May parents own guitars? Small criminals and an industry on the upswing

56 € please

The music industry has been facing serious problems for a couple of years now. No one wants to buy CDs when all music can be found on the internet. How big, powerful and how desperate this industry is a became obvious in the recent court case around Pirate Bay.

I am therefore happy to announce that at least the Germans have found a way out of this crisis. The GEMA (swedish: STIM) is going after a group that has lived in the shadow much too long: singing children.

From now on, kindergarten teachers cannot sing whichever song in their morning circles, and especially not encourage home singing with parents:

– making copies of lyrics and music: not ok.

– copying lyrics and music by hand: ok

– copying handcopied lyrics and music with copy machine: not ok.

kindergarten teachers need to keep exact track on which songs were sung and send lists to GEMA. Including composer, writer, the songbook they copied from etc. GEMA charges 56 Euros + VAT for 500 songs.

"GEMA" "ZDF"
counting songs

Singing in kindergarten is ok, as long as the little ones keep stick to their everyday singing routines. As soon as they tune in to Pippi Longstockings hymn during a get together with parents or kids from other classes, it would be considered a public event and become chargeable.

Singing at home is free of charge, as long as you don’t look at an illegally copied piece of paper while doing so.

Several composers of children’s music have already said they want nothing to do with this and two of them even demonstrated outside GEMAs headquarters.

"GEMA"
We don't want your money, shalala...

I would like to know what we are going to do with kids on skiing vacation who recklessly sing german children songs in tax oasis Switzerland. Singing in ski lifts should probably be prohibited. Generally. Random screenings on guitar-owning parents.

How did music become this illegal I wonder?
PS: en svensk som följer det hela från Muenchen

PPS: Frankfurter Allemeine Zeitung, a cynical comment

PPPS: ZDF quer, a short movie

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