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Kindergartens told to pay up before singing

The Local · 28 Dec 2010, 12:05

Published: 28 Dec 2010 12:05 GMT+01:00

The GEMA, the German musical copyright monitoring body, has written to 36,000 of the nursery schools telling them they have to fork out to photocopy song texts and to keep a proper record of which ones are sung.

Kindergartens and MPs were incensed, with the mass-circulation Bild daily calling the move "bureaucratic madness."

A spokeswoman for the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband Hamburg, an association representing 280 kindergartens, told daily Der Tagesspiegel that the GEMA's demand was "petty, over the top and utterly inappropriate."

Sybille Laurischk, family affairs committee head in the federal parliament, told Bild that kindergartens should be exempt, while Heiko Mass, head of the

Social Democrats (SPD) in the western state of Saarland, called it a "rip-off."

GEMA spokeswoman Bettina Mueller defended the demand, telling news agency AFP that the cost was a modest €56 ($74) for 500 copies for state-run kindergartens, or €46 for institutions run by churches.

"We are talking about small quantities because most of the time the photocopies are given to parents so they can sing along with their children," Mueller said.

"The children can't read and don't need photocopies in order to learn the songs by heart."

Story continues below…

The GEMA wants all the various state, private and religious organisations that operate kindergartens to sign a contract giving the owners of the rights of songs a lump sum every year, in the same way that schools do.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:52 December 28, 2010 by DinhoPilot
What kind of regime are we heading to? Where are these people getting this ideas? Next thing I know I will need a license to sing my favorite songs and will have to pay for air and farts will be taxed! FIDIO
13:53 December 28, 2010 by michael4096
I bet that this was dreamed up by accountants, not musicians. They are the only ones that would benefit
14:01 December 28, 2010 by ngwanem
the madness seems to be growing.... soon they will tax us for watching their annoying adverts
14:07 December 28, 2010 by auniquecorn
I would have to say that the German musical copyright monitoring body IS ran by the gov´t.

Thats the only way this makes sence.
14:08 December 28, 2010 by Darkknight
They got the idea from the US RIAA who went around suing orgs. like

the boy/girl scouts years ago and forbid them from singing around

camp fires.
15:05 December 28, 2010 by DinhoPilot
The photo couldn't be better! ^^

I am going to patent hide and seek and sue anyone parent that allows their kids to play! LOL! (Just kidding hope I am not giving ideas to any crazy mind out there...)
16:27 December 28, 2010 by tallady
At least they give they give the "Church" a break....(: those hard hearted bas---ds!
17:35 December 28, 2010 by reprap
This is more proof that the German Government is anti-family and anti-children. It won't be the kidergartens that end up paying this but families. This will be added to the many other things that keep the German young adults from wanting to have children.
17:49 December 28, 2010 by yhsanjay
Thats very petty and mischievous thinking. At the KG level so many songs are sung to the kids and they too sing so many of them.

I wish the German government legislates and bans such mean and eccentric demands.

What tomorrow ? Bathroom singers and street singers will pay royalty when the little angels are not spared..
19:30 December 28, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
I can see it now...riot Polizei called to break down the doors of the local Kindergarten and whacking the evil Piraten who are .... singing Christmas songs ..

"Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht ..." I'm such a rebel....
23:28 December 28, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, there are some 6.8 billion humans in this world now.

And what I find truly interesting, is that our individual opinions regarding the many things of this world are so profoundly different.

So one must ask, what is the truth?

Obviously a lot of people are wrong. If one person is correct, then the other is most likely incorrect. Sure, we all agree that there are problems. But the 64 million dollar question is "What are the correct solutions?"

In this particular case, a reasonable and logical thinking person would say "You can't force someone to pay a tax, or money for something they dont sell or profit from."
23:47 December 28, 2010 by DefJay
This reminds me of the veterans that sang war songs at a festival.

10:56 December 29, 2010 by tallady
Logic guy,,there you go again,,,scaring the hell out of me. with your "Logic"
14:59 December 29, 2010 by singing
This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful information. This was just what I was on looking for. I'll come back to this blog for sure! I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work .Thanks alot! learn how to sing
21:59 December 29, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, @Tallady, my logic is actually quite simple. You have absolutely no reason to have fear. Although I'm a devout Christian, not a Buddhist, I am nonetheless aware of the infinite benefits of Non-emotionalism. And therefore I base my thought process around it.

With a Non-emotional disposition, an individual would see all things much more clearly. They would "Consistently"

make rational choices. Such behavior has never been apart of the majority of humanity. Obviously the people at GEMA could make better decisions.

Full access to the truth can only be achieved through Non-emotionalism.
06:54 December 30, 2010 by patrick kearney
Why the big suprise! The music industry is only interested in profit, not the entertainers or the listeners, if they could they would demand that you pay for every time you sing a song or even hum one.
11:12 December 30, 2010 by tallady
@Logic Guy..you got me there Logic Guy....what is GEMA....I am not being emotional only inquisitive,,
15:38 December 30, 2010 by parografik
All I know is I'm owed €0.14 for their copying my classic "Oma got run over by Knecht Ubricht's Citreon."

Pay up, ya little rug rats.
20:10 December 30, 2010 by tomjack
Well I think there must be some real childs play going on here.
22:54 December 30, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, @Tallady, perhaps you are being a bit emotional.

If you were to go back and read the article, you would see that GEMA is the organization that wants kids to pay for photo copied songs.

Emotions are a huge problem for humanity, because they don't allow us to see things as they are. Last week, there was an article on this site about a Mom who became angry and killed her own son.

Emotions are rather paradoxical. They are natuaral and therefore they "seem" to be necessary. But in reality they prevent us from "Doing as we should."

Buddhist are Non-emotional. Do you EVER hear of them causing problems for the world?
08:47 December 31, 2010 by notelove2
This system could work ONLY if the kindergartens were getting enough money in the first place, but unfortunately they are woefully strapped for cash just like all other educational institutions in this country. Singing is very important for the development of language and communication for young children, and MUST continue. Please don't take our songs away.
12:52 December 31, 2010 by tallady
@ Logic Guy,,RIGHT,, I should have been more observant ,,,I am all for singing and dancing the night away and if the mood strikes helping to increase the population..
16:59 December 31, 2010 by doc.nemo
The ral problem is not the GEMA, it's the law that allows these utterly despicable copyright regulations.
08:03 January 1, 2011 by DocEllis
Here is GEMA in a nutshell.

If you wrote a song and performed it in public you would have to pay GEMA for performing your song. You would pay based on how many people or seats COULD fit into the area you are performing in and what the price of the ticket is. Regardless of how many people actually are there. GEMA would then pay back to you about 20 percent or less of the money you paid them to begin with.

Money for intellectual properties is a good idea but it is out of control because of the digital age, and the greed factor by the bean counters has removed pragmatism and practicality.

Imagine, you copy write a Word every time someone used that word, either spoken or written they would have to pay you a small fee.

The money Sony collects each year for intellectual properties has got to be in the billions, perhaps 10s of billions with no cost other than administrative. Administrative, that is the cost for the bean counters.

It is money for nothing.
21:08 January 2, 2011 by Johnny Cash
Clearly this kindergarten idea is dumb. GEMA would be a great story for an investigative journalist. With the amount of money they collect and the way that organisation is structured, there are a few people making a lot of money and there will be a bunch of money unaccounted for . Bet on it. But the concept of talented professional writers being paid for their work is not in question,is it? That is the only way you are going to get well written heart and soul inspiring music. You only have to turn on a radio in this country to realise that the standard of popular songwriting is at an all time low. A parade of infantile, mediocre love songs and I and me self indulgent crud. This is the consequence of everyone stealing the professional songwriters earnings. Royalties are the only way they make their livelyhoods. It is apparent to me that the most talented have got themselves a day job and given up on you thieves. I guess you might get the point if your boss came to you at the end of a month and said what a great job you have done this month but he can't pay you because someone stole your wages. Then the same story the next month ad nauseum. How long would you stay in the job. You are now left with a bunch of push button low talent, egomaniacs with fancy haircuts . The greedy thieving general public has created that problem.
19:18 January 7, 2011 by Justin Beard
In theory GEMA gives all profits to the Artists that is their role...By asking state run Kita's to kick-down to cover song rights they are basically imposing artistic intellectual copyright on a branch of government agencies... I say sweet deal - everybody else in this nasty world is getting paid. Why not the artists.
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