Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: sylvi macCormac (
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 03:15:16 EST

hello Mz Saez et al

i'm glad you did 'throw' yourself into th EA mix. it is good to hear
from students (and reel folks) what they might need to do th work /
composing (in realistic terms).

to sell 'books / pens / software etc' for a nominal student fee (say
10-100+?) would be ideal. It would give developers a 'learned/learning'
body of people to 'consult' with re th 'fidelity' of their soft /
hardware in th working environment. Of course this would have to be on
th trust that they do not 'share' it with their kid brother / sister
(who in fact might turn out to be th best composer yet ? ). Now 'kids'
can always use th OSS or ProTools (free) till s/he can afford a ProTools
or PT Tool Box etc. That way people can figure out whether they want to
spend th money or buy a sail boat or water colour set and/or 35 mm
camera etc. Can we trust people to respect th hard work of those who
create th 'stuff' and th need for others to work with th software /
hardware with limited income ? We shouldn't need to lock down th
computers / cd burners / mixing boards but we do. i think it is a
beatiful thing to know that i can code th sonic studio door and open it
to find a neuman mic or a moog (without being locked down) sitting in th
corner for students to share. It's great what Eigenfeldt says up about
students working in community in th CLMS (computer labs for music &

Working with th software would allow th student to decide if they want
to use th already designed or compute code to create new state of th art
software/hardware etc. it may indeed create incentive to not steal but
introduce software / hardware to a larger community ?

As a composer / producer i always ask permission to work with people's
IP such as song or compostion. It is a moral imperative as well as
required by law - see.hear SOCAN / ASCAP etc. Tho we won't talk about
being inspired by Cage & Silence (in case we get sued ;-) It is also
part of process and academic rigour to acknowledge source. How would you
feel if you got your musical instrument ripped off or someone steals
your copyrighted song / composition / ip ? Greatest compliment to a
composer or outright theft that would cost you $50,000 to fight in
court so why bother ? You know th value. Why would you not want to
acknowledge your source and give credit, especially when it comes to
Soundscape ? if th birds sings or a train whistles i listen and remember
to acknowledge and give thanks. th same goes for working with th music
or IP of others. that's State of th Heart :-)

best regards, sylvi macCormac
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ / na / da / bc
siwash rock & soundscape composition
Xtreme paralympic electroacoustic musician
eating sticky rice with karma in jam karet / jam time & being a 'mere'
shadow puppet
i will for my next act flip bkwrds over th mixing board complete a
triple somersault
& land 'standing' on my feet on th SOUND stage (insert ascii jest).

WHEELS Soundscapes, WWW & CDs (2006 / 08 / 10 )
Produced by sylvi macCormac with Conrad Burek
in consultation with Colin Nairne & Jim Vallance

with voices of people with dis abilities and Dal Richards'
Orchestra juried by folks from SOCAN / CBC / SLFA / SUN VAMS
(Vancouver Adapted Music Society) with info & links
to Artists, Adapted Technologies, Music Education, Web Conference

Andrea Saez wrote:

> I didn't want to get into this obviously huge and controversial
> discussion (and considering Kevin is actually my teacher!) .... but
> yes, agreed, as a student, I can say that buying a software worth
> $600 isn't within my budget, and it is always a lot easier to get a
> copy from someone else or get a warez. Although morally incorrect to
> infringe copyright laws, most students decide to overlook that and go
> for what's easy - the cheaper (or free) stuff.
> Now.... if the university provided students with all the software,
> even if it was for a small fee we could all afford (say ... $10?), I
> can assure you less and less people would be trying to crack software
> all the time.
> andrea
> On Nov 13, 2005, at 11:23 AM, Owen Grant wrote:
> >
> > There is a huge catch 22 here: how does the student -- often on the
> > bread line -- afford to by their compositional tools? And how does
> > a student learn to create music without the tools they need to
> > compose?
> >
> > Although there are free alternatives to many of the big software
> > programs, they are rarely as easy to use. Many students have enough
> > problems understanding electro-acoustic music, never mind trying to
> > learn how to operate non-user-friendly software. Moreover, the
> > lecturers that have greater experience with music software are
> > often provided with the big-name software on behalf of their
> > institution. While students, presumably, have to use less user-
> > friendly software such as PD, so they can work on things outside
> > the University walls.
> >
> > J. Simon van der Walt Wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Owen Green wrote;
> >>
> >>
> >>> Absolutely - as far as software is concerned, open-source is
> >>> invaribly
> >>> the better way, both ethically and pragmatically.
> >>>
> >>
> >> I agree in principle, but not necessarily in practice; in terms of
> >> functionality, ease-of-use, documentation and stability. I can get
> >> stuff
> >> done in Max/MSP, and my students can figger it out just by hacking
> >> around.
> >> pd is rocket science with a blunt penknife by comparison.
> >>
> >
> > They are required to learn twice the software -- for home use, and
> > university use. They are required to put up with inferior software
> > -- way to go, make things harder for students!
> >
> > If a student surgeon was told: ďSorry, we canít afford surgical
> > knives for student surgeons; youíll need to make do with that
> > chisel.Ē there would be a riot!
> >
> > Why should student musicians accept this double standard?
> > Universities arenít supplying what the studentsí need, and the
> > capitalists are pricing out the creation of new art.
> >
> > I think that a lot of students arenít as morally bereft as you
> > might think. In fact, quite the opposite -- I think that a lot of
> > students are consciously deciding that they think it morally
> > acceptable to use cracked software. And whether anyone believes me
> > I actually think that most students desire to replace cracked
> > software as soon as their financial situation changes for the
> > better. Students often feel forced into this criminal activity, and
> > although I have never heard it expressed outright anywhere, I have
> > a suspicion that students -- if not expected -- are tolerated in
> > engage in this criminal activity.
> >
> > The question we should be asking is why arenít further education
> > institutions supplying the tools students' need? Why do further
> > education institutions have these student-lecturer double
> > standards? Should the software companies be offering almost-free
> > yearly rental of their software to students?
> >
> > Owen
> >
> > Owen.C.Grant
> >
> >
> >

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