Controversial streaming site Grooveshark has pulled out of the German market, blaming royalty demands from collection society GEMA. But GEMA says the reason offered is false – and no negotiations ever took place, Billboard reports. GEMA has played hardball on behalf of its members with overseas music services, prompting Google …
Andrew I'm not sure how your Elbonia comment works. (Although being a long-time fan of Dilbert, I can tell you that when you get your music in Elbonia, there is a cardboard box with drawing on to make it look like a radio, and an Elbonian sits inside singing what you wanted; badly)
The collecting societies do not own any of the rights to copy, and so can't sell a permit to copy something just for mud, surely? I would have thought that the collecting societies have a contract with the copyright owners, and in that contract the copyright owners stipulate how much they want for a copy (or reproduction, or playing in public/oil-rig), no?
Artists have a bundle of rights, and public performance is one of them. Composers/songwriters/authors license the society (a national monopoly usually) for the purpose of collecting bargaining for radio play and other public performance. I don't get where "copies" comes in.
What they're signing over is an intangible right, for a specific purpose.
The Santiago proposal was that you could would go to one place in Europe, but get the music at each national collecting society's set rate. The EU wants all societies to compete, so you arrive at Elbonia, get everyone's music, at the Elbonia price.
"I can tell you that when you get your music in Elbonia, there is a cardboard box with drawing on to make it look like a radio, and an Elbonian sits inside singing what you wanted; badly)"
Also I understand that Copyright was granted in the first place to help out the artists and then the copyright expired, their work belonged to the public because of it's cultural importance. Since this stuff is so important, perhaps it should also come under FRAND licensing terms?
You would probably also find that the rate of copyright infringement in a country like Spain dropped significantly if a DVD cost £2 there the same as in England, instead of the 15-18€ that is actually costs (actual example of one I bought in Sainsbury's at Christmas). They can't even buy the one from England, because the bar-stewards only put the Spanish language tracks on the ones only sold in Spain.