Slovak Collecting Society Sends Village Invoice For Singing Folk Song About Itself

from the same-old-story dept

Performing rights societies probably don't have the best reputations here on Techdirt, but just when you think they can't get any more outrageous in their demands, they do. Here are two stories from the Slovak Republic, both involving SOZA, the Slovak Performing and Mechanical Rights Society:

The recent case of the local village of Pohorela being charged EUR 62.40 [about $75] by copyright association SOZA because children sang copyrighted songs on Mothers’ Day has to be one of the most absurd cases of copyright being enforced in Slovakia.

TheDaily first drew attention to the Pohorela case by sharing it on Facebook at the end of May, but the case is not unique. Other villages and towns may also receive the same kinds of bills, like the one sent to the village of Helpa, which is being charged possibly for singing the well-known folk song celebrating the village called "To ta Helpa!", for instance.
Although the first paragraph mentions "copyrighted songs", the Facebook page referred to talks about "our folk songs", which would presumably not be in copyright (Slovak original.) In either case, it seems a bit extreme to charge for children singing to their own mothers. The second story seems more clear-cut: SOZA is trying to charge a village for singing a "well known" folk song about itself, which adds insult to injury.

The article quoted above notes that this is not the only problem with SOZA's invoicing habits:

Cinemas in particular are not happy with the fees, which are charged regardless of what film is showing, if there is any music in the film, and even though copyright fees are covered already in the film rental.
Paying for something you didn't have, or being forced to pay twice: sounds like collecting societies are the same everywhere.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and on Google+

Filed Under: collection society, folk song, pohorela, shakedown, slokav republic
Companies: soza

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2012 @ 4:03am

    Now you know why we call them cartels.

Add Your Comment

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

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.