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markgrubb@gmail.com
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I have never collected anything until I started studying voice. I am now blessed with a significant library of vocal pedagogy's I have purchased from all over the world. I have always been a seeker of knowledge, and I am fascinated with the voice. Once in a while I receive an e-mail stating the sender read some of my posts on themodernvocalist and would like to 'trade' some vocal products or would like to 'know how to get a deal' on said products.

I understand why they are asking. I grew up very poor and when I was not in school or studying I was working. I understand. However, I would like to save us both some time and disappointment in simply disclosing that I do not 'trade'/pirate.

Though the marketing behind some of these products claim some secrets to unlock your voice and as a student of voice it is very enticing to want to believe in these secrets, what these products really represent is a lifetime of investment and discovery packaged into the author's best presentation of this information. Though some of these products may seem expensive at $99 plus U.S. dollars, the amount of money invested in the author training his / her own voice and acquiring this information / resources can exceed $250K U.S dollars. The production of some of these products often require significant investment as well.

Many of the authors of these products I have been blessed to develop a relationship with and they are my friends. Don't ask me to steal, and don't ask me to steal from my friends.

Most all of the authors of said vocal products pay their rent via the sale of these products and the teaching of voice. If they are not paid for their work then they will be paying their rent via working at something else, thus quality vocal training will largely cease to be available to you. Do you really want to try to learn to sing from questionable sources offering free lessons on YouTube?

themodernvocalist offers wonderful information from many of these authors and other experts and all for FREE. Do your research and save for a quality vocal training product; or better yet, lessons.

Pirating has made investment in anti-piracy technology a necessity. Many of the products offered now embed a uniquely identifiable key in them. It works like this. You place an order. A ROBUST INVISIBLE WATERMARK is placed on the media (most likely the watermark is 'your order number'). When this media is later recovered from being shared online the same software used to watermark is used to recover the watermark. The watermark is then used to determine who purchased the product then to prosecute this person in court. It is important to understand what ROBUST means here. If you alter the file the watermark will survive. Non robust watermarks could be beat by simply converting the file, cropping, et cetra. Major companies like KODAK have teamed up with Universities around the world and invested massive resources to create ROBUST INVISIBLE watermarking algorithms. In essence, in order to destroy the watermark the media will become unusable. The watermark is deeply embedded into the media through very complicated algorithms and yeah you can destroy the watermark, but you will have destroyed the pirated media in doing so. It's simply not worth it even if you are willing to steal. When you get caught $99 will be far from what it will cost.

As I mentioned, many of these authors are my friends and prior to the release of their newest offerings they were made aware of this technology. The chances of their product implementing ROBUST INVISIBLE WATERMARKING is high.

The members of themodernvocalist have made a significant impact on the future of my voice and my understanding of the voice. I appreciate each of you and your tireless efforts to advance vocal pedagogy. Please support their work and protect the investment of those advancing this topic we are all so passionate about, by paying them for their work.

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I agree with all being Said exept for that watermarkering. Similar things has been done before and never Worked, i also dont think the singingtutoring products are à big target for copying. Ofc there Will always be some copying but thats how ot is today.

Im guessing this watermarking isnt cheap either so all it does is increase the already outrageeous prices on singing litterature.

Wich is bad for people like me WHO actualy buys all My singing litterature.

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I have never collected anything until I started studying voice. I am now blessed with a significant library of vocal pedagogy's I have purchased from all over the world. I have always been a seeker of knowledge, and I am fascinated with the voice. Once in a while I receive an e-mail stating the sender read some of my posts on themodernvocalist and would like to 'trade' some vocal products or would like to 'know how to get a deal' on said products.

I understand why they are asking. I grew up very poor and when I was not in school or studying I was working. I understand. However, I would like to save us both some time and disappointment in simply disclosing that I do not 'trade'/pirate.

Though the marketing behind some of these products claim some secrets to unlock your voice and as a student of voice it is very enticing to want to believe in these secrets, what these products really represent is a lifetime of investment and discovery packaged into the author's best presentation of this information. Though some of these products may seem expensive at $99 plus U.S. dollars, the amount of money invested in the author training his / her own voice and acquiring this information / resources can exceed $250K U.S dollars. The production of some of these products often require significant investment as well.

Many of the authors of these products I have been blessed to develop a relationship with and they are my friends. Don't ask me to steal, and don't ask me to steal from my friends.

Most all of the authors of said vocal products pay their rent via the sale of these products and the teaching of voice. If they are not paid for their work then they will be paying their rent via working at something else, thus quality vocal training will largely cease to be available to you. Do you really want to try to learn to sing from questionable sources offering free lessons on YouTube?

themodernvocalist offers wonderful information from many of these authors and other experts and all for FREE. Do your research and save for a quality vocal training product; or better yet, lessons.

Pirating has made investment in anti-piracy technology a necessity. Many of the products offered now embed a uniquely identifiable key in them. It works like this. You place an order. A ROBUST INVISIBLE WATERMARK is placed on the media (most likely the watermark is 'your order number'). When this media is later recovered from being shared online the same software used to watermark is used to recover the watermark. The watermark is then used to determine who purchased the product then to prosecute this person in court. It is important to understand what ROBUST means here. If you alter the file the watermark will survive. Non robust watermarks could be beat by simply converting the file, cropping, et cetra. Major companies like KODAK have teamed up with Universities around the world and invested massive resources to create ROBUST INVISIBLE watermarking algorithms. In essence, in order to destroy the watermark the media will become unusable. The watermark is deeply embedded into the media through very complicated algorithms and yeah you can destroy the watermark, but you will have destroyed the pirated media in doing so. It's simply not worth it even if you are willing to steal. When you get caught $99 will be far from what it will cost.

As I mentioned, many of these authors are my friends and prior to the release of their newest offerings they were made aware of this technology. The chances of their product implementing ROBUST INVISIBLE WATERMARKING is high.

The members of themodernvocalist have made a significant impact on the future of my voice and my understanding of the voice. I appreciate each of you and your tireless efforts to advance vocal pedagogy. Please support their work and protect the investment of those advancing this topic we are all so passionate about, by paying them for their work.

mark, i really respect your integrity. i own a video store and i'm surrounded by bootleggers tht even sell out in the open, the cops do nothing to stop it (probably would lose their supply). i have never and will never sell or distribute illegally copied productions.

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I agree with all being Said exept for that watermarkering. Similar things has been done before and never Worked, i also dont think the singingtutoring products are à big target for copying. Ofc there Will always be some copying but thats how ot is today.

Im guessing this watermarking isnt cheap either so all it does is increase the already outrageeous prices on singing litterature.

Wich is bad for people like me WHO actualy buys all My singing litterature.

Jens, I am guessing you are talking about cracking keys or generating keys, removing key validation logic.... This is not an executable. It is an audio file. The watermark is embedded in the audio. It is in fact robust: converting to mp3, wav, ogg, flac, whatever, editing it in a daw will not remove the key. Yes, I know there are two popular tools for removing watermarks. Again, they will not beat these robust audio watermarks. To embed the watermarks deep in the media and not make the watermark discernible (lower the quality of the resulting product) was not a small task. This has taken years to develop.

Yes, it is not cheap. The larger the watermark the more it cost to purchase the software. Regardless, what alternative exist? When you are unable to sale your product because it is being 'traded', your revenue stream dries up.

I did not write this post after having received a few request. I should have written it a long time ago. The e-mails are a waste of my time and really disappointing. I like to think the best of people.

Thanks for weighing in Jens.

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mark, i really respect your integrity. i own a video store and i'm surrounded by bootleggers tht even sell out in the open, the cops do nothing to stop it (probably would lose their supply). i have never and will never sell or distribute illegally copied productions.

VIDEOHERE, I think much of the grant money provided to Universities was from the film industry. Because there is no unique identifier to map the patron to the video at time of creating the product, video's largely are unable to leverage this technology. It is used during the production of film / editing and early screenings. You remember all the movies online for download right when they came out in the theater or even before? Now the films are marked with robust invisible watermarks with distribution information or who the next step in the process is. The angle at which it is filmed (handheld digital on a tripod in the theater), lighting and other variables do not destroy the watermark enough to no longer be usable. They then use the watermark from the pirated film to identify where (geographically and in where in the work flow) the pirating occurred. Over time they are able to narrow down how films are being pirated.

When I was a kid, growing up in a very small town, there was a family that was copying VHS tapes and they were prosecuted. That was long before there was really any talk about pirating anything. There was of course the warning at the beginning of the video. I am not sure how they were found out or why someone did something. I think the FBI worked the case.

To recover or remove the invisible robust watermark, one would need the software used to watermark the media and would have to know the private key used (not the 'order id' or whatever the watermark is). If someone was able to pull the watermark out of audio they would ruin that audio and the watermark is repeated throughout the entire audio, thus the entire media is no longer useful.

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Well My point is, the ones being punished Will be the oneswhobuys products legit. They Will pay indirect for these watermarks.

And since its audio its à waste of time, you can just record the sounds put it on à new file and viola audiotracks without watermark ready to share. No need to be à rocket scientist to understand that.

Its basicly à huge waste of money specialy for audiofiles.

What can you do instead? Offer something more that cant be shared, i think Robert is à leading example. By buying the four pillars( atleast thefirst version) you ot à free vocal lesson and even being able to ask Robert questions directly.

Make things Better not worse...

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you can just record the sounds put it on à new file and viola audiotracks without watermark ready to share. No need to be à rocket scientist to understand that.

Its basicly à huge waste of money specialy for audiofiles.

You are recording the watermark when you record the audio. You are filming the watermark when you film the video. Your proposed exploit is a fail.

It is unfortunate those not stealing pay for those that do steal. This is not new. This is how insurance works as well. What choice does the author have, morgage their house to give away DIY training and rely solely on private lessons?

You are exactly right, artist now rely more on ticket sales than their songs. You can not steal live performance or private lessons.

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Are you saying that if you'd point your own, small videocamera to your computer screen while some vocal program video is playing on your computer and record with the camera, the watermark would be copied as well?

In any case, both for vocal coaches and musicians, I really dislike piracy. It's a matter of respect, both for the artist and yourself, actually. And we should ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be.

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Are you saying that if you'd point your own, small videocamera to your computer screen while some vocal program video is playing on your computer and record with the camera, the watermark would be copied as well?

In any case, both for vocal coaches and musicians, I really dislike piracy. It's a matter of respect, both for the artist and yourself, actually. And we should ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be.

Jonpall, yes, that is exactly correct. The complexity of the algorithm is to deeply embed the watermark (watermark can be audible or visible) without damaging the original media enough to lower its perceived quality. The delta between the non-watermarked and watermarked media is very miniscule and not percievable by most. The audio watermark could not just be put outside of 20hz - 20Khz or it would be beat using a simple high pass / low pass filter. The larger the watermark the more difficult it is to create what is percieved to be the original source without damaging the original enough to lower its quality (sound or visual quality).

As you have said, once the media is watermarked the watermark is not decoupled from the media via the use of a handheld video camera or a handheld recorder. The specification of robust invisible watermarking requires the survival of the watermark when media is heavilly manipulated (compressed, stretched, cropped, decompressed...). Also, the watermark must not make a discernable degradation of quality of production (if your audio file all of a sudden looped your 'order id' number then it would suck).

A simple analogy is a Bank vault. If the vault is the bank's basement / foundation and you wish to remove the vault from the bank, you will comprimise the architecturally stability of the entire building. In this case the watermark is now part of the product and not something added onto the original. If you are interested you can read about 'steganography' and just search 'robust invisible watermark'.

Anyway, I didn't write this post because I thought vocalist would like to discuss exploits and encryption; rather, as I mentioned people e-mail me and ask to 'trade'. I just needed to circumvent future requests with a public announcement that I don't 'trade' or support piracy. Thanks.

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Jens, watermarks do not increase the price of my product at all. I will tell you this, in the years past, prior to having security measures implemented, I spent about $2000 having DCMA "take-down" orders sent to about 20 illegal pirating, download services. I would rather invest in preventive solutions, instead of reactive solutions.

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I might have something to add to this. I have been reading a book about the "digital revolution" in the music biz.

The authors have some pie-in-the-sky mentality and think that free file sharing and even p2p networks are a good thing, explaining it's just good pr for good, unheard music. Which would be fine if that is all it was. But music from big names is ripped and suffers a quality degradation through these various means of ripping copyright protected material.

They pay lip service to the needs of the author to get paid. Not enough time is spent, so far, to ensure that the artist gets compensated. However, in the digital age, the artist does have a better rate of return. Without being signed to a label, you can arrange your own digital distribution with the likes of Amazon. Other music listing services can offer you 50 % of money on downloads, which is better than the 8 percent you got being with a label. Or, if you invest your own money and start your own music channel, you get just about 100 percent, minus the expenses of essentially being your label. And then you are also on the hook for all hard media costs and shipping.

The book's solution is to treat music as a utility, like water. If everyone with a phone or digital player paid a few dollars a month, they could have access to all music and copyright lease payments would be decided by the utility commission. Well, big government is not the answer. Because everyone, from the legit buyer to the pirate is engaging in free enterprise. They say the net is too big to catch crooks. I don't think so.

Where copying is a little hazy is the intended use. When I was a kid, it was considered okay to make a tape of a phonograph for personal listening. That way, you didn't wear out the record. You could wear out a cheap tape, instead. As long as you weren't selling that copied tape and were only listening to it, yourself, you were not too much in violation. But commercially produced cassettes were still more popular. You didn't have to deal with sound quality issues on your home equipment. The pro tape was duped right off the master at the production run.Better sound quality. Copyright use of your dupes was paid for buy adding another penny or two to the price of a blank cassette.

What about when we get a karaoke track to sing with? Technically, the price paid for that track includes a payment to the copyright orgs that pay the author. Essentially a mechanical royalty. So, a person dupes to me a karaoke track of "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." I record the song. I like it. So, on my phone, I pay for a ringtone of that song by the original group. (It's the ringtone to announce my wife's call to me.) The general ringtone I use for other calls is one included with the phone, one of Bach's 2-part inventions.

So, here's where technically free use of a song led to a legit purchase.

What if I make a recording of me doing that song while playing it on my guitar? I am still using a copyrighted song, even if I am not using copyrighted performance to sing along with. Well, a public performance of it for which I am compensated would require me to pay blanket lease to the copyright org. If I go to a club and they pay me to sing this song, I have to send payment so that The Darkness gets paid.

What about singing it at a Karaoke event? The copyright has been paid by the purchaser of the tracks who provides the karaoke set-up.

These days, digital downloads are seen as a loss leader that leads to legit revenue from other linked items, such as tours, merch, etc. These days, the music biz is about being a brand, and not just a band.

So, what if someone dupes a vid or two from Pillars 2.0 and uses it as a teaching tool in their own presentation of singing instruction (whether they are using it as an example of what to do, or what not to do)? Well, if the end result is to say that Lunte's instruction is wrong and that you are trying to lead others to another system and they buy that other system, you are using Lunte's material for monetary gain without his expression permission. What if the person leading people to a system other than Lunte's is not immediately compensated from this other system? The sellers of this other system are open to litigation by accepting fruit from the poisoned tree. To minimize their criminal and civil liability, they would have to disavow the efforts of the nay-sayer who brought them the business and it avoid direction litigation from Lunte and/or his counsel, would do best to induce the nay-sayer to cease action, otherwise, this said person could also be sued by the other seller for bring in the conditions that led to the lawsuit. This actually relates to another thread but I think my response to that fits better, here.

Just to answer the lawsuit from Lunte to others, et al, would be more trouble than they want, for they would have to prove that they have not received more business as a result of criticism of Lunte's material by way of unauthorized use of copyrighted material. In business, liability is everything. That is why, even though I am a master electrician and could start my own little company, I would not have enough business to pay for the insurance to cover the liability. Liability always falls on the last electrician to touch something and the proof is on that electrician to show exactly what he did.

As a business, Lunte has to have insurance. Even if only to cover claims against him.

What if you want to use some of Lunte's material in a positive light, to say, this is how you should do it? Do you have to pay for that? Depends. It's Lunte's material, you have to negotiate with him. You have to have his permission to use copyrighted material. And that payment arrangement may be free, for purely instructional use for which you get no money, to any percentage of what you earn if you are paid to teach this. If you think that's too much, go out and develope your own material and then you will have walked a mile in his shoes. So, even if you want to use 2.0 material to support it's method, you still need permission of the author and copyright holder, namely, here, Robert Lunte.

I am fortunate to have the 2.0 material (Lunte helping me out like the generous soul that he is.) So, the vids are high quality. I can hear every nuance. In fact, hearing exactly what he does with a vowel spoke even more volumes than a written description. As a consumer, I can say I like this, I don't like that. And that's okay. It informs Robert for when he makes updates. What I cannot do is paste in that vid without permission, and then say this is great, send me money for more. Or , this stinks and you are better off spending your money at this other system. Let me put it this way; yes, I could physically do those things, and bring a ton of liability on myself. For Lunte would also be free to pursue me legally. My free speech is not inhibited but people should understand that free speech also has some legal responsibility.

Are there people out there ripping off nilly willy, any ole way? Yes, more than any agency can keep up with. Doesn't make it right. "Well, that just going to happen" is not a legitimate justification.

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