Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music

German Copyright Group To Collect From Creative Commons Event 349

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
bs0d3 writes "In Leipzig, Germany, an 8 hour music/dance party event was organized to play nothing but creative commons music the entire time. A German copyright group called GEMA told the organizers that to be certain that no rights were infringed, it would need a list of all artists including their full names, place of residency and date of birth. After the event GEMA sent an invoice for 200 euros. They claim that behind pseudonyms some of their artists may be hidden and produce things that they would not earn anything from. According to German law, you are required to prove that an artist is not with GEMA. So even though GEMA probably does not have rights to any of the music, they are not required to prove that they do."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

German Copyright Group To Collect From Creative Commons Event

Comments Filter:
  • by gazbo (517111) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:18AM (#38046598)
    Sorry if this is off-topic, but I desperately need to find out what Sourceforge's top downloads are. Does anyone know where I can get this information???
  • At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:18AM (#38046600) Homepage Journal
    It has become necessary that we all ignore copyrights from this point on, in civil disobedience. This has really gone too far. Take a look - an organization that represents a minority of the population's interests, can have more privileges than all other citizens, and other citizens are obliged to that minority. this is against democracy. property rights, cannot come before democracy.
    • Re:At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Calos (2281322) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:49AM (#38046726)

      No, I think you're wrong. Property rights are a requisite to a functioning democracy.

      This has nothing to do with property rights. It has to do with the legislation that basically assumes guilt and requires payment lest you be able to fully prove yourself innocent, and that the system allowed such a law to get on the books.

      These things, they are not "privileges," they are fundamental rights. Seems to be a pretty basic right that one should not be punished for a crime unproven. A democracy which fails to protect this is a failing democracy.

      Your path to declaring this undemocratic is troublesome, though. Simply because a minority has the rights to something the majority does not, does not imply a failing of democracy. That would be more akin to communism. That the minority can maintain their (rightful) claim to their rights despite the tyranny of the majority trying to take it away, that is a functioning democracy. Simply saying a minority appears to have "more" "rights" than the majority is therefore not necessarily a failing of democracy.

      This has nothing to do with minorities and majorities. It is a law that violates fundamental rights. It would not matter if it was a majority impressing this same law on a minority, it would be just as offensive. It is only a failing of democracy insofar as that democracies are, in general, supposed to protect these rights, something not true of all other governments. It is a failing of any legitimate government, which claims to protect the rights of the governed.

      • Re:At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

        by damburger (981828) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:17AM (#38046830)

        "Property rights are a requisite to a functioning democracy"

        Well, thats a nice sweeping statement, shame it doesn't mean anything. If you think it does, define the words "property", "functioning" and "democracy" - as precisely as possible.

        Does the emergence of property rights in China make it more democratic? Does the fact that many EU countries have a larger public sector than, say, Russia mean that they are less democratic? Is it democratic for the population to vote for an inheritance tax?

        This is the problem with ideological rhetoric. It all sounds very good, and is carefully phrased to be almost impossible to disagree with, but is devoid of any useful underlying meaning.

        • Re:At this point (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Calos (2281322) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:42AM (#38046962)

          Eh, you're just being dishonest. I didn't say property rights imply democracy, I said that a democracy needs property rights. So no, saying that because $nation1 has more property rights than $nation2 does not say anything about the relative levels of democracy in each.

          And it's not ideological rhetoric at all. At any rate, I'd say it's not rhetoric. Sure it's ideological, in that it represents an idea or school of thought. And it's easy to argue against. Socialism is often democratic and yet it has much looser expectations for property rights, as there is more emphasis on wealth redistribution and welfare.

          Apparently on this subject I've hit a nerve with you, and you disagree. But you're post is ridiculous. Apparently everything is nebulous and undefined for you, and nothing is debatable or worth the time to examine?

          The only thing you said that even approaches being interesting is to ask how exactly one defines property and democracy and functioning. Yet you offer nothing to it yourself. And it doesn't begin to deconstruct what I said, without making some far-fetched assumptions... The only restriction I've placed on how one defines a democracy is that it deals with majority/minority opinion, and my post requires no specific definition of property, because I said one must have a "rightful" claim, the validity of which would be determined by the society in question. Sure, the definition of these things is debatable to some extent. But as my post does not relying on any specific definition... what'e your point?

          The functioning part is better. For these purposes, I think functioning must describe more than the present, but future viability, including resistance to external forces of economics and politics.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by damburger (981828)

            Dishonest? WTF?

            It isn't dishonest to take apparent a statement that is generally accepted as wisdom, when it clearly IS rhetorical. It uses the power "democracy" to push through the idea of "property rights" without a clear universal definition of what that means. Fuck, even the USSR under Stalin had property rights (you can have personal stuff in your house).

            The idea that democracy needs property rights is therefore unprovable and unfalsifiable; EVERY state has something that can be called 'property rights

            • by lahvak (69490)

              You may not be dishonest, but your reasoning is, nevertheless, faulty. The original claim you are arguing against was "democracy requires property rights". That is, "democracy -> property rights". Almost all of your examples can be used as counterexamples that will disprove the converse, "property rights -> democracy". However, validity of the converse has nothing to do with the validity of the original claim. Therefore most of your examples are simply irrelevant.

              You may be a free thinker, but you

        • Well, thats a nice sweeping statement, shame it doesn't mean anything. If you think it does, define the words "property", "functioning" and "democracy" - as precisely as possible.

          Does the emergence of property rights in China make it more democratic?

          Yes and No. China is certainly a more human place since limited property rights were introduced. And for those pessimist who see the glass as half full, property rights does not mean democracy – it is a necessary but not sufficient condition – hence the word “requisite”.

          Does the fact that many EU countries have a larger public sector than, say, Russia mean that they are less democratic?

          You hit the nail square on

      • Re:At this point (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:24AM (#38046858)

        "No, I think you're wrong. Property rights are a requisite to a functioning democracy."

        Copyrights aren't property rights. Copyrights are nothing but anti-property rights, telling people what they can't print/sing/say/play/etc. with their own hands and mouths and tools in their own house or place of business. Copyright law is a massive infringement of property rights.

        • by Calos (2281322)

          Well, I never said copyrights are property rights. I must not have been clear, you're the second person to claim I said this.

          This was the claim of the OP - that democracy must come before property rights, therefore acknowledging that copyrights are property rights, because copyrights are what are in question in the story. I merely said that no, in general, I think that property rights are required for a democracy. I didn't define what a property right was, or mean to imply it should include copyright.

          As to

          • Re:At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:44AM (#38047250)

            Of course you have the right to your own creations. You write a book or build a widget, you have the right to keep that specific book or widget and do whatever you want with it.

            But when you want to take it a step further and use government force to block other people from making similar books or widgets using their own tools and materials on their own land, that's not a property right, that's a ban on certain uses of other people's property.

            "By claiming that copyrights are anti-property rights - therefore an infringement of property rights - your argument logically has to consider the material that copyrights cover as property."

            No. If I own a pen and a piece of paper, that pen and paper is my property, and that includes the right to write whatever I want on that paper. If somebody steps in and with government force they tell me I can't write certain sequences of words on it because they have a copyright on those sequences of words, they're banning specific uses of my property. That doesn't imply those words are anybody's property, it's just a ban. Like a ban on smoking in certain areas, or a ban saying that white SUVs cannot be driven on Sunday.

            That's not to say that copyrights and patents shouldn't exist altogether. Heck, I'm a software developer and what I create needs copyright protection. I'm saying copyrights and patents are not property, they're bans. It just happens that the industries that profit from copyrights and patents have been successful in drumming the phrase "intellectual property" into society's collective heads so that they can leverage concepts from physical property to get laws that expand the reach of copyrights and patents.

          • Re:At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday November 14, 2011 @10:07AM (#38048300) Homepage Journal

            But as I said to another poster - should one not have the right to one's creations? What gives you the right to claim them as your own or as the public's?

            Because they're not 100% your creation. Nothing comes from a vaccuum. Like science and technology, all art comes from what came before it. "If I see farther than other men, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Here's [slashdot.org] a story that would be far weaker had it not incorporated a forty year old song that should have passed into the public domain long ago; a song that is part of our heritage and part of our public awareness. Tell me, do you honestly believe that "Happy Birthday" should be under copyright?

            Imagine how technology would stagnate if patents lasted as long as copyrights. That's how art is stagnating now.

            You can indeed own your own thoughts and words and art -- but once you let them loose, they no longer belong to you.

            And I say this as someone who has painted, written computer programs, artices, stories, poetry, and music, and have a book floating around BitTorrent (I seeded it myself). Once someone hears my words, those words no longer belong to me.

            The US Constitution says that I don't own my words; "we, the people" do. I merely have a "limited" time monopoly on their publication.

    • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alan R Light (1277886) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:01AM (#38046766)

      I have long opposed extreme copyright terms and bad copyright law, and supported the public domain and creative commons licensing - but I have also supported paying artists for such work as they have copyrighted. I have always tried to buy a legitimate copy of music I like, where it has been available, and encouraged others to buy legitimate recordings.

      But this is simply too much. If the copyright organizations are going to insist on collecting money for works they do not own nor represent, then they can go to hell. Really, this is just extortion. They deserve no more sympathy.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Funny)

        by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:29AM (#38046894) Homepage

        I have long opposed extreme copyright terms and bad copyright law, and supported the public domain and creative commons licensing - but I have also supported paying artists for such work as they have copyrighted. I have always tried to buy a legitimate copy of music I like, where it has been available, and encouraged others to buy legitimate recordings.

        But this is simply too much. If the copyright organizations are going to insist on collecting money for works they do not own nor represent, then they can go to hell. Really, this is just extortion. They deserve no more sympathy.

        Because putting rootkits on audio CDs was deserving of sympathy? Or maybe suing Grandma to the ground? Or fucking with artists so badly they can barely afford to eat while their recording label earns millions out of them? Or being granted full power on how users must consume their media AND full power on how device builders should build their devices? Or buying a fucking law requiring a website to be offline on a simple takedown notice with no proof, due diligence or any kind justice concept incolved?

        Really, I'm glad you woke up, but jeez! It was about time.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:10AM (#38046798)

      Guys, the TFS is bullshit. Germany has no concept of "copyright". But even many Germans don't know that.
      We have "Urheberrecht", which is like "authors' right". The privilege of the original author to get something for his work. As opposed to the privilege to "copy" (usually the badly paid works of others).
      The former once made sense in pre-Internet times. The latter is based on the lie that one could actually control who makes a copy of what information, and was designed to abuse artists from the very beginning.

      The GEMA was originally there, to collect the money for those artists, and hand it straight to them. That service did cost a small monthly membership fee.

      But nowadays, the GEMA is a bunch of 80+ dudes that keep practically all the money for themselves and buy seconds yachts and huge mansions.
      While the membership fee is more expensive than what they get out for 99.9% of the artists. (I'm not even exaggerating.) Most members get something like 50 cent or less.
      But GEMA acts like if you don't do anything, you're automatically a member. Without asking you.
      And if you want out, they often simply act like it didn't happen and keep collecting "for you" anyway.

      Oh, and their fees for "performing" a song are crazy high. High enough that no Internet radio station here could afford it, even with lots of advertising. (We tried, and had to shut down.)

    • Re:At this point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grumbleduke (789126) on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:21AM (#38047150) Journal

      It has become necessary that we all ignore copyrights from this point on, in civil disobedience.

      From what I've seen, this is already happening - just not in civil disobedience. While some people who infringe/ignore copyright on a daily basis do so for some sort of political meaning, most of the millions of people across the world who infringe copyright - not just those who download music and films without a licence, but those who rip CDs, use photocopiers, sing or hum tunes in public or, in England at the moment, visit most websites [bailii.org] - do so because they don't care enough to check whether what they're doing is lawful, and probably wouldn't stop even if they knew. If asked, many may say that they support copyright, and that they think it is important, but that only lasts while it doesn't get in the way of whatever they want to do.

      This doesn't just apply to people, either; news organisations and many other companies are perfectly happy to go with a "use first, try to license later" model, which sometimes involves them having to pay up, but rarely ends up in court. The current state of copyright reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes, except with laws passed to say the clothes exist, the Courts upholding those laws, and groups lobbying and pushing for even fancier, thinner and more expensive new fabrics for the clothes.

    • Re:At this point (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday November 14, 2011 @08:49AM (#38047654) Homepage Journal

      It may be world wide as well. Here in the US there's ASCAP, that legally extorts money from bar owners, even if the bands that play in them play only their own compositions.

      One bar owner here in Springfield who had a folk music venue lost his business fighting ASCAP's extortion. And make no mistake, it's nothing short of legalized extortion.

      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        ASCAP, BMI, SABAM, GEMA... all collect for the same artists. The group that collects "for the artist" depends on where you are when you use the artists copyrighted material. eg. If your a cover band for Hall and Oats and play in Germany you get raped by GEMA instead of ASCAP.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:19AM (#38046606) Homepage Journal

    title says it.
    they should rebel, the gema artists that is.

    also germans should rebel, because gema is collecting money it has no way to deliver to the lawful owner(the artist).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That rebellion should have started the moment 90% of the videos on Youtube that have music got blocked due to GEMA not granting the rights to use it.

      • by MPolo (129811) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:36AM (#38046680)
        The youtube thing is really frustrating, I keep hoping that Google will manage to come up with a deal, but apparently GEMA wants more money than the RIAA demanded to make it "legal" to stream those videos in Germany. I must admit, though, that GEMA does have its (rather small) upside: since they "represent" practically all the musicians in the world, you only have one place you need to go to pay royalties. I don't think that very much of the GEMA money gets to the artists, of course, probably less than with the RIAA.
        • by moenoel (1897920) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:42AM (#38046700)
          As far as I know, the GEMA wants money per view for the videos on Youtube. Even if they only want a fraction of a cent, they'd bleed Google dry in matter of months with that model. Google offered to give them part of the advertising revenue from the "offending" content, but the GEMA says it's against the current German law, or some bullshit.
        • by Tom (822) on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:35AM (#38047206) Homepage Journal

          Yes, money goes to the artists.

          The problem with the GEMA model is that payouts are based on popularity. Meaning that the artists with the top spots in the charts get quite a lot, and the smaller, less popular, independent artists get practically nothing.

    • by Calos (2281322) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:59AM (#38046756)

      How is this at all akin to slavery? That is a terrible analogy, and it seems like you just wanted to liken it to something that society sees as reprehensible to make it look bad.

      It is bad, but at least call it out for being what it is. People who make outrageous claims simply discredit their own movement.

      • People who make outrageous claims simply discredit their own movement.

        At most, they simply discredit themselves. And even then, that would only apply to the "outrageous claim" itself.

        • by Calos (2281322)

          That would be nice in theory, but in practice, I think you're wrong.

          When the LaRouchians invaded the tea party movements, do you think that people just ignored the LaRouchians and didn't associate the anti-semitism and ridiculous claims to the tea party? Do you think that the militant anarchists and kids asking for someone to pay for their college loans because they don't want to pay themselves showed up at the OWS movements, do you think most people ignored them or do you think they associated them with a

      • by Calydor (739835) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:18AM (#38046836)

        The part about potential pseudonyms is what makes this slavery.

        Think about it. Once an artist is signed up with GEMA, he is apparently no longer allowed to make a dance track in his spare time and release it as Creative Commons. Once he's signed up with GEMA, anything he makes becomes GEMA's property to collect royalties for, even if the artist himself does not want any royalties for it.

        Please explain how that is NOT slavery, even if a modern version of it.

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          I'd say that the difference is that the artists don't have to sign with GEMA. It would be harder on the artists, probably, but GEMA is not kidnapping them and making them work for nothing.

          • by Sique (173459)

            The problem is that about any music publisher in Germany has standard contracts with a GEMA statement. So whenever you go to a publisher you are nearly automatically a GEMA member. Any court in Germany will take it as "Anscheinsbeweis" (prima facie), that if you are performing your own music in public, you are with high probability a GEMA member. Thus you are required to prove that you aren't.

    • by aix tom (902140) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:08AM (#38046784)

      Well, for some "moderate" rebellion the band "Eure Mütter" ("Your Mothers") already has a song titled "Der Typ, der bei der GEMA die Titel eintippt, ist ein ganz blöder Penner" ("The guy who enters title data at the GEMA is a very stupid bum")

      And the song is basically about how they made the song just that somebody at GEMA has to enter that every time it is played. (They even made it longer than 4 minutes, so that it has to be entered in BOLD) ;-P

      YouTube Video [youtube.com]

      • The really funny thing is that I personally know GEMAs database admin. He's a former band-mate of mine. (No joke.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Knuckles (8964)

        And in a weird coincidence, the band "Mutter" ("Mother") [muttermusik.de] releases all their work through their own company, "Die eigene Gesellschaft" (roughly, "Our own society/company", it has a double meaning in German), made a point of opting out of GEMA (which is super difficult, like many other posts in this story explain), and prefixes their Youtube videos with a screen that spoofs GEMA's infuriating one, which all German Youtube users know so well because it blocks the vast majority of videos which contain music for

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:21AM (#38046612)

    This is really sick, and sadly the same here in Hungary. A specific rightsholder group is granted legal monopoly on all the music business, and there is no way for art to exist outside them. They also have the right to tax all storage media because "they would be used for piracy anyway".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:26AM (#38046628)

      Same thing in Spain. Except that the group got recently busted for a major corruption and money laundering scheme, so we might get lucky and get to see its demise. Not that I'm holding my breath that whatever replaces it will be any better.

    • by little1973 (467075) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:29AM (#38046896)

      FYI, downloading is legal in Hungary for private usage (NOT software), but uploading is not. So, torrent is a gray area, but no individual has been prosecuted for private usage, yet.

      • Actually, it's only illegal if you commercialize it. You're free to make backups of copyrighted software and music for your own use, you may even be asked to provide proof of purchase or the original, but you can only be prosecuted if you profit from creating backups.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:28AM (#38046640)

    I asked our beloved SAZAS about this matter. The question specifically was: what was your opinion on playing open-source / cc music in a waiting room? The reply was that since all authors must report to SAZAS and report their incomes and creative commons authors do not, such music was illegal in Slovenia.

    • by muckracer (1204794) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:27AM (#38046880)

      > I asked our beloved SAZAS about this matter. The question
      > specifically was: what was your opinion on playing open-source /
      > cc music in a waiting room? The reply was that since all authors
      > must report to SAZAS and report their incomes and creative
      > commons authors do not, such music was illegal in Slovenia.

      I'd love to see that go to trial! And then to Strasbourg...

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Illegal music! Now, that's a totalitarian regime !

  • by Muros (1167213) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:29AM (#38046650)

    A German copyright group called GEMA told the organizers that to be certain that no rights were infringed, it would need a list of all artists including their full names, place of residency and date of birth.

    So, to be sure no rights are violated, they need to be given private details about 3rd party individuals that they have no right to know?

  • after i explained what GEMA is / does: "wtf? so they're the music-nazis of the world?"
    • by xaxa (988988)

      In the UK there is the PRS [prsformusic.com].

      From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRS_for_Music [wikipedia.org]

      In 2007, PRS for Music took a Scottish car servicing company to court because the employees were allegedly "listening to the radio at work, allowing the music to be 'heard by colleagues and customers.'"

      • by xaxa (988988)

        (Though it seems the PRS doesn't care if you play only Creative Commons / Public Domain / etc music. Maybe. I won't provide a citation or link, if you care you should probably ask them.)

  • SACEM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:42AM (#38046702)
    Years ago, the Luxembourgish equivalent of the GEMA (the SACEM) tried to pull off a similar stunt against a band who performed at an event exclusively with music that one of their guys had composed himself.

    The SACEM still sent a bill.
    The treasurer of the band (not paying attention...) paid it.
    After becoming aware of the error, the treasurer tried to reclaim the money, to no avail.
    So, then the composer sent a letter to the SACEM, explaining to them that they had solicited money in his name, and that he wanted to have it.
    A couple of weeks later, a bank transfer showed up at the band's account (not the composer's personal account) where the fee was reimbursed in full, but no explanation, nor excuse...

    Probably, in the German case, it might not be so simple, as they played stuff from multiple composers, and if one composer complains, the GEMA could always claim that they solicited money on behalf of the other composers...

    • Email the artists whose music was played. Get them to claim.
    • Re:SACEM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:44AM (#38046972) Homepage

      So, then the composer sent a letter to the SACEM, explaining to them that they had solicited money in his name, and that he wanted to have it. A couple of weeks later, a bank transfer showed up at the band's account (not the composer's personal account) where the fee was reimbursed in full, but no explanation, nor excuse...

      They were probably quite happy with that resolution, because in the end they collected it and the composer had to go to them to claim it. No precedent for anything else was set. So sure, they could probably get their 200 euro back but it does nothing to change the system.

  • Rent seeking... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by damburger (981828) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:42AM (#38046704)

    ...is always more profitable than working, because you hardly have any overheads. You just need to supply the occasional fawn for your lawyers to swallow whole, before going into torpor until their next court date.

    At some point, our leaders and their pet intellectuals are going to have to deal with the fact that one of the most basic assumptions behind our societies - that profitability is equivalent to economic success - is fundamentally flawed.

  • This is just a simple case of some idiot in some federal bureau with nothing better to do. The Gema konzept isn't all to bad, but with all the DRM laws added in the last decade it falls flat on its face in so many places. For instance, you are allowed to make private copies of your music and there is a basic royalty on copy media such as CDRWs that goes straight to the GEMA - but it is illegal to circumvent copy protection. As usual: Lots and lots of messy and broken laws in this field by people without a c

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:18AM (#38046840)

    This is my biggest bone with copyright laws - it gives rights to collect copyright fees to private entity - and what's most important - they don't have to prove that it is their representative they collect money for. Our local agency claims that they have rights to do it so, and after author will make agreement with them, they will pay money back (minus admin fees of course). This is bordering with absurd, but honestly, people lack of insight in such difficult subject helps heavily, as lobbyist groups have freeway to copyright laws.

  • by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday November 14, 2011 @06:29AM (#38046902)

    What if they don't pay? GEMA would have to take them to court, right? Is a judge really going to make them pay, without GEMA pointing out even a single song played at the event that infringed one of their artists' copyright? Is there any precedent for that in Germany?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:27AM (#38047176)

      It's called the "GEMA Vermutung", the GEMA assumption. As (allegedly) the vast majority of musicians are represented by the GEMA, the assumption is that any repertoire played at a public event contains music by artists which are represented by the GEMA. Since this is civil law, there is no "in dubio pro reo". Each party presents information supporting its own position and the judge decides which side has the better case. In the past, the GEMA only needed to point at its membership roster to win. That's why there is now (due to this current case) an effort going on to list more non-GEMA artists than there are on the GEMA roster, to overturn the GEMA assumption and require the GEMA to provide actual information that GEMA licensed music has been played before they can collect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is there any precedent for that in Germany?

      Unfortunately yes, plenty therof. It is even law in Germany that the GEMA is not obligued to prove that it has any rights in the music played. The other side has to prove that the GEMA has no rights which is difficult, because the GEMA obviously won't give any help in figuring this out...

      In this particular case, it seems however that the other side actually can prove that all music is CC licensed, but the GEMA does not accept the proof. It would be interesting to know what a law court would think, whether t

    • It's a country where:

      Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann remarked upon delivering the verdict, "The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible. For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks."

      which essentially grants Apple monopoly on all rectangular multi-touch based display tablets with one button or less on the face -- the current indust

  • by w4rl5ck (531459) on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:37AM (#38047214) Homepage

    I've been stuck in the same dilemmy in Germany now for more than ten years, and how crazy this whole legislation is and has always been never occurred to anybody in public.

    This goes so far that the rates are actually too low to really complain about, but high enough to be a big headache for small concerts and stuff.

    If an artist is signed with GEMA (so, get's money from them), he even has to pay GEMA fees in case he organizes a concert himself, for himself, only playing his own songs.

    He will get the money back later, of course - but subtract bureaucracy fees. Same goes on for CDs!

    It's just completely crazy. So as an artist, you are either "in" - and pay to eventually get paid - or "out" - and you never get paid at all.

    The winners? Big acts, as usual.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Monday November 14, 2011 @07:53AM (#38047284)
    Never mind the copyright arguments. How do you prove you are not a member of some group? Do you need official papers stating all the groups you don't belong to?
  • by peppepz (1311345) on Monday November 14, 2011 @08:40AM (#38047594)
    In Italy, GEMA's equivalent asked a non-profit organization to pay them 1.094,40 € because they played the national anthem in public. They say it's required because, "even if the original author of the anthem died more than 70 years ago" (in 1849 actually), they are authorized to collect royalties over the "printed musical sheets as confirmed by European Directive 2001/29/EC article 5".

    This is beyond ridiculous. These people live outside of reality (and at our expense).

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday November 14, 2011 @10:14AM (#38048348) Homepage Journal
    Any business that plays music is engaging in a "Public Performance" and will be shaken down by an industry consortium (I forget who off the top of my head, probably the RIAA.) Even if you play music in the public domain, they will insist that you can't prove that and will shake you down. Muzak's entire business model pretty much depends on that. In the light of the Righthaven affair, a business might eventually win a lawsuit if they could prove an organization had no standing to sue them, but it would probably drive them into bankruptcy in the mean time.

    Other posts say public disobedience is needed to fix this, but I think what we really need is much more public education. Most people (and I'm SURE, most Congresspeople) don't know shit about IP law. Lawmakers are happy to go along with what their industry lobby friends tell them they need. The public at large is at best woefully ignorant and at worst dangerously ignorant about what is and is not allowed under copyright. Trademark and patent law could be OK with relatively little reform. Copyright law needs a major overhaul. Until the public (and Lawmakers) realizes that, it will continue to be business as usual.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

Working...