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German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the easy-as-taking-music-from-a-baby dept.

Education 291

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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this is not idle. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700870)

this is the apex of copyright bullshit, and it is a serious issue. "humming a song ? you need to pay us !"

Re:this is not idle. (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700910)

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.

Re:this is not idle. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

Ghengis Khak (1967518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701518)

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.

Your post highlights one of the major problems with representative democracy. People can't be expected, and rightfully so, to use the single tiny/weak signal they can send to their government (their vote) to take up a cause like this since they might be more concerned about, say, the economy. So it goes unchecked.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701574)

Excuse me while I laugh at your continued belief in a democratic system that was subverted a long, long time ago by : Money.

Yeah, uh, "voting" is going to fix things. Here's a song for ya: "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss". Oh and to the RIAA - bite me.

Re:this is not idle. (4, Insightful)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701126)

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.

Re:this is not idle. (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701220)

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...

Kindergarten teachers might do (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701526)

Some kindergarten teachers might play the piano, or guitar, and provide music for the kids to sing along to. Not all of them will throw a CD on and play music through a sound system.

Re:Kindergarten teachers might do (2)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701812)

Some kindergarten teachers might play the piano, or guitar, and provide music for the kids to sing along to. Not all of them will throw a CD on and play music through a sound system.

If the sheet music was legally purchased, then there's no reason the teacher can't play the song on the piano in the classroom. Usually, when such sheet music is purchased, the price includes such a license. I remember from grade- and high-school band that the charts we used were specifically licensed for our use (including performance).

I suspect the real issue is that the sheet music is being photocopied and handed out -- and that's the copyright violation.

Re:Kindergarten teachers might do (5, Insightful)

tolkienfan (892463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701906)

IMHO copying sheet music for in-class use should be fair use and should be exempted from licencing requirements.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701228)

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.

Your typical preschooler or kindergardener isn't going to know how to read very much, let alone sheet music. They learn songs by repetition and memorization.

Re:this is not idle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701444)

Maybe where you come from, but isn't Germany the home of the super muscle bound kid? German kids are far more advanced than any previous generation.

In modern Germany, kids read bed time stories to their parents!

Re:this is not idle. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701486)

"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.

My grandaughter who has yet to turn 2 can sing "twinkle, twinkle, little star", no sheet music required.

Re:this is not idle. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701326)

This is the problem-- you are arguing the "letter of the law" instead of intent.

We have been brought up, somehow, to honor the letter or a law as though this were out of our control-- it's not.

The intent of copyright protecting sheet music is to ensure that the creators of that music are appropriately compensated-- not to prevent any and all copying of a peice of music.

What's next, should Dr. Suess's estate begin sueing kindergartens because they read his books aloud? Clearly this is a performance of his written work. What about when teachers show movies in class? Presentation of those films outside of home use is not allowed. (We're talking about showing movies on half days / Christmas time not the educational ones).

This is why people are no longer giving a damn about paying for music or movies or entertainment-- because they feel cheated and abused by people who care about about a few cents on the dollar than the progression of their culture.

I'm an aspiring children's author and you can bet that I'd like to get paid some day-- but if a school asked to read or give out a few copies of my book I'd look at it as free advertising-- not to mention a chance for my work, my message, my ideas to be spread. I certainly wouldn't care about the 5 dollars I lost to a few kindergartners...

Re:this is not idle. (2)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701446)

> What's next, should Dr. Suess's estate begin sueing kindergartens because they read his books aloud? Clearly this is a performance of his written work. What about when teachers show movies in class? Presentation of those films outside of home use is not allowed. (We're talking about showing movies on half days / Christmas time not the educational ones).

What about photocopying Dr Seuss books?

Again - performance of sheet music is free. Reproducing it costs a license fee.

Reading a book would be free. Reproducing it would cost a fee.

Re:this is not idle. (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701596)

How did reading a Dr. Suess storybook enter into this? TFA is about making copies of music not singing or reading out loud. You are arguing a point that isn't even in dispute in this case.

You know what? Several decades ago I sang in a children's choir. Every kid in the choir had copies of the sheet music, and every single one of those copies was purchased from the publisher, not photocopied. Most of them had a big "copying prohibited" watermark across every page. So whether GEMA is exactly as big a bunch of douchebags as the RIAA, or only somewhat as big a bunch of douchebags as the RIAA, this story is about something that has been going on since the invention of toner - music publishers expecting that people won't photocopy their work even if it's just a bunch of kids singing.

The summary of this article is deliberately inflammatory.

Re:this is not idle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701830)

There is a big difference between the statements made by GEMA, and the actual written rules.
Singing out loud in a class is performing, which is covered, even if they don't ask for a fee today.
And we're not talking about just current music. We're talking author's life + 70 years, so stuff written a hundred years ago is covered.
It's small steps. It's just copying, and the fee is low. Today. Once you're used to that there will be another small step - a bigger fee or more activities covered. The copyright term extended by 10 years.
Don't be complacent or naive.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701128)

While I agree that GEMA is going over the top by sending letters to kindergartens, there's a world of difference between humming a song to yourself and performing (in public) or reproducing a song (copying a recording of a song or copying the sheet music of a song).

Re:this is not idle. (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701520)

... there's a world of difference between humming a song to yourself and performing (in public) ...

Ah, but the kids aren't likely to be humming the songs to themselves. They'll be singing the songs loudly (and out of tune) in a very public setting (the school room). It was only a matter of time before the publishing and recording industries began to "think of the children", and classify this situation as a public performance. A few years ago, we were laughing at the suggestion that such things would eventually become illegal unless the people involved have paid for a license. Now it's "eventually", and while it may be funny in a sick sense, few of us are probably laughing as they read this.

(Actually, I did laugh. I guess that tells you what a sicko I am. ;-)

How long now until someone walking down the sidewalk humming a tune is arrested and charged with unlicensed public performance of copyrighted material? Will this first happen to an adult or a child? Should we be setting up a site for the public to bet on this?

Re:this is not idle. (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701560)

Performance is free. Only reproducing sheet music (and, I guess, copying tapes or CDs) is not.

Re:this is not idle. (2)

MrLint (519792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701190)

No, I have to disagree. The apex is really one of the things we learned from Wikileaks. The big media companies are misusing the diplomatic weight of the american people to try to force other countries (Spain), to accept the corporate written copyright laws. And at the same time, the govt is hiding this from the citizens it claims to be doing diplomacy on their behalf.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701436)

Actually, I do consider this in the idle category... Or at least in the non-news category. There is plenty of music available for kindergarten kids to sing that isn't copyrighted. Ok, so they can't sing the latest song by a current artist. Oh-Well. A good teacher will not rely on what is current or popular and still be able to provide an outstanding education.

Re:this is not idle. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701650)

Nowhere in the article does it state that the kids can't sing whatever they want, whenever they want to.

Re:this is not idle. (2)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701738)

Yes, like those recent tunes, "This Land Is Your Land", or from any Disney movie or any Broadway musical or any of those other songs that kids sometimes sing in school. You're right. We shouldn't rely on the latest songs by current artists like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, Judy Garland, or any of those other faddish folk.

Of *course* you can still provide an excellent education without those songs, but if your school doesn't have lots of money to spend on copyrighted music (which few schools do), that education is going to be lacking in some important cultural touchstones of the past 70 years. It's not just trendy stuff the way you make it out to be.

And yes, I know all my exact examples probably wouldn't be a problem in Germany, what with them being English songs and all, but I've no doubt there are comparable German language examples that someone better versed in German music for the past century would be able to refer to instead.

Those little... (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700874)

Pay up, you little bastards.

Dear GEMA, (4, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700884)

Go fuck yourselves. Sincerely, The World

Re:Dear GEMA, (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700940)

Sad thing is, it's more like "Dear Gema, please teach us your ways. Eternally Grateful, the World"

Re:Dear GEMA, (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700992)

Yes, how about you all fuck off and die, the world would be a better place.

No, really, it would, how the fuck do these people sleep at night?

Re:Dear GEMA, (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701246)

Go fuck yourselves.

Sincerely,
The World

Hey, that happens to be the name of my newest song. Please send me my copyright fees.

Re:Dear GEMA, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701384)

Go fuck yourselves.

Sincerely,
The World

Hey, that happens to be the name of my newest song. Please send me my copyright fees.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Re:Dear GEMA, (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701670)

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

That's Neil Young's newest song. Please send him the copyright fees.

Re:Dear GEMA, (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701532)

Clearly, you are basing the name of your song from samples from my previously written song. Just forward the checks to me.

Re:Dear GEMA, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701366)

Dear Citizen,

We will fuck you first to line our pockets.

Sincerely,

GEMA

Re:Dear GEMA, (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701694)

Go fuck yourselves.

Sincerely,
The World

Go fuck yourselves is a registered trademark of the world. If you use this phrase, we will sue your ass into oblivion. If your kindergarten-aged children use it, we will laugh and move on...We have some standards, and suing children falls below them.

Just stick with the public domain (0)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700912)

Didn't the Nazis leave behind a bunch of drinking songs?

Re:Just stick with the public domain (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701514)

"Didn't the Nazis leave behind a bunch of drinking songs?"

The Allies spent vast amounts of treasure and millions of troops to ensure no one in Europe would resist corporate serfdom. Don't make us do it again.

Re:Just stick with the public domain (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701868)

Tell me about it.While I don't consider myself to be a "neo nazi" it certainly puts things in a new light when you actually sit down and think about history a little instead of repeating back what you're told like a parrot. Germany suffered the same fate as France did under Napoleon. While yes, they pursued an aggressive policy of expansion into the East until attacked by the West, they can hardly be called out for it by a country that at the time was occupying 1/4 of the Earth's land surface and all of its seas. Napoleon never declared war on anyone. And WW2 was started by Britain - on the excuse of Poland being invaded, nothing more. Certainly Britain wasn't obligated to honor the treaty with Poland - just like they failed to honor the guarantees to Czechoslovakia. Britain wanted war for its own interests (certainly not to save that absolute angel Stalin and his communist hordes), but broke the Empire in the process.

I just think it's funny how that new Muslim island colony is working out now, though.

Go along with it (5, Interesting)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700920)

The schools should go along with it. Make the parents send money with their kid every time they're going to sing in class. Charge admission to recitals to make it clear that you have to pay for licensing to hear your kid sing. In fact, make the kids hand the money over themselves, and tell them that every time they want to sing something they have to give money away. Maybe if it gets ridiculous enough people will notice.

Re:Go along with it (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701188)

Do not have the kids pay. They will grow up thinking this is normal.

Re:Go along with it (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701438)

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.

Re:Go along with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701202)

.... Or it is the first steps to teaching kids that this is acceptable behaviour. And that is a scary thought.

Re:Go along with it (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701226)

Maybe if it gets ridiculous enough people will notice.

What do you mean, "gets"?

Re:Go along with it (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701626)

The Germans have a name for this exact process - kindersingengeld.

Predicted future news: (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700922)

German Kindergartens told to pay copyright fees for every song, regardless of copyright status or ownership. Failure to do so will be fined on a level that makes stealing Humvees look cheap.

Re:Predicted future news: (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701192)

Failure to do so will be fined on a level that makes stealing Humvees look cheap*.

* which costs $243.85 btw.

Good thing (5, Insightful)

mseeger (40923) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Re:Good thing (1)

plcurechax (247883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701540)

I helps to show how viscous those "pirates" who abuse copyright really are. Now that people might realize that pre-school children are being labelled pirates, people might start to think that the RIAA and friends (GEMA, CIRA, etc.) are really mobsters. Though a fresh case of the industry screwing the actual artists would help too. Maybe screwing over the now ancient Tina Turner [wikipedia.org] or Leonard Cohen [leonardcohen.com] out of their royalties. Hopefully they go after unlicensed performances of music at senior centres next.

Re:Good thing (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701734)

I have to agree with the part about kindergarten kids being viscous. Have you ever tried to force a group of them through a narrow doorway?

Re:Good thing (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701900)

'I helps to show how viscous those "pirates" who abuse copyright really are'

Pirates are pretty gooey. They ooze right through the cracks in the legal system.

Re:Good thing (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701958)

Strip-search machines got a lot press too. So they bought more machines and added punitive groping for opt-outs.

Itsy Bitsy Spider (1)

MFDoom (1960350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34700984)

... is still safe to sing

Re:Itsy Bitsy Spider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701418)

... is still safe to sing

Only as a "parody" Andrew Dice Clay style.

The license is for copying sheet music. (3, Informative)

ephraimX (556000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701000)

Note that this only applies to making copies of sheet music, not merely singing the songs (or arranging, or performing, or anything else). Same sort of thing is in effect here in Canada, and I'm sure many other places. Not a wonderful policy, but not the culture-destroying terror that the summary implies.

Re:The license is for copying sheet music. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701318)

Note that this only applies to making copies of sheet music, not merely singing the songs (or arranging, or performing, or anything else). Same sort of thing is in effect here in Canada, and I'm sure many other places. Not a wonderful policy, but not the culture-destroying terror that the summary implies.

You obviously are new to /. Actual RTFA, comprehending what it says and making a rational comment are not the norm. You need to read the sensational headline, and then post a diatribe about the evils of copyright, the music cabal, and anyone that actually wants to make money of what they create; and make a bad car analogy and then rant against anyone who violates the GPL.

I think we will see more of this - as traditional revenue streams dry up, companies will look to extracting money from areas they previously ignored or didn't worry about because they weren't that big.

Re:The license is for copying sheet music. (1)

eshbums (1557147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701506)

You obviously are new to /. Actual RTFA, comprehending what it says and making a rational comment are not the norm. You need to read the sensational headline, and then post a diatribe about the evils of copyright, the music cabal, and anyone that actually wants to make money of what they create; and make a bad car analogy and then rant against anyone who violates the GPL.

I think we will see more of this - as traditional revenue streams dry up, companies will look to extracting money from areas they previously ignored or didn't worry about because they weren't that big.

You forgot the obligatory "do you even know what a strawman argument is?" post.

Re:The license is for copying sheet music. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701762)

I'm a consultant - I convert gibberish into cash-flow.

Please subscribe me to your newsletter.

Re:The license is for copying sheet music. (1)

genfail (777943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701644)

I was totally about to fly off the handle on this one too complete with a call for revolution and painting the streets with the blood of the bourgeoisie. *sigh* Maybe next time. This is actually a pretty common practice and compared to the same copyrights in the US the fees are actually rather reasonable.

lolMAFIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701016)

good. the more obnoxious they are the quicker they die

Devil's advocate (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701032)

Let me play devil's advocate:

Daycare centres are busineses. Carers are professionals earning a living from their work. If they want to use a musician's song as part of their work then why shouldn't they have to pay? Why should this beneficial material be provided freely to them?

Re:Devil's advocate (4, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701116)

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.

Re:Devil's advocate (0)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701200)

Nobody's saying that the teachers can't write their own songs for the kids to sing for free. But if they (the teachers / daycare centres) want to use someone else's songs as part of their profession then they're being told to pay. Just like they pay for books, videos, class trips, etc.

I totally get the "oh my god this is awful telling those poor little kiddies that they must pay to sing" reaction. But that isn't what's happening. What's happening is that professional people (teachers) and for-profit businesses (daycare centres) are being told that they can't use someone else's professional work for free.

Re:Devil's advocate (2)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701478)

Copyright's purpose is being abused, that's what's happening here.

It's not like the teachers are trying to produce pirated sheet music to undermine the legitimate owners' monopoly, or to make a profit themselves. Traditionally educational purposes have always been exempt or less restricted than personal and commercial enterprises when it comes to copyright. The reason is that educating children is more important than the petty profit of today. Education isn't a competing business interest, it's a complementary service which supports and enhances all other aspects of life and business.

This is really just short sightedness on the part of GEMA. There's plenty of time to milk the children for all they're worth once they reach adulthood.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701212)

it has been a business for a long time. you really think all the medieval traveling musicians played for free? how did they buy food?

big difference in the last 70 years is RECORDED MUSIC. you no longer need a band to play music live. that's the reason for copyright

Re:Devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701270)

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.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701608)

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

Solved!

So we'll make preschoolers pay to licence their singing...but we'll also make the GEMA pay royalties for them singing their songs.
Not only is that a win/win, preschoolers get a free economics lesson on top of it all!

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701620)

Giuseppe Verdi would argue against that --- he was prominent in the formation of the Societa Italiana Degli Autori Ed Editori (SIAE) in 1882 --- which was scarcely the first such effort ~128 years ago --- GEMA itself was formed in 1915 (95 years ago) out of an organization which started in 1903 (107 years ago).

If you want music to be free, limit yourself to public domain stuff (Roger McGuinn's Folk Den http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/ [ibiblio.org] is an excellent source which often includes sheet music) or write something of your own and release it to the public domain, but if you want to use something which someone else has written and copyrighted one should adhere to their wishes.

William

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

olivierva (728829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701162)

Because it's just as ridiculous as you having to pay royalties for a clothing design every day you go to work smartly dressed

Re:Devil's advocate (3)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701178)

By your logic, if I built a bridge, I would be owed royalties every time someone drove over it. If I built you a chair, I would be owed royalties every time you sat on it. If I wrote software, I would be owed royalties every time it's run (oh damn do I wish that was true, haha). Amazing concept: People get paid for working, not for past work that they already completed.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701248)

By your logic, if I built a bridge, I would be owed royalties every time someone drove over it.

That's called a toll, and our governments pretty much have a monopoly on the highway system and almost never remove a toll once it is imposed for any reason.

Re:Devil's advocate (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701330)

You missed my point. Instead of cherry picking the one example that you could poke a hole in (which, by the way, has nothing to do with copyright, which is what the discussion is about), look at both examples I provided and try to understand the mentality of the point I was actually making.

This is the problem with points. They are illustrated better with metaphors -- the more the better -- but each metaphor introduces an opportunity to poke holes in the example [instead of what it is a metaphor of]. I've been wondering if there's a better way to communicate. Throw out all metaphors and just make a point? But then people often don't get it. Provide too many metaphors? But then people get caught up in the minutiae of the metaphor instead of the actual point.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701562)

Let me play devil's advocate:

Daycare centres are busineses. Carers are professionals earning a living from their work. If they want to use a musician's song as part of their work then why shouldn't they have to pay? Why should this beneficial material be provided freely to them?

Just because you create something doesn't mean that you own it, especially if you expect to be paid for something when you don't do any additional work.

They should pay for sheet music they are using, CD's that are played, or videos that the kids watch. However, groups of people have been singing songs together since time immemorial.

Do you want your teachers spending time trying to write their own songs? Do we need advertisers to sponsor the kids singing times, so that your kids are always singing about the latest toys?

No new good is created except an feeling of community between 5 year-olds. Somewhere in the debate you must insert reason. Kindergarten teachers aren't getting rich, nor do you choose a preschool, because of the songs that they sing during singing-time.

If it is going to be that ridiculous, then there are going to have to be some serious provisions about derivative works. I don't know if you've been to a kindergarten class lately, but very little of the actual song is being sung resembles anything that a songwriter wrote.

They should structure the fee based on the number of correct notes or words that the kid sings as a fraction of a whole.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701710)

Daycare centres are busineses. Carers are professionals earning a living from their work. If they want to use a musician's song as part of their work then why shouldn't they have to pay? Why should this beneficial material be provided freely to them?

In most countries around the world freedom of speech/expression is an inherent right. Copyright law is a restriction on that right enacted in order to encourage the production of new works of art and science, i.e. if you make up a new song, you can make money off of it because we will restrict the free speech of others until you are paid.

So, since the only justification for copyright in the first place is its benefit to society, benefit that must outweigh the restriction on inherent freedoms, don't you think the question should ALWAYS be the other way around? How does this restriction on children's free speech benefit society? Does stopping the children from singing what they want really benefit society by giving slightly more money to people creating works?

Children should be seen, not heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701054)

This ought to help shut the little bastards up. In fact we should do the same with words. I'm sure by now that they've all been copyrighted.

Excellent opportunity (2)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701068)

for song writers to create children's songs as free marketing material, license them CC or free for school usage.

Re:Excellent opportunity (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701340)

for song writers to create children's songs as free marketing material, license them CC or free for school usage

If GEMA is anything like ASCAP or BMI, it won't matter. They will just insist on paying for licensing anyways [techdirt.com] even if it's original content or permitted reproduction.

Re:Excellent opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701946)

In that case, any sane person would insist on ignoring such a request.

Thoughtcrime 2.0 (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701070)

I had a song I heard on the radio going through my head a few minutes ago. I feel guilty now. Maybe the RIAA should implant lobes in my head and charge my credit card automatically whenever I think about a song. It's only fair.

Re:Thoughtcrime 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701204)

It's a rather sad state of affairs that I can't tell whether I'm supposed to laugh at that or be thankful that such technology isn't available.

Because, look people - they WILL do this as soon as they have the ability.

As Indiana Jones once said (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701176)

"Nazis........I hate those guys."

Everything Old is New Again! (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701224)

Doubtless many of the "copyrighted" songs are derivative from earlier folk works that are long out of copyright. This is utterly silly.

Pirates to the rescue! (5, Informative)

silanea (1241518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701296)

People affiliated with the german Pirate Party have created and published a song book [klarmachen...aendern.de] (sorry, no english translation available) with several popular Christmas songs. They created the sheet music themselves and used only lyrics whose copyright protection has expired, so the song book can be freely used and distributed.

GEMA motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701338)

"We have ways of making you pay."

strike back (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701380)

The Pirate Party reacted by releasing a song book of freely licensed notesheets and song texts. That's basically a big "fuck you too" to the content cartels and their fee-squeezing lackeys. The more they're doing that sort of bullshit, the more the people are willing to rebel.

http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de/nachrichten/gemeinfreie_notenblaetter_fuer_advents-_und_weihnachtslieder_3_update-588 [klarmachen...aendern.de]

Old McDonald.. (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701388)

wants his long overdue royalties, after all he's had to feed all those damn noisy animals all these years....

Unlimited Greed (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701396)

Now if I can just get a copyright on prayer. Think of the income from the Lord's Prayer alone. Why should corporations be limited in their right to beat down the public and take every cent from their pockets?

WTF???? (1)

sshirley (518356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701408)

Seriously?!?!??! C'mon!!

Bad publicity? (3, Funny)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701432)

Nobody at GEMA looked at this lawsuit and said "Holy shit, guys, we're suing toddlers!" and had second thoughts?

No publicity is bad publicity, I know, but this is pushing it just a bit too far.

Can we charge for ear worms? (1)

mostlyDigital (1898874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701528)

When I was a kid we brought in milk money. And we got nutrition. Now it's payoff money and we avoid litigation. "Tommy, you forgot your music money? Go sit in the corner with the noise canceling headphones". "No, Mary. Being tone deaf doesn't mean you get a discount". ROTFLMFHO Next- a charge for singing hymns in church.

Re:Can we charge for ear worms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701706)

Good luck trying to collect for hymns. Many of them date back to the 13th century or earlier. Copyright terms may be obscenely long, but not that long. Yeah, there are some newer ones, but some churches refuse to use them already - apparently a 200-year-old hymn is "too modern" by their standards. It wouldn't be hard to find alternatives.

Re:Can we charge for ear worms? (1)

gweeks (91403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701732)

Almost all churches already pay a license fee to display the music on the overhead projector. It's the CCLI number in the corner of the projection. They've been doing this for years.

http://www.ccli.com/ [ccli.com]

Not the first time (1)

lavagolemking (1352431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701572)

We all knew this would happen again sooner or later, what with all these new anti-consumer copyright laws either already enacted or pending legislation around the world.

For those who don't remember, ASCAP threatens to sue girl scouts for exactly the same thing: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/communications/ASCAP.html [umkc.edu]

Well, apparently GEMA... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701592)

...thinks Horst Wessel's family needs to get their royalty checks.

Hmmmm (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701690)

We'll soon reach the point of no return.

Sooner than expected, though, but considering what these idiots are doing - it's not really a surprise.

It won't be pretty :(

Epitome of Greed (2)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701722)

Charging copyright fees for teaching children to sing is the epitome of greed.

Don't give the RIAA any more ideas (1)

arhhook (995275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701730)

Next thing you know, I'll have to pay royalties next time my damn blinker in my car matches the beat of a song on the radio.

Again with the little girls (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701742)

What is it with copyright lawyers consistently suing kids ten years old and younger?

how do they come up with this.. (1)

houbou (1097327) | more than 3 years ago | (#34701808)

I would steal this idea for a stand up sketch, if only it wasn't real..

Future government agency. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34701814)

So how long before both the RIAA and MPAA be granted as an official agency of the US Federal Gov. How soon after would there be yearly random anti-piracy audits of businesses and peoples homes? Better yet, how soon will we be taxed to subsidize those agencies regardless if you buy their shit or not?

What's another one added to the list? http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml [usa.gov]

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