GEMA Music Collection Society No Longer Will Let Kindergartens Get Away With Teaching Music For Free

from the ownership-society dept

We've discussed a few times how the German music collection society GEMA often appears to be one of the worst of the worst when it comes to copyright maximalism. Its latest move is particularly egregious. While it used to allow pre-schools/kindergartens to hand out sheets with music to the children for singing for free, its policy recently changed, so that the schools now need to pay up (found via Slashdot). In the last few weeks, GEMA started sending out notices to these facilities, warning them to either pay up or no longer hand out sheets with music on it to students. This seems reminiscent of ASCAP demanding that Girl Scouts pay up for singing songs around the campfire. These collection societies have really gotten desperate lately, and now they're trying to shake down kindergarten students for cash. How nice of them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    The only ones desperate are the pirates because they know their gravy train is about to come to an end because of America and freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Pirates?!

    What do Somali pirates have to do with German kindergartners and their GEMA music woes?

    If you're going to troll--at least try to stay on topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    It's like taking candy from a baby (literally). They couldn't miss this opportunity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Is one of those situations where they have to pay up even though the schools use public domain sheet music?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Re:

    The only ones desperate are the pirates because they know their gravy train is about to come to an end because of America and freedom.

    The real desperate ones are the ACs who can't think of an on-topic comment so just repeat the same bravado that they've been coming up with on every other thread for the last few days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure the poster was being sarcastic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    The real problem is as income fails on one side (commercial sales) they are forced to enforce all the other methods to maintain income.

    It all tracks back to piracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    It's the dream that we all share...It's the hope for tomorrowwwww...

    AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Pirates?!

    It's those blasted pirates I tell you! They make it harder for collection societies (and not artists) to get paid!!! And so the collection societies have no choice but to take it out on kindergartners and demand more money from everyone to compensate. How else are they supposed to get paid for doing nothing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    "Stop crying you little brat! Stupid PIRATE. You FORCED us to do this! And give me all your candy!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Pirates?!

    "If you're going to troll--at least try to stay on topic."

    He WAS, stupid. The simple fact of the matter is that German kindergartens are absolutely RIFE with pirates. I don't mean infringers, I mean actual pirates. A friend of mine has a child over in Germany and he was absolutely livid about how their music class kept getting interupted by guys named Redbeard, Smitty, and some weirdo named Guybrush Threepwood. They would barge into the class, rip the music sheets out of "zee leetle cheeldren's" hands and then launched into song.

    It was all a huge problem, until they figured out how to end it: American freedom. Like a cross to a vampire, German elementary teacher Klaus Goodburger found that waving Ol' Glory in front of the class made the pirates hiss like a gas leak and hide their faces. One simple rendition of "America The Beautiful", complete w/hip hop backbeats and fully-licensed samples of course, sends the singing pirate troupe scurrying from the class.

    They caught the Guybrush Threepwood guy and tried to punish him with the death penalty by drowning. Turns out that guy can hold his breath for ten whole minutes!

    In any case, I just wanted you to know you're wrong, and that guy was perfectly on topic....

     

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  12.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    Thankfully no.

    It's only for copying of copyright material and the fee asked is quite small - so maybe this one isn't so bad. I'm guessing that this merely brings Germany into line with other countries.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Wait, something just occurred to me! Remember when people shout "Think of the children!"?

    Well, they did. Are you happy now?

    :p

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    The real problem is as income fails on one side (commercial sales) they are forced to enforce all the other methods to maintain income.
    It's sorta like eating your own leg to keep from dying; it only works for the short-term, and then it leaves you crippled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    Music down business up

    Obviously they are trying to destroy the next generation of musicians so no one will be around to compare to the crappy corporate made musicians and singers that the companies they work with produce.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Heh. Shows what I know... My bad.

    ; P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Apparently the music industry isn't content with driving away their College customers, now they have to scare off the ones without allowances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    The real problem is as income fails on one side (commercial sales) they are forced to enforce all the other methods to maintain income.

    It all tracks back to piracy.


    Ahem

    "Forced"?

    By whom exactly??

    Could they just give up the extortion business and get a proper job?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just shows how far the real trolls have gone these days that I didn't notice......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's what I do best, baby!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Jonathan Uhls, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Easy as taking culture from a baby

    Royalties for the school play?

    Minuscule.

    Killing your own culture one kinder-gardener at a time?

    Priceless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    Show me a truly bonifide "pirate" web site. I'm betting what you'll show me is a search engine that serves up p2p protocol links (torrent files). Very few (if any) "pirate sites"actually have music org-licensed files on them, the actual material is kept on the hard drives of the peers that are using the protocol. AND if you insist that these search engines are the definite culprits then the biggest culprit of all is Google. Funny how no one goes after Google.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    I simply cannot decide what my favourite part of this epic comment was... I think it's down to the detailed Monkey Island references versus the inspired name "Klaus Goodburger"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    I don't know what you mean. That was a true story....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Please, all you free-music loving hippies just want to keep the kids indoctrinated to have free music. Each one should have to pay a Euro every time they sing a song in choir so we can teach the new generation to pay for music.

    Ok, I'll be reasonable. 1 Euro for production performances, only half a Euro for practice. Per each child, of course.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    "The real problem is as income fails on one side..."

    The real problem is these "music licensing agencies" or whatever you want to call them are preying on their own customers by enforcing the rights they possess to an absurd degree. Or do you want to tell us that telling public schools they have to pay to sing sings in class is a viable business model? Really? Isn't it a little bit more like making customers who are leaving horse-drawn carriages in droves for more efficient and simpler mopeds go back to their horses and their carriages because the agencies don't want to re-tool their factories to make mopeds?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re:

    Songs. We sing songs. The brandy/egg nogg combo is slurring you people's words to an absurd degree for me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    AJ, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Hmmm.. this problem seem's to be spreading... Looks like some British kids are actively recruiting pirates for some kind of mutiny......

    http://www.bullfax.com/?q=node-johnny-depp-makes-surprise-visit-budding-pirates

    ......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Qritiqal (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    WTB a flash crowd dressed as pirates going in to Best Buy and stealing CDs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    JTO (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re:

    Actually, it's more akin to eating your leg because you skipped lunch. The music industry is still profitable. They just aren't seeing the double-digit years they saw when CDs were the norm. Instead of finding better ways of attracting customers to music, they start poaching their nurseries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Of course - I never said otherwise. Are you suggesting that Monkey Island is not a true story?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Christopher (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    The fact is that this is easily solved by the governments making an exception from copyright laws for K-12 schools. Easy, simple solution.... but one that the copyright owners would probably fight with nuclear weapons to keep from passing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    No, no, not at all. In fact, I heard most of this entire story from these checkered coat wearing sales goon who sold me a piece of shit Ford Taurus. His name was Stan, and he was a bastard....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Drizzt, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Musikpiraten e.V. offers free music sheets for Christmas songs

    Because of what is reported above the German registered society Musikpiraten e.V. started offering (and before that calling for volunteers) a free music book for Christmas songs (direct download link of the PDF). By now the music book was extended a few times and several minor "bugs" were fixed. But still: help in extending and spreading is welcome.

    The license is always a CC variant, public domain or CC Zero for the typesetting of each song.

    Cheers,
    Drizzt

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    google has money and lawyers, they can fight back

    unlike those wimpy little kindergartners, ya get em!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Ralph, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    This is not correct on two counts:

    a) it is not GEMA who requires those fees to be paid, it is the Verwertungsgesellschaft Musikedition which is the collection society for sheet music publishers (and a bit more). They "just" use GEMA for money collection, with GEMA being the bigger collection society and probably having the better infrastructure for that.

    b) German Urheberrecht explixitly *forbids* copying of musical notes, *if* the music itself still is under "copyright" (the quotes are there, because our Urheberrecht is different from your copyright). So there was no recent change in policy, they never allowed that. They just now began to "collect".

    But don't fret, most german news publishers didn't get that correctly either, even some politicians are rather unclear about that. :)

    http://www.stefan-niggemeier.de/blog/der-kindergarten-als-rechtsfreier-raum/ for those who can read german. It's mostly a rant about journalists not getting what really is behind the story.

    That what they're doing is questionable is on another sheet. But when our Urheberrecht was "renovated" a few years ago, that was explicitly left in. And that this just shows how bad a copyright/Urheberrecht is, which just makes the publishers the strong party while completely forgetting the users - well, I don't want to preach to the choir.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Oh fuck I lold so much!

    Could I use this as an example to lobby Techdirt into getting Flattr for comments too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Ralph (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    Umm.

    "musical notes" == sheet music, if that was not clear :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Pshh, you can use it for whatever you like...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates?!

    Ah yes, I've met him. Terrible storyteller, but his frantic hand gestures are so hypnotic...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    Copyright Macht Frei

    I realize this reference is in very poor taste, but what exactly is the message GEMA is impressing on education if not the above?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Please tell me you forgot the /sarc?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    There you go! With the sad financial state of schools these days and the richies not paying their way through taxes we are going to lose Music Education now. But let GEMA cut off it's own head: No music Education equates to No new customers in about 20 years. So nobody to collect money for.
    I can't believe they passed up such a great PR option. Help the schools and reap good vibes. What do think kept Apple alive for so long? Their Apple II and Mac sucked and without schools and the parents buying what their kids used in school, they would have been out of business a long time ago. Nobody in the business world took them seriously except to make a cool newsletter. As far as I can tell Apple still produces the same consumable crap. Buy it, Use it, Throw it away. Welcome to Apples vision: Landfills full of Apple crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    That does it - no more singing.
    There will have to a new way to learn the alphabet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    they need to make a fight club 2 and make it all about destroying the copy"right" organizations

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    a) it is not GEMA who requires those fees to be paid, it is the Verwertungsgesellschaft Musikedition which is the collection society for sheet music publishers (and a bit more). They "just" use GEMA for money collection, with GEMA being the bigger collection society and probably having the better infrastructure for that.

    b) German Urheberrecht explixitly *forbids* copying of musical notes, *if* the music itself still is under "copyright" (the quotes are there, because our Urheberrecht is different from your copyright). So there was no recent change in policy, they never allowed that. They just now began to "collect".


    Thanks for the added info!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Enough, with the "RE:RE:RE:RE:" comebacks....

    I have a simpler solution. To hell with the copyright Nazi cartels. Yes, of course, keep using public domain music material. And for the other stuff..well.. bit-torrent. It's the gift that just keeps on giving. Damn ASSCAP and others like the German Music Copyright Nazis. My message to them is "Profit Denied". Force them out of business by denying them the money they DON'T deserve. They should be taken out to the street and publicly shamed by the entire world community. };P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 9:13pm

    Todays lesson kiddies

    HOW bad and evil the music industry is to you.

    Lesson one how to pirate and pay them back....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Citation needed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Re: Todays lesson kiddies

    ...or.

    Free music sheets for the masses.
    http://www.musopen.org/sheetmusic.php

    Suggestion to create and play music sheets.
    http://musescore.org/ (open source)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Chrissy (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Great as if there wasn't already enough problems with keeping music in schools.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re: Enough, with the "RE:RE:RE:RE:" comebacks....

    re:re:re:re:

    Calling anyone a Nazi is a pretty strong concept, do you think they are taking the non-payers out, loading them in trains, and sending them off to concentration camps and eventually into the gas chambers?

    Obviously not, so please turn the rhetoric down a touch.

    Your "Profit Denied" stance is also amusing, because it isn't like they just collect the money and keep it. The money goes to the rights holders, etc. They aren't collecting the money and going on a beer and weinersnitzchel binge. I have a feeling that you have fallen for the anti establishment ramblings of various websites (including this one) without truly understanding the implications.

    What grade are you in?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    "and now they're trying to shake down kindergarten students for cash. How nice of them."

    So now the collection societies have stooped to being school yard bullies ... Nice!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Enough, with the "RE:RE:RE:RE:" comebacks....

    LoL

    They distribute it to copyright holders?
    That was the joke of the year.

    Collections societies cheat everyone except their little circle of trust and that is a fact.

    Ask if they are using computers and technology to track who plays what and where and if they are trying to make it sure they pay every penny owned to others. The answer to that will shock you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Tom, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 3:51am

    "While it used to allow pre-schools/kindergartens to hand out sheets with music to the children for singing for free, its policy recently changed, so that the schools now need to pay up (found via Slashdot)."

    That is simply wrong! It was never allowed in Germany to copy sheet-music thats still under copyright. It was allowed to buy sheet-music and hand those bought sheets out for singing.
    So if a German Kindergarten copied sheet-music (for example the popular songs of "Rolf Zuckowski") that wasn't legal in Germany. So if a Kindergarten wanted to act legal, they had to buy all the needed sheet-music.
    Now with that "Lizenzabgabe" (fee) it is possible for a Kindergarten to copy copyrighted sheet-music in a legal way by paying 56.- a year (for 500 copies of copyrighted material). In my opinion that's a much cheaper way than buying the sheet-music for every child.

    But this fee is only for pre-school-institutions. Schools have a framework agreement with the GEMA for that purpose for more than 20 years now.
    A framework agreement was also offered for the pre-school-institutions, but they didn't want it.

    A great problem in that discussion is, that many German media published tendentious news on that topic, telling their readers, that fee would be collected for singing.

    Here's a German blog that focusses on that tendentious news:
    http://www.mtmediaportal.de/tendenziose-berichterstattung-uber-die-gema/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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