• Germany edition
 
Music site ends German business on a sour note
Photo: DPA

Music site ends German business on a sour note

Published: 19 Jan 2012 11:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,488
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd