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IMSTA Kicks Off 2005 Campaign With NAMM Activities

The International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA), an advocacy group of music software companies, distributors and retailers, will begin 2005 with a new campaign at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., this week.

A non-profit corporation based in New York City with branches in Toronto and Berlin, IMSTA was formed with the charter of fighting software theft through education and create awareness of the impact illegal software use has on the industry and on the advancement of technology. Following a new advertising campaign with the central message of “Buy the Software You Use,” the group will be hosting a booth (#6331 Hall A) on the convention floor, holding an open meeting to discuss issues and welcome new and prospective members, and hold the first annual “software day.”
IMSTA founder Ray Williams states, “At this year’s NAMM show, the music software industry will stand up as a unit and be visible for the first time. We have a dynamic technology product that has special requirements and needs. We want to make sure that the general MI industry is aware of these requirements and needs and the first step is to raise the awareness about piracy and its effects. There is no better place to begin this process than at the industry’s biggest event—NAMM.”
IMSTA’s open meeting is available to software companies and those interested in the organization’s message. The meeting will take place on Friday, January 21, at 7 p.m. in the Monterey Room at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers across from the convention center.

On Saturday, January 22, the group will host a seminar aimed at educating retailers on the effects of illegal software use on their business and offering resources and information to start correcting this trend. The end goal is parity for all parties involved in the sale: The retailer sells more software, the manufacturer maintains profitability and the customer enjoys better quality software with stable and fair pricing. The seminar will be held in the NAMM Idea Center, Booth #5501 in Hall B.

IMSTA will also recognize Saturday, January 22 as the industry’s first “Software Day.” This day of awareness will be marked by members sporting an IMSTA T-shirt emblazed with the slogan “Buy the software you use.”

Johanna Devaney, executive director of IMSTA, concludes, “Most people want to do the right thing. I believe that if we stick to the message of ‘Buy the software you use,’ it will have a positive impact, even if the results won’t be seen for many years. The point is, we have to start this education now.”

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