This is a reflection based on two things I have recently read: 1) on MuslimMatters.org, bro. IbnAbeeOmar talks about Copyrights and Software Piracy in Islam and 2) bro. Alex showed me this, in which he quoted from the Alhambra Productions site saying they were out of stock due to illegal selling and downloading of an audio set.
To all the Muslim audio/video production companies, piracy will not stop. People are people. Audio tapes and cassette tapes are out dated. CDs are weak. DVDs are the default now. The latest technology in video would be HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray, which are high quality picture and sound better than DVD quality.
So how can Muslim audio and video production companies fight the piracy of lectures and music of Muslim speakers and artists? We have to first look at what the mainstream music industry did to combat piracy.
Napster, File-sharing, P2P, Limewire, Torrents
Being 22 years old right now, I grew up when MP3 first came out and saw it’s widespread usage. The nerds of any high school use to bank off of this early on before the software became easy to use for any computer illiterate person. They use to download albums and sell them for as cheap as $3 at school. They use to make custom albums for anyone. You could make your own mix instead of buying what was in the stores. It started a whole new craze. Then Napster became too popular and the government caught on and they died out, but the federal agents had no clue that there was a new area of internet software being born. That was the dawn of peer to peer and file-sharing software. Software like Limewire and Bearshare became popular all across campuses. Some campuses had closed intranet networks, so people made software like DC++ to allow students within one university network to share there files. Then after that, torrents grew out of that, and now torrents are popular. Limewire upgraded to accommodate torrents and other BitTorrent clients like Azeurus became popular.
Apple’s money-making solution to media piracy: iTunes
Apple’s iTunes has sold over 3 billion songs and has made tons of money off the music industry. The government loves them and media giants like SONY BMG support them by allowing iTunes to sell there artists songs. With Apple being the dominant market share holder in the portable MP3 industry with the iPod they bank on selling MP3s directly to iPod owners. Most people now just buy the songs they want instead of downloading them. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has also hired a lot of technical professionals to track down on people who host and share massive amounts of pirated music. I’m sure some avid downloaders will know of people who received letters saying “We know you download stuff, so stop before we fine you or even jail you, etc.” On college campuses, the RIAA have been strict on intranet college networks and have complained to universities to stop the sharing of illegal songs.
In other words, piracy might be still happening but now consumers can simply bay $0.99 for a song they want instead of searching to download the MP3. Ten years ago, they would probably get it illegally.
The Solution to Muslim piracy: Muslim iTunes
Basically, to help Muslim audio and video producers not lose money off of piracy, they need to unite, create and develop a Muslim version of iTunes. Or they need to start selling there products on iTunes so that all the Muslims who own iPods (which is a lot) or any MP3 portable player can pay and download them legally. The future generation will see an age without CDs and just MP3s. You have to look at the future and re-adjust product marketing and selling.
Well now I just gave away an idea for a Muslim entrepreneur, like myself. I would take this up, but I’m too lazy and busy with other projects. Hopefully someone would start it.