Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Dec 2010 22:45 UTC
Multimedia, AV "A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license. 'If a preschool wants to make its own copy of certain music - if the words of a song or the musical score is copied - then they need to buy a license,' GEMA spokesperson Peter Hempel told Deutsche Welle." Honestly. I wonder how those pro-RIAA/MPAA folk we have on OSNews feel about this. This is EXACTLY why I try to do my part (a small part, but still) in fighting big content. I wonder how much has to happen for our politicians to open their eyes, and see current copyright law for what it really is: pure venom. Poison of the most dangerous kind, which is destroying our very culture, which is stifling art and science. News like this SICKENS me. How anyone can defend something like this is beyond me.
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Pro RIAA?
by Macrat on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:06 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

I wonder how those pro-RIAA/MPAA folk we have on OSNews feel about this.


There are people pro-RIAA?

Reply Score: 6

Comment by UglyKidBill
by UglyKidBill on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:11 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

Hey, let´s see if we can get you to greet 2011 in the hospital ;) ... this one is old but not less revulsive :

"Major record labels are the real pirates"

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/12/artists-lawsuit-maj...

Cheers!

Reply Score: 4

Open Songs
by mikemikemike on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:30 UTC
mikemikemike
Member since:
2008-11-14

I've been thinking about the conflict between corporate control of media and historical culture. Part of the economy of my town, Los Angeles, is based on selling copyrighted media to the world. But since copyrights expire, there is a recurring need to continually ridicule old, free culture and replace it with new, copyrighted culture.

It is interesting how it plays out. In school we learn a corpus of literature that has a progression: ancient (Homer) to English (Beowulf, Shakespeare, Austen) to American (Twain, Hemmingway). We're taught to see it in a context.

But in music or dance, in the public school system, there is no default instruction, no corpus, and no context. Unless your parents pay for private tuition, you just gather what you will from your parents, friends, internet, radio, and TV.

California does have an extinct historical culture of sorts: native American songs and dances, the songs and dances of pre-1850 Spanish California, the folk music and traditions that all the immigrants brought with them. And none of this music or dance gets played on the commercial, English language radio or TV. What miniscule historical music available lives in state-funded radio of classical music.

I realize that folklore culture may not be too relevant or interesting to modern Californians. I can see why it would have a limited presence. But the fact that it has *no* presence indicates (to me) that it is supressed.

It's funny. Literature publicly builds on older literature and acknowledges older literature. But the pop culture industry is always telling us that its current product something completely new and that the older product is obsolete.

Sorry this is a bit rambling. I'm still trying to form an understanding of the issue.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Open Songs
by Idiot on Thu 30th Dec 2010 00:05 UTC in reply to "Open Songs"
Idiot Member since:
2010-12-29

I think you're actually talking about Franchising... though you do not know it yet.

While cultural songs are free, they don't have much meaning in modern society... and while various media outlets could emphasize them, that also causes dilution in their effectiveness.

"Franchised Songs", however, have a tangible hold in modern society. These are songs that people recognize and have a "mood" associated with them... eventually people will start to say "they always play so in so" and that dilutes the effectiveness of the song, thus leading to a search for a new song to inspire the same feelings.


You see... it's not that corporations ridicule the "free culture"... it's society itself. Teenagers insist on listening to the "new stuff" and claim their parents listen to "lame oldies."

What does this have to do with franchises? Using the teen example, Teens like some pop-star, they'd be more likely to enjoy something if that pop-star's song played in it, so companies pay to have that pop-stars music in their media.

Eventually that pop-star will lose fame and stuff that keeps using their songs will become "lame".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Open Songs
by mikemikemike on Thu 30th Dec 2010 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Open Songs"
mikemikemike Member since:
2008-11-14

I think you're actually talking about Franchising... though you do not know it yet. While cultural songs are free, they don't have much meaning in modern society... and while various media outlets could emphasize them, that also causes dilution in their effectiveness. "Franchised Songs", however, have a tangible hold in modern society. These are songs that people recognize and have a "mood" associated with them... eventually people will start to say "they always play so in so" and that dilutes the effectiveness of the song, thus leading to a search for a new song to inspire the same feelings.


Interesting. I'll have to give that some thought.

One question, then, is how a song comes to be recognizable. Even with free outlets like You Tube, or the many music blogs, media is still largely controlled by business. A song gets advanced to recognizability because for-profit corporations still control the distribution systems that matter.

I do know a guy who was a footsoldier for a big music company in LA. His job was to seek out those bands that have already reached some level of indie credibility but who have a commercial sound and get them into the big-music system. People like him are the gatekeepers of fame in a real sense.

And that's fine. I like some bands, and I'm happy to buy their music to keep them in business. And people like my friend did the hard work of going to thousands of small shows here in LA, looking for music that doesn't suck, so he deserves to get paid.

I just get concerned about how all the world's top 40 charts are identical.

But, going back to the incident that upset the OP, Thom, if the kindergarten doesn't want to pay fees, they shouldn't sing copyrighted songs. They should sing traditional ones. That would actually more stabilizing for the culture anyway.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Open Songs
by Raffaele on Fri 31st Dec 2010 02:06 UTC in reply to "Open Songs"
Raffaele Member since:
2005-11-12

I've been thinking about the conflict between corporate control of media and historical culture. Part of the economy of my town, Los Angeles, is based on selling copyrighted media to the world. But since copyrights expire, there is a recurring need to continually ridicule old, free culture and replace it with new, copyrighted culture. It is interesting how it plays out. In school we learn a corpus of literature that has a progression: ancient (Homer) to English (Beowulf, Shakespeare, Austen) to American (Twain, Hemmingway). We're taught to see it in a context. But in music or dance, in the public school system, there is no default instruction, no corpus, and no context. Unless your parents pay for private tuition, you just gather what you will from your parents, friends, internet, radio, and TV.


Do you know that Homer, Shakespeare and native american folk songs are free of copyright but it could be charged of copyright any public play made of it by
modern actors, and singers?

Any performance of an actor playing Shakespeare belongs to that actor...

Any music compact disk collecting ancient native american songs belongs to the singers and the musicians who recorded their own performance of that songs...

Shakespeare and native american songs are free of copyright but actors and musicians have the right to eat and earn money, and they got their renevue from their performances.

And speaking in terms of performances made by persons who spread to the public their own interpretation of ancient culture songs and comedies it is the "performance" that is copyrighted, not the free old song or the free old literature books.

Reply Score: 2

v You Called?
by Idiot on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:40 UTC
RE: You Called?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:46 UTC in reply to "You Called?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm doing my part by using OSNews as a platform to highlight the idiocy that is our current copyright system. Like I said - it's a small part, but getting the information out there is important. Since major TV networks, newspapers, magazines, and most large websites (Gizmodo, Engadget, and so on) are all *part* of big content, this subject doesn't generally get the attention it deserves.

Luckily, my own country has relatively decent laws (go after the people who profit big from piracy, but leave ordinary folk out of it), but I see the pressure exerted by the big content lobby. The current copyright system is stifling the arts and sciences, is hindering human development, and is destroying large bodies of culture. I do my part by using OSNews as a soapbox, and by voting for political parties who take this issue at heart.

Reply Score: 6

v RE[2]: You Called?
by Idiot on Thu 30th Dec 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "RE: You Called?"
RE[3]: You Called?
by TechGeek on Thu 30th Dec 2010 02:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You Called?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You really missed a lot of issues, but since they tend to be the ones against your version of reality, its not surprising. Did you ever hear of fair use? Specifically it allows copies to be made for educational purposes. That alone should cover everything that is done at the primary school level. They're kids learning music for god's sake. You would think the industry would at least support their own.

Second, performing music is not covered under copyright. At least not in the US. Germany may be different, but I doubt it. Its why we can have so many cover bands.

As for making a profit, the music industry is one of the most lucrative markets in the world. If they want more money, make more music. You won't find very many sympathetic people in this economy when it costs a damn fortune to go to a concert. Modern music is going to DRM itself into oblivion at this rate. No one will be learning it as a style because of all the royalty crap. Consider that more people listen to classical music than to music from the 30's, 40's, 50's. Don't you think there is a reason for this?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: You Called?
by tbutler on Thu 30th Dec 2010 03:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: You Called?"
tbutler Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually this is not true. Copyright law deals with performance of music and organizations or people that perform music "publicly" need to obtain performing rights, usually from ASCAP.

Churches often work through ASCAP or CCLI to get a license to perform music in worship, for example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: You Called?
by TechGeek on Thu 30th Dec 2010 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: You Called?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

My bad. I was wrong about the copyright. Bands don't actually pay license fees because they are charged to the establishment. At least in the US anyway. But ASCAP is getting paid. Too bad they dont pass the revenue on to the artists.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: You Called?
by xiaokj on Thu 30th Dec 2010 07:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You Called?"
xiaokj Member since:
2005-06-30

Unfortunately, the only reason to pay for something you already have is guilt.

Is appreciation not on the list? Is donation not on the list? If all you can think of is that, your world view is incredibly small.

My teacher, whom I agree with, once said that he does not mind paying for music. But he just cannot understand why he must pay the full album price only to get exactly one song's worth. That is the true depravity of the music industry -- that the standard way to extract money is to attach spam with the hits.

These days, I have decided to simply stop consuming _any_ non-studies related content, except for classical music. And I do attend classical music concerts. No TV, no bands, nothing.

Except if I get to try stuff for free. I do my part to support the notion of trials. Too much rubbish out there costs so much that it has become profitable to churn out rubbish to get paid. That is precisely why we get www.theDailyWTF.com -- the demand is too great.

Similarly, stores that do not state their prices upfront on displays/in-store brochures do not even get considered. Pamphlet givers, on the other hand, if they even dare to bother me, can be prepared for absolute spite. I treat unsolicited spam really seriously, such that I tease my friends who work as pamphlet givers. I always wish them rain.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: You Called?
by elsewhere on Thu 30th Dec 2010 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You Called?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

WHY are they going after small time sheet copying? Obviously because their income is at such a low state that they need to make every penny count. Why is their income so bad? Because music piracy is significantly impacting their business.

The only offer I've heard, as for music piracy HELPING corporations is the "try before you buy" argument. Unfortunately, the only reason to pay for something you already have is guilt.


Here we go again. The recording industry hasn't been able to produce a credible study directly linking piracy to a decline in sales, yet numerous studies have shown that music "pirates" are more likely to purchase online than non-"pirates".

While there is no doubt piracy can have a detrimental impact on sales, the degree of that impact is questionable. The industry's entire argument is based on the assumption that people downloading tracks would otherwise have paid for them, which is, frankly, bollocks.

Napster should have been a wake-up call to the music industry, in that it showed how effective the internet was at distributing music without the expense of punching and packaging CDs and shipping them all over the place. They've had a decade to figure out how to adapt their business model, yet they chose to fight it tooth-and-nail to maintain their existing model, and try and force the internet to conform.

Having said that, I don't condone piracy. I can't and won't rationalize unauthorized distribution of protected works. Anymore, anyways. I will admit that I was a casual Napster user back in the day, and I simply rationalized it at the time as being payback for years of being forced to pay $20 for a CD full of mostly crappy music with one or two tracks I wanted. Plus Napster was brilliant for finding music you couldn't buy, such as concert bootlegs or international tracks unavailable domestically. None of that is justification, of course, but I think most Napster users were oblivious of the IP issues and simply enamoured with this new method of obtaining music.

More aggravating to me is the fact that this argument is somehow portrayed as "robbing" the artists of their due, when the reality is the labels themselves have fashioned contracts with the artists that so rob them of revenue that there is nothing left for the "pirates" to steal. The artists were plundered long before Napster and the internet came along. The irony is that "free" music benefits the artists more, since they often rely on concert and t-shirt/poster/etc. sales for money, so having their music widely accessible is a benefit.

If the recording industry is losing money, then piracy is a symptom and not the disease. And while I won't argue the legality of whether kindergarten classes should have to comply with copyright requirements, it just seems like desperation at this point. If they've reached this point for survival, they have have no one to blame but themselves.

/end rant

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: You Called?
by Gone fishing on Thu 30th Dec 2010 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You Called?"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

You are human? You have some contact with 3-7 year olds?

The school buys some sheet music for a school sing song and reproduces the words on say a newsletter or letter to the parents (not the music as most parents or 3-7 year olds don't read music) and every time they reproduce the words which the kids will loose 3 or 4 times they pay.

This is reasonably to you?

Presumably because this is causing agonizing financial hardship to a media company.

Presumably because listening to 3 year olds singing yellow submarine will stop you buying the album

Idiot

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: You Called?
by Karitku on Fri 31st Dec 2010 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE: You Called?"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

You are so wrong when saying this is ruining culture, it's total opposite. Fact is that when people pay money for local content licensing agency that money actually goes for local culture, not mass (mostly American) culture. Actually biggest losers in music thing are big foreign artists whom music people want to listen, but since most fees are taken as static fees the payment often goes to local musician.

For example radio fees, they are mostly static fees. You pay certain amount and you can play certain amount whatever. In most cases majority, 90%, of that music is foreign, however majority of that money goes to local artists.

Fair? Hardly, so think that and ask why most local musicians (you know those guys that hardly make more money than we do) are supporting this system. Make they should go work like most of does, damn parasites.

Reply Score: 2

RE: You Called?
by vodoomoth on Thu 30th Dec 2010 19:44 UTC in reply to "You Called?"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


The "crime" is obvious in that each student should buy her or his own music... and it's not really that expensive to do so.

You obviously don't buy music sheets. Trust me, they are expensive. All the more when it's not published and available in your country. Even sheets for music that's now in the public domain is expensive.

I don't see schools buying each child in the choir a sheet of Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring... these music majors and publishers should realize that milking the cow has a limit.

Reply Score: 4

...
by Hiev on Wed 29th Dec 2010 23:47 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

A simple question, How are GEMA and RIIA related?

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...
by libray on Thu 30th Dec 2010 19:48 UTC in reply to "..."
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

They are not. It is a smokescreen to hide the fact that it is a European entity which are cast in a better light than their US counterparts. The RIAA is not even on par with what GEMA does which has a share in all creative royalties. Also, GEMA has ties with the German patent office.

Reply Score: 4

Well,
by Munchkinguy on Thu 30th Dec 2010 05:19 UTC
Munchkinguy
Member since:
2007-12-22

A simple solution: only sing public domain songs. They're probably better anyway. When GEMA realises they aren't making any money from this policy, they might change their tune.

Edited 2010-12-30 05:21 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Well,
by cdude on Fri 31st Dec 2010 11:20 UTC in reply to "Well,"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Once they realize that there is no money coming in from this they will start to sue those children just like they did before with us.

Reply Score: 2

Culture is dead
by vtolkov on Thu 30th Dec 2010 06:11 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

Surely this destroy culture as culture is based on non-monetary values. If we declare absolute domination of monetary relationship in all areas, in a process of globalisation, we do not have a place for culture, considering it as an area of human habitat, but only have it as a set of atomic "samples" of different kind. We need to fight to be able to keep small islands of freedom to sing, share or cite, in the reservations of "fair use", in a privacy of home, under the blanket.

Reply Score: 7

"Happy Birthday" pirates
by ozonehole on Thu 30th Dec 2010 07:28 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

I'm sure glad that this topic was brought up. I'm disgraced to say that I attended a birthday party for my brother-in-law last week. His wife bought a cake, lit the candles, and we all sang "Happy Birthday to You." Unfortunately, we didn't have a license for this copyrighted song. Wikipedia explains:

The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which was written and composed by American siblings Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893. Patty was a kindergarten principal in Louisville, Kentucky, developing various teaching methods at what is now the Little Loomhouse; Mildred was a pianist and composer. The sisters created "Good Morning to All" as a song that would be easy to be sung by young children. The combination of melody and lyrics in "Happy Birthday to You" first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier. None of these early appearances included credits or copyright notices. The Summy Company registered for copyright in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R.R. Forman. In 1990, Warner Chappell purchased the company owning the copyright for $15 million, with the value of "Happy Birthday" estimated at $5 million. Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claims that the United States copyright will not expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to it.

Now I realize that each one of us who attended the party are liable for a minimum US$150,000 in fines for copyright infringement. That's money we don't have, so imprisonment is called for. Of course, that's totally fair - surely the Hill sisters (who are now in Heaven) would demand fines and/or imprisonment for anyone who didn't buy a license to sing their 1893 tune. My brother-in-law's two kids are age 12 and 13, so they won't do hard time, just a few months in juvenile lock-up before being sent to foster homes. Again, it's the right thing to do - it's a lesson in copyright law that they surely will never forget.

I feel so much safer knowing that we have laws like this to protect us.

Edited 2010-12-30 07:30 UTC

Reply Score: 17

RE: "Happy Birthday" pirates
by elsewhere on Thu 30th Dec 2010 08:11 UTC in reply to ""Happy Birthday" pirates"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Now I realize that each one of us who attended the party are liable for a minimum US$150,000 in fines for copyright infringement. That's money we don't have, so imprisonment is called for.


You're being a little dramatic. Seriously, if you contacted the RIAA, they would likely let you off the hook for a one-time group payment of $150,000, instead of everyone paying individually. They're pretty reasonable that way.

Besides, you're of no value to them if you're in jail.

; )

Edited 2010-12-30 08:12 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: "Happy Birthday" pirates
by jonas.kirilla on Thu 30th Dec 2010 23:35 UTC in reply to ""Happy Birthday" pirates"
jonas.kirilla Member since:
2005-07-11

How is it possible for an American company to register and hold copyright, when the registered, supposed authors (Orem and Forman) seem to be originators of neither melody nor lyrics?

Is the general public just out of luck until the copyright expires, after some 70+70 years? (Assuming the originators are all dead and there is no one with finances around to challenge Warner in court. And for what personal gain.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "Happy Birthday" pirates
by ozonehole on Fri 31st Dec 2010 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: "Happy Birthday" pirates"
ozonehole Member since:
2006-01-07

I know it's a little late in this thread, but I looked up the answer for you:

http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

Only in America.

Reply Score: 2

My ears simply fell off now ..
by bugjacobs on Thu 30th Dec 2010 07:44 UTC
bugjacobs
Member since:
2009-01-03

Well if my ears ever were to drop off for hearing something, this should be the time ....

Ive never heard such corporate fascist news ever ...

Incredible..

Reply Score: 3

Happy Birthday
by Loki_999 on Thu 30th Dec 2010 10:12 UTC
Loki_999
Member since:
2008-05-06

Yup, its the Happy Birthday type scenarios that get my goat. Songs like that should a long time ago have passed into the public domain.

Same goes with Men at Works' Land Down Under. So what if they used a few bars from an old song? The original creators are long gone.

Reply Score: 3

This is sick
by killasmurf86 on Thu 30th Dec 2010 11:37 UTC
killasmurf86
Member since:
2010-04-27

This is incredibly sick.
It is so sick, thank I don't even have words to tell, how sick this is.

Where are we going?
Soon instead of evolving we will defiantly start to devolve, because of licenses and patents, restrictions, total lack of any kind of morality, responsibility etc

Man I which I'd never live in 21th Century.

Reply Score: 2

Sounds like a joke, but..
by Dr-ROX on Thu 30th Dec 2010 17:50 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

Title soudns like joke, that someone wrote in comments under topic relating copyrights.
Well, damn that person - it's reality now.

Reply Score: 1

It's time to do something about this.
by bhtooefr on Thu 30th Dec 2010 18:06 UTC
bhtooefr
Member since:
2009-02-19

Copyright is designed to encourage contribution to our culture.

This is big companies trying to subvert culture for profit.

I think it's time we stop this.

I'd like to see an organized protest against RIAA-signed performers concerts. The bigger the names, the better. If local independent artists are involved in the protest, even better.

Record releases, too. Whenever a major RIAA record comes out, picket stores that sell it.

Do everything possible to deny the RIAA access to our culture. Avoid listening to RIAA music. Don't talk about it, positively or negatively - don't even acknowledge the existence of individual songs. Definitely don't pirate it.

Unfortunately, not much that wouldn't be illegal that can be done online, but...

Anyone in?

Reply Score: 4

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Those growing up around us already did take action. They just don't accept any such law and pirate like hell. That's the best answer and will make sure GEMA & friends destroy themself over time.

Reply Score: 1

Don't worry, be happy
by vodoomoth on Thu 30th Dec 2010 19:53 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

This is the second time in two days that I write this to Thom. It's not like it's a mantra of mine or something.

This story of making kindergartens pay for music "reproduction" has already happened in France months ago and I've told that story in one of my comments here months ago too (but long after the facts).

The story made it into the evening news, people were shocked that a song sung by children in a school fair caused the school to receive a letter asking for some fees. To me, this appeared as "legal extortion". In the end, the artist who's song had been sung paid the fees for the school. To push things to an extreme, you can no longer sing a song around a bonfire in a beach or while camping out without being a delinquent.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Don't worry, be happy
by libray on Thu 30th Dec 2010 20:47 UTC in reply to "Don't worry, be happy"
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

This is all very European and all. But are there any details that can be seen on this case?

Reply Score: 2