Tuesday, 4 May 2004 - 1:23 PM
Dr J Vijay Venkatram
Prashanth and Vijay Kumar are doing a great job, which is immeasurable under any standards. Project GEM must work well for success. But there are a lot of genuine problems as suggested by our friends in the previous posts. We have to think of some other ways to overcome these pitfalls.
From my side, I face some unique problems, which I would like to share:
1) I live in Coimbatore and very few of our club members live there. Even if we all join and take an effort to make people believe in Project GEM, they are always justified in suspecting us. We are trying to approach offline associations like 'Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja Peravai' in Coimbatore, Erode and Nilagiri districts. But even they may not believe us. Still, we are trying to catch hold of the key persons and have personal meetings with them to stress the genuineness of the project. When this works out, they will convince the masses by themselves. The problem here is our time and inability to locate the key persons. Actually, they had placed cutouts of Maestro at the theatre gates in Coimbatore during the releases of 'Pithamagan' and 'Virumandi' with their contact numbers. Pity we can't locate them now. Anybody who has their contacts, can kindly email me.
2) Even if the above step is fulfilled, we may face some other problems. When I was spreading the news about 'Thiruvasakam In Symphony' among offline fans, I had the brochures from 'Tamil Maiyam', receipt books for small donations collected then and there, photos that we had taken with Maestro and Rev Fr Jagath Gasper Raj which made it easy to convince the people. Now, how many will browse the Internet for viewing this site and how many will trust the prints-out of the same website, especially when they don't know the source and me too. They will easily say, "I will surely buy it when it comes to the shops"!
3) People have been tuned to buy readymade items. They need immediate worth for their cash. Also, many of them have no concern towards copyright. They are of the feeling, "When I get a good quality song in any form, why should I bother if the composer or company benefits of it?" How can we convince these people? We cannot prevent piracy. Hence, many of them will have this idea already in mind. They will just wait for their friend or neighbour to purchase the CD and then, they will casually borrow it and copy it without any quality loss. They become the winners then!
4) They are many fans, particularly the offline ones, who are very honest people but have not been educated about their violation of the copyright act by listening to pirated audio formats. They are committing the mistake without knowing that it is a mistake. They will definitely stop doing this when they get the enlightenment. This is a very big pocket. Who can do this? Who has the time and resources to concentrate on this alone?
5) Most of Maestro's fans whom I know in Coimbatore are customers of a specific audio shop, the owners of which are my friends. They deal with original CD's/cassettes sales and also do CD-to-CD recording & CD to cassettes recording. They do not deal with mp3's however. When I ask the fans to participate in Project GEM, I cannot ask them to keep this news away from the shop. If I tell the shop, they will surely ask for the CD's as they are rare ones. I can't give the CD's to them and then ask them not to use them for recording also. Also, from what they said I feel that original CD sales are not that high for old movies. The customers prefer assorted songs collection recorded from the respective original CD's onto a single CD. If this happens in Project GEM CD's too, then its very purpose is lost!
6) Paid download is a good option. But again, people will join together and get the song by paying once. Then they will make multiple copies easily. How can this be prevented? Even if we make it as streaming audio alone, who will pay each time to listen to a song, that too only when they sit before the computer and not possible at other times?
7) Recently, for the movie ?Aaydha Ezhuthu?, the original CD was released with copy protection enabled. It was a giant step ahead in preventing mp3 copying. But as often, crooks had better brains than the manufacturers! They converted the file format and stored it in their hard disks and then reconverted them into mp3 CD?s. Agreed that the quality may not be the same as other mp3?s directly copied from original CD?s, but the copier has won anyway in selling ?Aaydha Ezhuthu? mp3 songs as of any other movie!
What I finally come to say is not that we cannot prevent mp3 at all. We have to think of many problems that may emerge from different fronts and prevent them beforehand. Otherwise, we will be unequipped to manage them when they surface. Discussions are welcome.
Yours Always Musically,