German kindergartens to be made to pay for children to sing

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Record-Producer.com.

Wednesday December 29, 2010
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I spotted a paragraph on Slashdot the other day titled 'German Kindergartens To Pay Copyright For Songs'. The link is http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14741186,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf, although it doesn't contain the point I would like to put forward.

Being Slashdot, all the commenters want everything for free. So that will be free movies, free software and free music. Nice. Why can't we have free luxury apartments and free BMW cars as well?

But one commenter has got things completely wrong...

"UNtil [sic] the citizens of each and every country make their vote contingent on putting the recording industry back in its place via new laws, this crap will continue to happen."

Strong stuff. Clearly the recording industry is a big bad wolf gobbling up all the poor little Red Riding Hoods of the world.

But this proposal isn't about benefiting the recording industry. It's about benefiting SONGWRITERS.

It is songwriters who will gain from the proposed license.

Yes that's the little guy or girl with a guitar, a microphone and a home recording studio. Just like you and me.

Make no mistake, kindergartens are BUSINESSES. I know that for a fact from the significant amount of money it cost me to put my children through. Money well spent I'd say, but I've met kindergarten owners and I can say without a doubt that there's decent money to be made there.

So when a business uses music for the benefit of that business, they should expect to pay for it. And the songwriters and composers concerned should be entitled to receive their just reward.

Reading further into the proposal, I don't particularly like the way licensing is going to be implemented. But it's the principal that is the point.

This is not about big businesses gouging the little guy for yet more money. It is about songwriters and composers being paid for their work by businesses that are profiting from it.

By the way...

If you are a songwriter or composer who doesn't want to get paid, you can always place your work in the public domain. All you have to do is make a public statement that your work is free for anyone to use in any way and that you waive all of your rights in it. Then send copies to as many German kindergartens as you can find.

There will be no money. Not for you anyway. But think of the kiddies, and the profits made by these businesses. From your work.

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