• Germany's news in English

Music site ends German business on a sour note

The Local · 19 Jan 2012, 11:59

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.

Story continues below…

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.


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

I can't decide if you are completely clueless, or just trolling.
Today's headlines
The Local List
5 ways German schools trump the US and UK
Students in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK

6 hours ago

A new report reveals how Germany's education system stacks up against the United States and the UK - with good news for kids in the Federal Republic.

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months
Photo: Polizei Herford

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months

7 hours ago

A woman in western Germany was horrified on Sunday after finding a scorpion in her bed that had stowed away during her sunshine holiday this summer.

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds
Schleswig-Holstein is official Germany's happiest state, according to this year's poll. Photo: DPA

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds

8 hours ago

Want to find your happy place in Germany? You might want to move to Schleswig-Holstein, according to the latest "Happiness Atlas" produced by Deutsche Post.

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight
The Bundeswehr on operation in Mali. Photo: DPA

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight

11 hours ago

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against Isis jihadists.

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas
Swastikas are often daubed on mosques and Jewish grave stones, among other things. File photo: DPA

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas

12 hours ago

A teacher from central Germany has been ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after he painted over swastikas which had been sprayed on public property.

Refugee crisis
Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Wednesday morning. Photo: DPA

Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees

12 hours ago

Angela Merkel continued her balancing act between her party and her principles in a speech to MPs on Wednesday as she attempted to reassure parliament that she had the refugee crisis under control.

Lufthansa air crews call off strike
Lufthansa. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa air crews call off strike

13 hours ago

Air crew union UFO announced on Wednesday that it has decided to call off a planned strike against Lufthansa, after the airline made significant concessions.

Refugee crisis
German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'
Günter Oettinger. Photo: DPA

German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'

14 hours ago

Germany's asylum law is responsible for luring so many refugees to Europe and needs changing, said the country’s EU commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday.

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant
An RWE brown coal mine. Photo: DPA

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

15 hours ago

A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company's fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots
Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Photo: DPA

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots

1 day ago

The Bishop of Augsburg has announced plans to build a €300,000 altar in the city cathedral, just days after complaining that the city was underfunding refugees.

Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd