have well over $130 of licenses on their iLok, so they eventually give their money to iLok or move to pirating.
For me that's counterbalanced by the fact that you never quite know what you're getting with pirated software. If I just buy it, I know I'm not infecting my main music computer with something nasty. Also, as a software developer myself I like to pay my peers for their work. And how much effort is it to enter a serial number?
My only anxiety is: what happens if I lose the serials? (I try to keep them backed up.) And will it be a huge hassle to move this stuff to another computer? If a company sells me software that's hard to move and reinstall when I change computers, I'm not likely to buy from them again.
Regarding this specific software it seems to me it's easier to get legally that illegally. Their website is really easy to use, checkout fast, and no copy protection to get in the way of the install.
There a lot of music software available. You can avoid any companies using iLok and similar distribution methods and still have all your needs covered.
Speculative and sensationalist reporting by Ars.
But music software is a HUGE pain in the ass to purchase. Pro Tools, for example, is tied to a dongle. It's 2016, and that's still the security method they choose to use. Lose the dongle? You're fucked. It's unfathomably frustrating.
I can't think of a single popular commercial DAW that's worse to use. Pretty much the only people I see use it are all aspiring rappers. I guess it has hip hop cred.
Tangentially, I can't think of a single piece of Avid software that isn't a flaming piece of shit.
Full disclosure: I used to have to support Avid.
Pro Tools is shit, I agree, but because of Avid's dominance in the film/TV worlds, Pro Tools is the "professional" choice for audio in support of these industries. I imagine that most music houses have moved on to the Apple or Steinberg offerings. Personally, I've always really liked Steinberg's products, especially WaveLab and Cubase.
As bad as Pro Tools is, don't even get me started on Ableton Live. It's like someone just barely made it out of their first Code Academy lesson alive, and then attempted to reverse engineer Nuendo. Utterly horrifying application development standards over at Ableton.
That's pretty much all I've seen anyone (professional) recording instruments use going on 10 years now.
If you're just producing electronic music, want VSTs, and/or just using a few live tracks, then yeah; you're probably far better off using something else.
In a professional setting (recording, mixing, mastering label-released albums), I've seen PT used far less than Cubase.
I see it used less than Logic, even.
Dongles are understandably thought of as a bit of a pain by many musicians, and I'm sure many developers understand that they'll lose customers by requiring one.
Getting all my (legitimately purchased) plugins back onto the system is an absolute nightmare.
I've started paring my setup down to just Ableton and a handful of plugins for this reason.
Whether it's him doing it or a member of his 'team' - the guy has a writer stable of 14 known artists and brings in others like he was giving away free studio time and Yeezy shoes - it just smacks of lazy. Certainly it happens in the industry. Lots of various approaches are easy or time consuming type difficult, I guess it kind of depends on the producer and the goal.
Personally I just like using great new tools that cost very little but allow for a lot of creative expressiveness. YMMV.
He really should install an ad blocker though, to get rid of those "Mac Keeper" and "Attention" tabs.
And on the Pirate Bay tab he had searched for Xfe... (the name of the plugin vendor, so probably typed "Xfer records Serum").
Sure looks like he was downloading it...
(Btw, I recommended anybody interest in electronic music product checks it out, it's an excellent wavetable/additive synthesis audio plugin with crazy good filters to avoid aliasing).
How difficult is it to duplicate Serum-esque wavetable generation using ChucK or CSound? It seems in my uninformed opinion you would have a lot more freedom using raw math over visual gui. Do you have the same range of available osc's and filters as you have in commercial packages? Or would they be relatively easy to implement if missing out of the box?
Serum-esque? Sure, selecting waveforms from a lookup table isn't difficult. However implementing clean sounding alias-free oscillators that can themselves be modulated at audio rate and so on requires years of accumulated domain knowledge. On top of that serum has all kinds of fancy features, such as the ability to import wave files and generate good-sounding wavetables from them, high quality filters, (look up zero-delay-feedback filters) complex modulation routing and most importantly, a GUI that lets you navigate all this complexity and actually compose music with it.
>you would have a lot more freedom using raw math over visual gui.
Exactly. Freedom is the enemy of creativity. Hence why the majority of max/msp users don't actually make music with it. The more layers of abstraction and choices there are standing between your musical idea and making actual sounds, the harder it is to ever realise those ideas. By the time you've finished messing around with all the technical stuff and making endless choices, you've lost the idea. Hence the endless appeal of the acoustic guitar and human voice combo.
It's certainly possible to make music the other way around, where you let the machines have the ideas and you simply guide them, but it's a very different thing. Using pure math and code really shines here, as well as modular synthesis equipment.
EDIT: talking of modular, Waldorf, the german company who pioneered wavetable synths in the 90s (you'll take my uWave XT from my cold dead hands!) have just released a wavetable-based eurorack module, and it's pretty extra-crunchy, no anti aliasing here ;)
There's a ton of filters, I'm sure you could find the basic LP/BP/HP filters, but I know some of the moog-style filters have to be licensed. There's also filter options that aren't typically considered "filters" (flange, allpass with multiple stages, a weird reverb-esque one), and a few filters that are just Duda's own experiments (I think he said the French LP model was just him playing around with the math).
Then you'd also have to reimplement the FX section, which Serum also provides as a standalone plugin that you can place after other audio sources.
Still though, the GUI is a huge benefit of Serum, which makes editing waveforms, envelope curves, LFO shapes, and modulation routing really easy. Almost anything can be routed to almost anything else, as well as several macro controls, which makes it a great live instrument too.
Find me on github, and maybe we can start something.
edit: someone posted above that he was on this site (might not have been on this specific page though) http://www.pirate-baytorrent.com/xfer-records-serum-1-07b4-v...
Seriously, guys, sanitize your screenshots. Every screenshot I take, I crop down as much as possible and check for stuff like that thoroughly. Bookmarks, tabs, windows, system tray, notification, they all could potentially contain very private or even incriminating information.
This is really an issue most people aren't aware of. People somehow learn how to take screenshots of their entire desktop on computers and share them, but also somehow fail to learn how to take screenshots of a window or crop/blur them appropriately. Or perhaps they're always in a hurry and don't have the time to look up how to deal with it.
I have learned which banks some people use (online banking tab open), which browser they use, which programs are running on their system (from the task bar), which Facebook pages they have open, whom they're messaging with on Facebook, which other articles around the web they're reading, and so many other details just by looking at screenshots. It may not be an issue that I got to know these, but it's an information leak that should've been avoided.
Since people aren't going to change quickly, the only solution I can think of is having the screenshot feature or software on all platforms ask the user with a simple UI what they would like to black/blur out and then save that. Dear Apple, here's a cue to build this right into iOS and OS X to continue with the "privacy matters" motto for users (of course, it would be great if Google and MS also embrace this across all their platforms).
On Windows though, I use Greenshot  to capture the screen or a window or a specific region of the screen, with options to send the capture to one of several programs directly. Paint.NET  is what I normally use for cropping/annotations/masking, etc.
(yeah, not as intuitive as having a PrtScrn button)
Second: Unauthorized use of a copyrighted tool (e.g., music-editing software) to create a copyrighted work of authorship --- a song and a sound recording of the song, let's say --- normally wouldn't result in loss of the copyright in either the song or the sound recording.
(This is a different situation than creating a derivative work without authorization.)
But such unauthorized use of the music-editing software could result in the author of the song and sound recording having to pay the owner of the copyright in the music-editing software for the former's "indirect profits" arising from the infringement. That can be a remedy with real teeth.
The case I usually teach to illustrate this point is Frank Music Corp. v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. , 886 F.2d 1545 (9th Cir. 1989) (Frank Music II). In that case:
+ The MGM Grand Hotel had a floor show called Hallelujah Hollywood!, which included 'tributes' to various MGM movies. The floor show incorporated significant portions of the Broadway musical Kismet, which years earlier had been made into an MGM movie.
+ The court found that MGM's use of the Kismet material in its floor show went beyond its 'movie rights' license and therefore infringed the copyright in the underlying Broadway musical.
+ As a result, MGM had to pay not just a portion of profits from the Hallelujah Hollywood! floor show itself (such as profits from sales of tickets to the show), but also 2% of the profits from the MGM Grand's overall hotel operations — including 2% of the casino profits — which, the court found, were indirectly attributable to the promotional value of the floor show. 
It didn't help MGM's case that its annual report had boasted about how great the floor show was as a draw for the casino, thus helping the copyright owner prove up its case for indirect profits.
 The above description is copied essentially verbatim from my piece, http://www.oncontracts.com/a-better-way-to-handle-a-breach-o...
Kanye West was not caught doing a damn thing. A screenshot of a computer that may or may not be his has a Pirate Bay tab open in the background.
That's a far cry from "caught using to download".
Maybe I've become overly sensitive to possibly hurtful language in this era of codes of conduct, microaggressions, trigger words, etc. But I think it's marginalizing to use the sexuality of a segment of people (consenting adults, let's assume) as something shameful. I've also read that midget is considered a derogatory slur by many in that community.
Anyway, I'm not trying to condemn you, because I know you didn't mean anything hurtful or negative. You're just using the phrase as a generic example of sexual deviancy. And sexual deviancy is inherently embarrassing in our Puritanical culture – and worse from a PR perspective.
And like I said, I might be way off base here. I might be that annoying guy in the conversation who isn't actually offended but thinks someone else might possibly be offended. But since we're all focused on being more inclusive these days, I thought it was worth saying something. I say accidentally-possibly-exclusionary shit like this all the time – part of the reason I'm more vigilant about it lately, trying to improve my own behavior. :)
From the Little People of America organization:
"The word 'midget' is used as a derogatory slur to refer to people of short stature. Whether or not the intention of using the word is to bully and to demean, or just as a synonym for small, the term has been deemed a slur by those within the community and should be eliminated accordingly. In a recent organizational statement, LPA put forward a call to action to abolish the word from the everyday nomenclature and to replace it with synonymous designations when necessary."
Anyway, thanks for observing the feedback in the spirit it was given. Cheers.
I'm not offended on others' behalf. I'm not a social justice warrior. I'm not demonizing anyone. I just wanted OP to know that the term "midget" is viewed as a derogatory slur by people in that community. I probably wouldn't have brought it up, but it was used in a context that I found slightly negative, slightly off-putting.
That's it, not a big deal. If we want to be a more inclusive community, I personally think it's good, necessary even, to give people polite, respectful feedback about something they said being exclusionary. And the OP can choose to incorporate that feedback or ignore it. I don't think I'm 100% right all the time; ignoring or disagreeing with my opinion won't offend me. (Implying I somehow vaguely belong in the Female Hitler Youth is a little excessive, but whatevs.) Honestly, I would have preferred to provide feedback privately in this case, but HN doesn't have a means to do so unless you put contact info in your profile.
You and I seem to disagree on this, but there's probably at least one thing we agree on, like books or movies or programming languages or freakin' pizza toppings. I hate how public Internet discussions so quickly escalate into full-scale ideological war. Sometimes a comment is just a comment, not an opening gambit.
I think pirating is wrong and I pay for my software/music.
Edit: Whoa! You're one of the creators. Congrats on getting this kind of exposure. It's unfortunate it has to be because wealthy people don't pay for your product. :(
This includes some big EDM names that really should have known better, given that anything like that is bound to generate many articles (Martin Garrix, Avicii, and Steve Aoki were the previous "big name offenders" exposed for showing pirate copies of Sylenth1 in videos). More to the point, several less known DJs have done things (like say a demo for Future Music) where eagle eyes will spot pirated synths there too.
It's pretty clear that Kanye didn't install a popup blocker while visiting The Pirate Bay; if he actually knew what he was doing, surely he'd at least do that, right? :)