How would you slow down the pirating of recordings?

The results from last week's Vote! indicate a clear distaste for watermarking as a means of preventing the pirating of recordings. But what do you suggest be done in its place?

How would you slow down the pirating of recordings?
Here's my idea:
63% (91 votes)
It's not really a problem.
31% (45 votes)
Don't know.
6% (9 votes)
Total votes: 145

Damon Anderson's picture

As a record company, here are some possibilities short of Federal intervention: 1) Become the desirable source. In most cases, pirated merchandise is inferior to legitimate products. Show customers they will get a superior product at a 2) good price. It is well documented the record industry has been trying every way possible to squeeze more money from its customers. Better retail prices mean more retail sales (I call this idea "Capitalism"). If pirates can't undercut the retailers, piracy is impractical. 3) Get with the program. Sites like MP3.COM and Napster (and MP3 in general) should not have been seen as problems, but new ways to sell products. One would think the record industry would find a way to use these outlets to their advantage. Perhaps a BMG or Columbia House download sight (with superior quality downloads) would be just as successfull. 4) Show some trust (a two-way street). The record industry would have everyone believe everyone is into piracy (whether buying or selling), and no one will buy legitimate products. This is not true and most people know it. Conversely, people are less sympathetic to an industry which continues to enjoy growing profits when they exagerate the piracy problem as being an epidemic. There are other ideas which include government interventiion (surcharges on media and/or equipment) like those in Canada which could also be affective. But politicians will be reluctant to jump on an issue so many apparently feel strongly about. Finally, cooperation between the record industry, media manufacturers and equipment companies would certainly be affective, but would likely arrouse anti-trust suspicions among other things.

lord_coz's picture

Hummm maby sell the f-ing disks for cheaper, that might help.....

Michael Hackett's picture

It's not nearly as big a problem as the industry makes it out to be, as most of the people buying pirated CDs wouldn't have paid full price anyway. Same for most of the kids downloading from Napster. Meanwhile, sales are actually up as a result of the availability of free downloads. But if the industry really wants to cut into piracy, the solution is quite simple: They need to eliminate the demand by offering better value in their products. Copy protection won't do anything but alienate their current customers.

Tony P.'s picture

Lower the prices of discs. It is impossible to eliminate piracy completely, but lowering the prices may cause people to buy instead of copy in cases when they are not 100% sure they will like the title.

Mr.  Gridlock's picture

Price CDs at a reasonable price. BMG's new one-price CD website is a great start. They'll never stop pirating completely, but perhaps more people will buy them if they're priced as they should be: around $10.

John Carlson's picture

Recording companies could have their recordings reasonably priced....

Louis Perlman's picture

Lower prices, way down. At close to $20 for a CD, it's hard to see where the artist's royalty is—so small wonder that kids don't think piracy is wrong.

Henry's picture

I think the issue of downloadable media is not a copyright-protection issue. I think it is much more about a defunct, antiquated business model trying to put a stranglehold on progress. If the record companies would get together and figure out a new way of collecting revenues other than the typical record sale, there would be no copyright issue.

Rob Cornelson's picture

Who Knows Who cares Why Bother

Arron Audiophile, Perth WA's picture

Provide decent-quality recordings at a fair price; e.g., Santana's Abraxas. The quad version on vinyl is probably the best percussion recording in my collection for top-end transients, clarity, and openness. The 1st CD release is abysmal, the second "anniversary edition" is pathetic—I have now mastered "my own" off the vinyl, and about 50 people have heard it and fallen off their chairs with its sound. If I can do it with a $1300 Gina card, why can't the record companies??? Not to mention Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Music, where some idiot altered the pitch from Hawaiian "slack key" to concert, or my Mahler No.5 with John Barbirolli, where the first CD sounds like three blankets were draped in front of the speakers. Or even the "Recordings of the Century" series, which has a nasty top end you could shave with. I am close to "blackballing" all my CD/DVD/SACD purchases until there is a massive improvement. Oh yes, I do own a "legal" version of all the above CDs, but listen to my own versions—so why bother to duplicate vinyl on CD, SACD, etc?? Thank god for Naxos and Harmonia Mundi!

Geno's picture

You can't force people into being honest using watermarking or any other technology. Just offer a good product at a fair price, and the person with honor will buy it.

Michael Turner's picture

Cassette didn't destroy the music industry. VHS didn't destroy the movie industry. Professional pirates are not going to be affected by whatever the music industry comes up with—and friends copying albums has historically lead to increased sales, not decreased. The industry is once again desperately trying to shoot itself in the foot. In the end the industry will, once again, have spent way too much time and money unsuccessfully trying to stop something that ultimately either doesn't really hurt it or actually benefits it. Meanwhile, the real professional pirates go about business as usual and only the end user (listener) gets screwed.

Rutger 2's picture

Use the FMD discs instead from and then you can use a lot higher quality audio and still have room for inaudible copy protection.

mike's picture

Lowering the price of original CD/LP.

Anonymous's picture

lower the prices....the recording industry is ripping us off

Mike Molinaro's picture

O.K., class, for the Nth time, if it is that big a problem, LOWER THE PRICE OF THE MUSIC. Unless, of course, the record companies wish to spend their time and extra income chasing pirates.

Steve Day's picture

By reducing prices, there would of course be less profit to be made by pirates. Also, criminal sanctions against professional pirates should be strongly enforced.

David L.  Wyatt Jr.'s picture

Pirating really isn't the problem the record companies claim, at least inside the U.S. How many people you know with a bunch of bootlegs? I own one, itself a live performance, out of about a thousand recordings. Instead, it's a red herring Simply put, there is no copy-protection scheme that cannot be broken. Record companies should admit as much, and offer us high-quality issues at a reasonable price.

Toan's picture

It's rather simple, actually: stop making recorders. DUHH!!!

Sylvain's picture

This whole thing sucks. We all know that the artists are the losers. They were 20 years ago, and still are. The companies are the ones making the big bux. I remember a few years ago when the goverment added a tax to tapes. Why not do the same with recordable CDs and hard drives? You will never prevent somebody from deciphering recorded CDs, programs, etc. I know, I am a programmer. This won't prevent these companies—Sony and the others&$151;from making tons of money.

Renato Maceda's picture

Everyone knows that a CD costs less than cassette... so why is it more expensive? You want to slow down piracy, then price it right.

Anonymous's picture

Reduce the price of recorded music significantly.

Alan Russell's picture

Here's my idea, and I doubt that it's all that unique: Just make high-quality recordings available at a reasonable price. What a concept! Companies/retailers that think $18 for a single, mid-fi CD is a reasonable price to pay deserve to have their precious "intellectual property" mishandled. Look at how Naxos retails their product: Why buy one overpriced CD from "big music" when you can have three from a company with integrity? More important, why would I buy from a "pirate" when I could get the real deal at a fair price? Keep up the good work, Naxos!

Douglas Henning's picture

The industry is very quick to sell recording devices, but gets all het up when they are actually used. What a bunch of hypocrites! The point is, most recordings are made by individuals who won't buy the music anyway . . . duh

pol j.  barcinas's picture

Let it be,no additions please. Purist, unite!

David M's picture

Simple, make SACD, CD, and DVD-A software cheap!

The Bear's picture

I dont know what I would do, but I like to make my own assortments of music—like a mixed blues or jazz disc for the car. Is it wrong to make a mix disc if you have already bought the music?

Dan Petri's picture

Lower the prices to a more realistic level.'s picture

If you cut the cost of the DVDs and SACDs to 10 bucks, most people wouldn't bother, they'd just buy them. If you charge $20–25, no technology will deter piracy forever.

Robert VDB's picture

Price them realistically so that we will buy them. It is more expensive to produce a cassette tape, but they cost less. CDs and DVDs should cost a couple of bucks LESS than video tapes or cassettes.