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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"Happy Birthday" pirates
by ozonehole on Thu 30th Dec 2010 07:28 UTC
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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