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I.M.S.T.A. Announced
International Music Software Trade Association Formed

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NEW YORK, New York -- November 11, 2004:
Music Software Companies and Industry Partners Form Association to Fight Software theft through Education and Awareness. Illegal copying and the unlicensed use of software continue to be major challenges for all software developers and publishers. In the general software industry the piracy rate is estimated at 36%*; related revenue losses in the general software industry measure in the billions and related job losses measure in the hundreds of thousands.

In the music software and soundware industry most observers estimate that the rates are more than 80%. That is for every legal copy of a software program sold, there are 5 illegal copies in use by potential consumers.

A recent NAMM 2004 survey shows that while sound cards and computer related hardware sales grew by almost 100% from 2002 to 2003, the sales of Music Software stayed the same (over that period). The report goes on to state: “Software remains a challenging market. The major suppliers saw limited sales growth for a combination of reasons: an increasing percentage of upgrade sales as opposed to higher ticket complete program sales; a growing number of ‘bundle’ deals, whereby software is included with a hardware sale; and most significantly, rampant software theft. The tragedy of the software market is that due to illegal copying, the manufacturer and their creative staffs don’t fully reap the rewards of their labors.”

High piracy rates are dampening innovation by depriving many music software developers of the capital they need to stay in business. Software theft has remained morally unchallenged for a long time; many consumers simply do not realize that their decision to use pirated software has a direct and negative impact on the future of the software industry. Quite simply, if every one pirated their software there would no music software industry left to create the amazing products that we all need to make our creations come to life.

Today, the music software industry has come together to meet this challenge and to remind consumers of their stake in this industry. A healthy and thriving music software industry is a win-win for all. Music software has positively impacted every aspect of the music creation, production, mastering and delivery paradigm. It deserves to be protected, valued and maintained not just for the software developers to continue to make a living but for the creative community to have better tools for doing their work.

The time has come to face this challenge with a united front and to act together as one. The International Music Software Trade Association is a New York City-based non-profit corporation with branches in Toronto and Berlin. IMSTA evolved from the convergence of the music software community in 2002 around the be-cool.org anti-piracy campaign. As an advocacy organization it pursues the collective interests of music software and soundware publishers, retailers and publications.

International Music Software Trade Association
PO Box 250813 New York, NY, 10025, USA
Phone: 212-865-4792 Fax: 212-665-8707
General inquiries: Johanna Devaney

*Source: BSA and IDC Global Software 2004 Piracy Survey

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