Business of Music in India

…exploring the future…

Piracy of Music Software – part 1:

Piracy of Music Production Software:

This is an area very very close to my heart… and stomach!

Because this is what keeps my fuel at home burning. And let me also add that it does not give me the luxury of dining at a 5* hotel (a big myth that the software industry chaps have all the money).

After leaving my cushy coporate career (much before it could take off), I joined hands with Mariano of Swar Systems, Switzerland. With Ranjan from Delhi and some other programmers in Pune, we built the world’s first (and perhaps the only) Indian music software called SWARSHALA.

When I hit the market way back in 2005 with version 3, responses from consumers shook the daylights out of me. The SwarShala “standard” version which is useful to learn basics of Indian music, gives 3 built-in instruments (in both North and South editions) for practice, and lets one compose music costs Rs. 1,500. A physical (electronic) instrument set would cost Rs. 15,000 for the same practice purpose.

Common response from consumers (music lovers, students of music, parents, even teachers): “I’ll get it from my computer guy. I’m sure he has this wonderful product. And it will be for free.”

4 years of hard-work on developing a unique software built by a dedicated team (started in 2001), who left their jobs for a dream to give Indian muic to the world. With a price range of Rs. 500 (beginners) to Rs. 9,000 (for professionals).

And in 2009, there are hard core “professionals” in India who still pirate music production software, and use it in their ‘hit’ songs!

Software companies ask us distributors to pick up atleast 50-100 units in every order to be at par on discounts with other distributors across the world. More on this in part 2…

Forget CD sales and music track downloads by the layman. Many musicians who are in the business of music production don’t buy original software – based on which they earn their bread (and other things). Thankfully, we have a few good musicians who do buy. (And such sincerity shows in their work also.)

But how long can things go on like this?
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Next: How music software sells worldwide versus India.

4 Responses to “ Piracy of Music Software – part 1: ”

  1. Alok Punjani Says:

    I like the stomach bit Adi.. It adds a very human angle to the entire conversation…

    Ok.. What do we all think.. as a group .. or as informed members of the fraternity.. Should do..

    I’m ok with giving out names of people and studio’s using pirated stuff.. and even big workhouses where every month a system is reinstalled again to use the plugs again..
    Phew..

    ya i know a few of them..

    Shall we open a pirate bay page on the FB and have the info. spread across..

    and in the meanwhile if we can have a legal angle to it..

    I’m thinking aloud..
    We can even have albums rated as … made on pirated stuff..
    charged an X amount for the song.. and paid a Y amount for the pc hack.

    And yes have all the music pc walla’s arrested for 3 years or 10cr fine to be paid and 2 years jail.

    What say…


  2. Aditya Says:

    no alok. i don’t think letting out names will do any good to anyone. it will only create more resentment.

    the idea should be to sensitise people who make their living on music and because of music production software.

    its only through educational campaigns conducted by organisations like IMSTA (International Music Software Trade Associations) that will show some results, i think.

    also, the ones who buy originals must be awarded. and publicly acknowledged.

    what say?


  3. sudhin Says:

    On the positive side – as a legal software reseller since 1991, I see younger buyers prefer to go legal. Its the older musicians and PC reseller induced pirates that are the problem. Most pirates dont even offer a reason why they use cracks and it appears to me more a habit than intention and once having done it they see no reason to change as they see no crime in it.
    Its education of the youngsters, that everyone does not do it and availability of product in India that will change the market – slowly but surely.


  4. alokpunjani Says:

    Adi.. If we seriously want to do something about it..
    I accept your suggestions completely.. but it should be guided by a timeline..

    Lets sensitize and award people.. but if they don’t BUST them..

    In the meanwhile..
    All the PC hack providers should be booked.. and their deeds.. given to the press..

    For sure..

    As I said before.. Actions speak louder for me..
    Lets Do it.. and I’m ready to actively be a part of it..

    To a good future.