• Germany's news in English
 

Music site ends German business on a sour note

Published: 19 Jan 2012 11:59 GMT+01:00

In a statement on its website, the company blamed GEMA – the organization that represents musicians and music publishers in Germany – for the move.

Around 30 million people use the services across the world, streaming music over the internet without paying. Those in Germany, about 6 million, are now blocked.

“Due to unreasonably high operating costs, Grooveshark is discontinuing access from Germany,” the firm wrote, urging users to contact GEMA directly to complain.

GEMA announced increased licensing prices for services such as Grooveshark last month – after agreeing to a licensing framework with Bitkom, which represents high-tech companies, including various music streaming services.

Many videos featuring music posted onto video sharing website Youtube are blocked in Germany because GEMA views them as violating copyright laws.

As is already common for Youtube, some German internet users are likely to turn to IP masking services to use Grooveshark.

Another option in Germany to stream music free, Simfy, allows users to stream music for a few hours per month before imposing a subscription fee.

In a statement responding to “accusations from Grooveshark,” GEMA said it had not been in discussions with the service and accused it of refusing to pay any licensing fees at all.

Grooveshark, which was launched in the United States 2007, has been locked in multiple copyright disputes with music publishers worldwide – it has been accused of not paying licensing fees and featuring music it doesn’t have the rights to. Apple has banished its iPhone app from its store and it is currently embroiled in lawsuits with many major music publishers.

The Local/mdm

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:53 January 19, 2012 by boopsie
Good for GEMA and shame on music streaming services like Grooveshark and Spotify that scorn artists and pay little or nothing to them in order to provide their listeners with cost free access to music. Musicians and composers should be able to make a decent income from the broadcast of their hard work. The benefit of works of art to society is very real and so should an artist's compensation when their work is displayed or played for profit.
22:11 January 19, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Long live piracy.
01:45 January 20, 2012 by Redwing
@boopsie. I agree with you where living artists are concerned. However, when 60-year-old videos on youtube are banned in Germany because they may contain a trace of German music GEMA's powers go too far. I am fed up with having my nature videos spoilt with advertisements because some organization or other lays claim to copyright of music that was written 300 years ago and performed by orchestras and artists that died 50 years ago or more. Whom did they pay for the copyrights? Not descendants of Beethoven, he didn't have any.
11:30 January 20, 2012 by Shiny Flu
Musicians and publishers deserve to earn a decent crust - like all of us. However, GEMA's thinking and view of revenue collection is arcane and outdated.

You cannot treat the internet like Radio/Public Broadcast/TV with a blanket 'one-size fits all' approach. Youtube offers owners of IP to create their own channel, upload their own content and receive income from content views. It also allows then to issue take-down notices of IP breaches.

GEMA is asking too much from web companies and in fact can actually be hindering the success of many artists - the ones that use such free services to try and reach as many people as possible, as opposed to crossing their fingers and hoping that Universal will pick them up and promote them, then that single/album sell well so that they wont be dumped.
23:10 January 20, 2012 by Englishted
Face it we in Germany are being not allowed to watch hardly anything not only you tube but normal news stories are blocked even advertising for new songs that are sent to me by e-mail are stopped .

Germany seeking a superstar will run and run because you will not find one if you stop any new or different things being heard or seen.

@boopsie

I understand and agree with people earning for their work but blocking is not the answer ,I would ask where on mainstream German t.v. are the pop shows or videos being shown? m.t.v. is pay to view so where is the showcase for new talent?
20:01 January 22, 2012 by flipinwotsit
My 18 month boy liked watching " the grand old duke of York " on youtube. Now it´s blocked ( What has an old english nursery rhyme got to do with Germany)?...and then " the Shadows,E.L.O, to name but a few... Soon the internet will be so strongly policed, people won´t bother any more...
10:03 January 23, 2012 by theloudbloke
Germany is being left behind in the use of the internet.

Spotify can't reach a deal with GEMA, so we probably wont be able to have that either.

Just check out the BIG NEWS from Media Markt - they now have an online store!!! Wow 10 years or more after Amazon.
00:31 January 27, 2012 by Layer01
@boopsie

I can't decide if you are completely clueless, or just trolling.
Today's headlines
EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

Germans want to keep their hands on cash
Germans still trust cash over other forms of payment. Photo: DPA

Germans want to keep their hands on cash

Confirming conservative stereotypes, Germans have come out strongly in favour of sticking to hard cash in conducting transactions, a survey published on Thursday showed. READ  

This week in history
Fassbinder: New German Film's Enfant Terrible
Rainer Fassbinder on set in 1977. Photo: DPA

Fassbinder: New German Film's Enfant Terrible

On Sunday May 31st, Rainer Weiner Fassbinder, one of the most influential German film directors, would have turned 70 - had it not been for his death at the age of 37 in 1982. The Local takes a look back at the life and work of the enfant terrible of New German Cinema. READ  

Cool caps reduce hair loss during chemo
Photo: DPA

Cool caps reduce hair loss during chemo

German scientists are trialling a special scalp-cooling cap which helps reduce hair loss for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. READ  

Industry: 'doped' growth boosting economy
A man assembling food processors in a Wuppertal factory. Photo: DPA

Industry: 'doped' growth boosting economy

The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) warned on Thursday that a fresh burst of economic confidence might be unfounded, even as they raised their growth projections for 2015. READ  

Slow-moving fighter jet blocks Autobahn traffic
A Eurofighter jet stopped up traffic on Thursday because it was so wide. Photo: DPA.

Slow-moving fighter jet blocks Autobahn traffic

A damaged Eurofighter plane being pulled by a truck along the autobahn was so wide that it blocked three lanes of traffic on its way to being repaired in Bavaria on Thursday, drawing the ire of fellow drivers. READ  

Right-wing leader suffers restaurant attack
AfD co-leader Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

Right-wing leader suffers restaurant attack

Frauke Petry, co-leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD), was attacked by masked assailants while eating in a restaurant on Wednesday evening. READ  

Court rejects case against US drone strikes
An American MQ-9 "Reaper" unmanned drone. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Paul Ridgeway/dpa

Court rejects case against US drone strikes

A German court on Wednesday rejected a complaint by three Yemenis demanding that Berlin bar Washington from using a US base on its territory to operate deadly drones. READ  

Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'
A gay couple in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'

Germany's cabinet on Wednesday approved a raft of draft measures to extend the rights of same-sex couples, but faced criticism for allowing only civil unions, not full gay marriage. READ  

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble welcomes his G7 colleagues to Dresden. Photo: DPA

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations gathered in Dresden Thursday to discuss the global economy and tax evasion, but the Greek crisis was also high on everyone's minds. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,698
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd