Macedonia Copyright Collection Group Forces All Macedonian Music Off Of All Macedonian Broadcasts

from the that'll-teach-'em dept

This is a strange one, for sure. Often times when we discuss disputes from copyright licensing or collection groups, which will universally complain that they are not collecting enough money when given any opportunity, some will comment that the artists should just pull their music from all broadcasts if they’re not happy with the arrangement. This kind of nuclear option is rarely, if ever, invoked for a whole host of reasons that include compulsory licensing arrangements and rules, the sincerity of the complaints from the licensing groups, and the simple business interests behind the benefits of having music heard on the radio.

But in Macedonia, one such licensing group has quite literally taken its musical ball and stomped home. This whole spat has been initiated by ZAMP, previously the sole music copyright collection organization in all of Macedonia, all because a second collection group has been started in the country, alongside more strict rules governing how much money ZAMP can collect for the artists it represents. As a result, ZAMP has informed Macedonia’s broadcasters that they are henceforth banned from playing any music created by Macedonian artists, whom ZAMP claims to represent.

The ban came after the culture ministry gave a licence to the newly-formed SOKOM MAP association to collect songwriters’ and performers’ fees from TV and radio broadcasters.

“Their goal is to divide the authors and to put a hand on the money collected by ZAMP. Thus the new association, SOKOM MAP, has become an instrument in the culture ministry’s hands,” ZAMP said in a statement.

SOKOM MAP, the new collection group, has insisted that it is not in fact an arm of the Macedonian government, but another collection group representing artists. Based on a frustrating Google translation of SOKOM MAP’s website, it appears to have nothing to do with the government at all, instead being a non-profit group representing songwriters.

Complicating all of this is a law in Macedonia that requires broadcasters to include 40% Macedonian-made music within their music broadcasts. Thus, broadcasters are currently screwed either way: they risk fines from ZAMP if they play Macedonian music, or risk fines from the government if they don’t. To give you an idea of just who the broadcasters are afraid of most in this equation, they’ve pretty much universally bent to the demands of ZAMP.

“As of today, we decided to stop playing Macedonian music. Either way, we risk legal repercussions and steep fines,” one editor-in-chief of a regional radio station told BIRN under condition of anonymity.

And so, if you happen to be reading this in Macedonia at the time of this writing, you apparently can’t hear any music made within that country on the radio. ZAMP took a dispute over how much money it got to collect as the only collection group in the country and managed to reduce that amount of money to absolutely zero by banning that music from broadcasts entirely. Seems like a recipe for new legislation that will further neuter ZAMP, as one imagines the artists it represents will be screaming bloody murder any moment now.

But, yeah, copyright doesn’t hinder culture at all.

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Companies: sokom map, zamp

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Comments on “Macedonia Copyright Collection Group Forces All Macedonian Music Off Of All Macedonian Broadcasts”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

‘Works’ for GEMA after all.

“It’s not our fault artists in germany can’t have their music on YT and make money off of it, it’s entirely YT’s fault for not giving in to our completely reasonable demands and then having the gall not to open themselves up to lawsuits by hosting the music anyway! If they’d just caved and paid out what we demanded then german artists would be raking in the cash(while we took a perfectly reasonable cut of course), so blame them, not us!”

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


Some idiot finally took my advice and withdrew.

I await the artists noticing that this did nothing to benefit them and start questioning why the agency who is supposed to represent them and take care of their interests decided to have a temper tantrum and punish the artists.

Societies and agencies and the like have outlived their actual usefulness, and are now diseased monstrosities trying to find ways to chip away at the tiny amount of money that finally makes it to the artists.

Lets hope this temper tantrum leads to ZAMP losing its luster and being replaced with a society that caps how much it can gain for itself & have to pay the artists promptly. One wonders when the last accounting review was done, and how much of a warchest the artists have ‘contributed’ to on ZAMPs behalf.

That One Guy (profile) says:

The real question...

… is how much less money the artists are seeing from such a move. Broadcasters may be required to play 40% local music, but collection agencies seem to have this funny little problem actually paying out money they collect, so it’s possible that the artists aren’t actually out that much money at all, with the only group making significantly less being the collection agency itself.

In any case kudos to the collection agency for making it clear who’s side they’re really on by screwing every single artist in the country just because they’re throwing a temper tantrum.

Anonymous Coward says:

They probably can’t broadcast Macedonian silence either, since that would probably infringe on John Cage’s silent masterwork 4’33” and lead to a whole bunch of other legal troubles.

And if God had meant us to listen to radio broadcasts she’d have given us all aerials and knobs (for volume and tuning, obvsly). New-fangled rubbish.

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