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German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs 291

Posted by samzenpus
from the easy-as-taking-music-from-a-baby dept.
BBird writes "Deutsche Welle reports: 'Up until this year, preschools could teach and produce any kind of song they wanted. But now they have to pay for a license if they want children to sing certain songs. 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.'"


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German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs

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  • this is not idle. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @12:57PM (#34700870) Homepage Journal
    this is the apex of copyright bullshit, and it is a serious issue. "humming a song ? you need to pay us !"
  • Dear GEMA, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @12:59PM (#34700884)
    Go fuck yourselves. Sincerely, The World
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:00PM (#34700910) Journal

    UNtil the citizens of each and every country make their vote contingent on putting the recording industry back in its place via new laws, this crap will continue to happen.

    What I'm sure will happen in the meantime is one of those crappy little solutions where the German government calls in recording industry executives, hashes out some little exception for children six years and under, and everyone walks away feeling really good about themselves.

  • Good thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mseeger (40923) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:03PM (#34700950)

    I have to confess, i am very happy about this. This created a lot of waves and even the most conservative media outlets reported very critical about it. I think the copyright mafia used this time a shotgun for volley fire into their own feet. Though i am sorry for the kids, i am thankful for the allies this generated. The evil demasked itself...

    CU, Martin

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:05PM (#34700978)

    The answer is not new laws, it is fewer. Copyright should be scaled back and the state should get out of the business of helping to collect licensing fees (and should use existing anti-cartel laws to prevent companies from banding together to collect royalties). If recording company A wants money from 4 year-olds for singing a song they should have to sue to school and take all the bad press that comes along with their actions. Fear of a competitor gaining an advantage this way would stop the the most ridiculous suits then.

  • by zn0k (1082797) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:06PM (#34700998)

    Well, humming doesn't require paying. Neither does singing.
    Reproducing sheet music does.
    > The new rules came into power at the beginning of this year, but have only recently drawn attention as daycare centers have received letters reminding them that they need to sign contracts with GEMA before distributing sheet music to children to sing.

    > If copies of music are made, the fee needs to be paid.
    > GEMA said that the need for licenses would not have any effect on singing in kindergartens.
    > "It doesn't cost anything to sing in kindergartens," said Peter Hempel. "If a school does not make any copies of music, then of course they don't need to pay anything."

    While GEMA is bullshit, much like the RIAA, photocopying sheet music is a far cry from kids singing a song.

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:14PM (#34701116) Journal

    Every culture out there in recorded and unrecorded history has had music and song. Heck, they even dug up a bone flute from 35,000 years ago. It's only in the last 70 years or so that it's become a business.

    Song and dance is innate to human existence, just like food or breathing. Heck, animals sing and dance. Watch any mating pair of herons.

    So now you're teaching those kids that singing a song is a business proposition, not a joyous thing. You pay to play. Talk about taking the fun out of something. And, maybe, just maybe, there won't be as many musicians because a lot of schools will eliminate music. It's just plain stupid.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:22PM (#34701220) Homepage

    Expect it will have an effect on singing in kindergartens as childern that young won't know the words, so the words have to be spelled out for the child.

    it is really hard to teach simply by talking about a given subject.

    Kindergarten age kids in Germany can read sheet music? I'm impressed...

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:22PM (#34701226)

    Maybe if it gets ridiculous enough people will notice.

    What do you mean, "gets"?

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:26PM (#34701270) Journal

    So are you saying that the kids should be paid for signing? I'm confused.

    Signing for the joy of it should be free. Playing music for the joy of it should be free. Just as dancing is free. I can copy a ballet and dance without royalties. What makes music special?

    Education is a different business from any other; your product is not measured in profitability but rather in making better kids and citizens.

  • by sjames (1099) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:38PM (#34701438) Homepage

    A better option is let the kids choose. They can either sing some recent pop tune OR they can sing a public domain folk song AND have a piece of candy.

  • by tolkienfan (892463) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @02:07PM (#34701906) Journal
    IMHO copying sheet music for in-class use should be fair use and should be exempted from licencing requirements.
  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @02:42PM (#34702360)
    From Sean Kennedy's Tales From The Afternow ( [] )
    (from transcript [] ) -

    It was a few years later when the REAL crackdown came. The Listener’s License. What a fantastic concept. I can’t believe it. See it happened like this. There was this - there is all this piracy, see everybody was - piracy was - Uh, piracy is now what they now consider a theft. See in order to combat piracy which was getting really rampant, all this information was flowing around nobody really liked that so they wanted it gone. And they wanted to get rid of piracy. But they couldn’t stop it.

    The Internet was growing everyday. No one could stem the flow so they created the Listener’s License. Started real easy. See music, legitimate music to purchase, was, you know, say 20 bucks. And then what they did was, if you signed up to get this card, you know like a loyalty program card of the day. You’d get 75% percent off. So a 20 dollar CD became a 5 dollar CD. And you could buy it legitimately. For 20 bucks you would walk out of there with 4 CD’s. Amazing.

    Of course people were signing up for it in droves, I mean why wouldn’t ya? You could go buy a pirate CD for 6 bucks or you could buy the reall thing for 5. Consumers are such mercenaries. So they signed up en masse.

    2 years went by, 2 years. Then it became mandatory. See if you didn’t have your listener’s license, if you couldn’t present your card, well you weren’t able to buy music. Part of the licensing agreement came when you got the card. And all of sudden people were out in the cold.

    But it wasn’t just the music you know. The listener’s license was created by the conglomerates. They all got together. If you wanted to see a movie, hey if you had your listener’s license you could get in for 2 dollars. (chuckle) 2 bucks. Oh you don’t have a listener’s license, well you can’t get in. See they couldn’t control the piracy so they stopped it at its source.

    If ever you were found to be a pirate or if your computer was ever found to have MP3s that weren’t appropriate on it you were eliminated, your listener’s license was revoked and you were out of the loop. It's all private enterprise, you don’t have a right to music, you never had a right to it. It's all private.

    No more movies no more shows. Can’t even buy art. Cause you can scan it. What if you scanned that picture? So, regulation of course is always the first step to total domination. But we didn’t see that either. We weren’t ready for the horror.

    At that time the listener’s license had huge power. Not the power it has today, I mean now. If you do not have a valid listener’s license. I mean - well in our time you can’t do anything, I mean, you’re a pirate. If you can’t present, that is part of your paperwork. It’s part of your identification. See the listener’s license, after they came out with that. That was a huge step one.

    But everyone was so focused on the listener’s license they didn’t see where the REAL power play was made. See everyone was so whipped up, and the media again, you know the corporately controlled media. Got everyone focusing on the benefits and the drawbacks, a big debate over the listener’s license. But then what they didn’t see was, was the regulations that went into play on the recording equipment. See that was the one that really came back. They started putting these standards on microphones and any kind of recording media. You wanted to record, well you gotta adhere to this standard. Because this is the future. Got to make sure the quality is there.

    Chips were put into place. All recording med

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan