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News: Copyright Amendment Aimed Against The Creative Community
Posted on Sunday, November 26 @ 05:34:55 MST by roadrash
 News and CommentaryDebate In The Legal Affairs Committee Of The Bundestag Must Lead To A Correction In The Law; GEMA And The Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband To Take Joint Action Against Anti-author Provisions.

A few days before the draft bill of the "Second law Governing Copyright in the Information Society" (Second Basket) is due to be debated in the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag on 8th November, GEMA and the Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband (German Association of Musicians) have issued a joint statement in Munich calling on the members of the German Parliament to rectify the anti-author provisions proposed in the amendment. Any undermining of the protection of authors must be avoided, especially in the field of royalties for private copying.

Dr. Dirk Hewig, Vice-President of the Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband: "The creativity of the music authors is fundamental to our musical life. The 7,000 members of our association of musicians appeal to the politicians not to place the social existence of many musician and composer colleagues at risk. We will make a concerted effort to press for changes to the bill in order to prevent the creative musicians from sustaining any harm."

The composers, lyricists and music publishers united in GEMA hope that the bill will be corrected during the parliamentary proceedings. The envisaged new provision will not secure the authors' right to equitable remuneration in the future as well. According to calculations by the Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights (ZPÜ) the current revenue from hardware could diminish by EUR 54.3 million or 58 %.

Dr. Harald Heker, Member of GEMA'S Executive Board commented: "The draft bill is not enforceable in practice. The authors must categorically reject any linking of royalties to the price level of hardware and storage media. It would mean that the aim of the lawmakers to no longer stipulate fixed royalty rates, but to leave it to the parties concerned to agree on the rates, is condemned to failure right from the start. This goal can only be achieved, if the royalty level is linked to objectively measurable criteria. In this respect, the only criterion to be considered is that of equitability, which is geared to the pecuniary benefit gained from copyright usage."

The Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband (DTKV) founded in 1847 is the oldest and largest professional association for musicians and represents the musical professions (performing artists, composers, teachers) with a membership of 7,000. Apart from representing their interests vis-à-vis political, social and economic institutions and organisations and actively shaping German cultural policy, the DTKV seeks first and foremost to improve the framework conditions for music.

With an income of EUR 852 million (in the financial year 2005), GEMA is the world's largest authors' society for works of music. In Germany it represents the authors' rights of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) as well as over 1 million rights owners from all over the world.


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