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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  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:00am

    Now just let someone say ZAMP has the artists best interest at heart. I dare ya. Whatever???

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      They will no doubt say something like the radio stations are at fault for not paying more money and now the artists have no money to live on!

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 4:51pm

        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!"

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

    • identicon
      tanj, 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      ZAMP has the artists best interest at heart. They have increased the artists share of revenues from broadcasting their music to %100.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:18am

    *giggles*

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:20am

    Well they could always get the government to enforce that a percentage of radio play be dedicated to Macedonian content. Just like Canada does for Canadian content... http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/cancon/r_cdn.htm

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

    • identicon
      kallethen, 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Umm... I'm hoping your remark was sarcastic, cuz the article states there is a law requiring 40% of broadcast music be Macedonian-made.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 11:02am

        Re: Re:

        Why do the "Regulations are Bad" people not bitch about these types of regulation?

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

        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because a lot of people in countries with such laws have been more or less perfectly happy with it.

          However, i've seen plenty of bitching about it, even here, at least relatively, given that this isn't happening in the US.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In this case, they'd bitch about it more if it was happening in the US instead of a country most people in the US probably weren't even aware that it existed.

          If it's happening somewhere else, they couldn't care less since it doesn't affect them.

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In Moosedonia, er, Canada they do. But not a lot, since most music on the air can still be from elsewhere.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:31am

    Do they also claim ownership of the word Pyrrhic

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:21pm

    Another example of the copyright cartel "protecting" artists.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:51pm

    Ironically thei made me want to listen to Macedonian music to find out if I like it. So maybe it's a publicity stunt for international listeners? /s

    I say let them pout. Let's see how long they can sustain this situation with zero income.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:52pm

    Jayne math

    Jayne: Can't get paid if you crawl away like a bitty little bug neither. I got a share of this job. Ten percent of nothin' is, let me do the math here... nothin' and a nothin', carry the nothin'...

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:58pm

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 1:42pm

    This sounds like a win for satellite and for stations outside Macedonia's borders.

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

  • identicon
    Nick, 23 Sep 2016 @ 4:45pm

    This is a uniquely slavic solution...

    ...to an impasse.

    The spirit of spite is strong in Macedonia, and it can make for some great stories.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 6:47pm

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 8:45pm

    Fucked if you do, fucked if you don't. Anyone else still surprised the average person has no respect for copyright law?

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

  • icon
    Bill Poser (profile), 25 Sep 2016 @ 7:47pm

    macedonian radio music

    I predict a surge in Macedonian talk radio.

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


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