Via ProSoundNews Europe
BanPiracy.com, the license collection agency working on behalf of the music software industry, who's only client appears to be Waves at this time, have issued five writs against LA studios totaling $29,000. Punitive damages and legal costs, suggest that the final amount sought maybe considerably greater.
The studios and individuals are named over at the PSNE report (it was they who broke the initial story), also in the report are BanPiracy's steps of action:
1. Discovery of piracy within a recording/production facility;
2. Sending a Letter of Liability;
3. Discussing a Settlement Offer;
4. Trial Lawsuit.
"Nobody wants to go to court," says Michael David (CEO). Indeed, BanPiracy.com have initiated a Go Legit program, where users who think they may have been inadvertently (or otherwise) using cracked software can make contact anonymously and get it sorted. "You'll save a fortune in legal fees" it says on the Go Legit page.
Most people are in agreement that software piracy is major problem for the industry making large and small developers struggle to get revenue in for products they develop, but BanPiracy, who's covert tactics for uncovering the infringements have been criticized as inappropriate in an industry where bon homme and goodwill are major factors.
Presumably, there will be more writs issued as BanPiracy and Waves work through the considerable number of unlicensed copies of their software they say are out there.
The rights and wrongs of this approach have been discussed endlessly on sites such as Create Digital Music and also on our own Sonic TALK podcast, where ProSound News Europe's editor Dave Robinson brought the initial story, but one thing is certain, the perception of BanPiracy's clients and their aggressive approach to this issue are bound to dispel any cuddly warm feelings people may have had for the products and companies in question. One has to ask, is this the best approach? According to BanPiracy's Michael David, who put it quite simply as "Absolutley".
While it is relatively simple for an individual to know what is or isn't installed on their system, the difficulty arises in larger studios where visiting freelancers my install software. It is argue the studio managers, extremely difficult to police all the systems effectively. One might also add that many studios do run cracks of many plugs and the culture has developed where this is seen as okay, making it politically difficult for clients (regular, paying types) to be forced to comply with the new order of legitimacy.