Slovak Collection Society Tells High School Students To Pay Up For Music At Graduation Parties

from the they-have-no-concept dept

We recently covered a new report highlighting the parade of horror stories from “copyright collection organizations” or “collective rights organizations” around the globe. We’ve got one to add to the list. The Slovak Performing and Mechanical Rights Society (SOZA) put up a blog post telling high school students to register and to pay up for music played at their graduation parties. And this is hardly the first time we’ve heard about SOZA and its universally nutty plans to squeeze more money out of more places where people listen to music. Showing a near complete lack of self-awareness as to how the blog post would be received, it included this hilarious line:

A license for €15 for the whole event isn’t going to ruin any graduation party.

Nor will SOZA not getting €15 for some high school kids having a graduation party ruin its operations. Thankfully, the Slovakian Ministry of Culture pointed out how ridiculous this was:

The Ministry of Culture appealed to SOZA, insisting that student graduation parties were for parents and teachers and could not be considered public events – hence, there was no reason for SOZA to introduce a fee for them.

Recognizing that even the government was against it on this one, SOZA backed down, while still petulantly insisting that legally it had done nothing wrong.

What’s interesting here, however, is that it’s yet another misstep by a copyright organization that’s leading to even less respect for copyright, and increasing pressure to change copyright laws to avoid this kind of ridiculousness. Global Voices (link above) lists out a few examples of people speaking up and becoming activists over this issue:

Martin Královic thought [sk] it would be a good idea to register Christmas of 2012, his 50th birthday celebration (in 2038) and his own funeral with SOZA. Martin Huba asked [sk] about the whereabouts of the money paid by clubs where he gave concerts with his band: as an author, he has been filling SOZA forms, providing an address to which this money should have been sent. thought [sk] that strict application of the laws was the best way to deal with SOZA. Using the Ministry of Culture’s graduation party statement as a precedent, restaurants paying to SOZA for public music could declare themselves private clubs (with low entrance fees, though). Concert organizers and others could do the same.

In the end, this resulted in a rally at the Ministry of Culture, with them asking the government to cancel SOZA’s collection license.

What amazes me is that the people at these organizations are so myopic that they don’t realize the backlash to these kinds of actions. They’re doing more harm to their position than good. Whenever we see stories like this, it just makes people think less and less of copyright.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: soza

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Slovak Collection Society Tells High School Students To Pay Up For Music At Graduation Parties”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

but but but overhead!
They have to pay the monks who transcribe their records well, otherwise they might make errors.
There is such a backlog of payments owed because they are still trying to catch up with the list from 1943, they are having problems locating the survivors.
In the meantime they are all still being paid, and seem to not understand how not paying those they owe monies to might make them cranky. I guess they would go faster if their salaries were tied to exactly how much money they collects was paid out to those it was owed to.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: "Put up a blog post"! THOSE EVIL BEASTS!

It depends on who you consider to be the pirates in this case. Would it be the group of graduates who gather at someone’s home for a little party, or would it be the people who are trying to extort 15 Euros from them?

I do agree with you on one point. Yes, the pirates do indeed look like ninnies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Piracy the final solution for expansion in the copycrap universe.

Everything now is an excuse to make it illegal to do something that was legal before.

Never mind that a granted monopoly by its very nature should be very, very limited so to not disturb the natural balance, screw that apparently, those people are blinded by greed right now and can’t understand why so many people came to hate them so much. Respect? yah right, I don’t see anybody respecting copycrap anytime soon.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

another funny one

In Belgium the collection society has also some very nice ideas.
They decided that the striker of a Ford factory that is going to be dismantled had to pay about 15000? for the party they were going to do in the factory.
Then it made the news, and suddenly it’s not 15000? but 175?.
The artists that were going there, were going there for FREE.


The Real Michael says:

The entitlement complex

Listening to music by yourself? Ok.

Listening to music with other people around? You owe us extra money.

They’re finding new ways to turn ordinary activities such as listening to music, watching a movie, looking at a piece of art, reading literature, playing a game or using software into a corporate money-grab, if not a felony.

This world has become a little too corporate-influenced for my liking; their incessant greed is becoming a serious problem.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...