Another internet rip-off ... Read!

Hello folks
Although this warning is mainly for German colleagues I put this into the English section, because a lot of
German users are reading mostly this page. I got this info from a Rock Musicians magazin:
A wellknown Bariton Singer has put only a few reviews from large Newspapers on his pages and got invoiced from their legal departments for doing so. He was fined to pay about 1800 Euro. The authors of the reviews didn’t even know about it and were flabbergasted when he told them.
His mistake was that he had copied them without commenting them alongside on his page.
Accompanying them with comments makes them a quotation and that seems to be allowed here
without paying any fees. After a legal fight he was sentenced to still pay 1400 Euro.
My suggestion to all Homepage owners ( bands & studios…) in Germany: watch out if you copied any reviews!
Better add some remarks to it.

Big K

This is an international law. When quoting someone else, you need to specify that you quoted that person.


Thanks, K!

I am just about to finaly sit down to create a page (after 5 years without any internet-promotion) - collecting huge truckloads of reviews, interviews and stuff were my name or my studio is featured together with superlatives like “awesome incredible exorbitant” and stuff :slight_smile:

Well, so - just to get you right (damn english… ) - it is ok to write:

from XY-Laberquark-Magazin:

“… I can’t believe that someone realy was able to create such an huge sound, but Brandy did it”

And when we are here… what about soundsamples?

I never understood if it is ok to provide some snippets via streaming (which can be downloaded by the user when he uses certain stream-ripper software)… It is not possible to set up a studio page without sound samples… But the best sounding stuff is usually label-stuff. My old myspace account was locked in the past because I had a song in the player which was protected by Gema and other companies. The ok from the band, composer etc does not count here as it seemed.

Depends on the countty, but in general you are allowed to “display” samples of your work. (And from your work only - or the work you contributed significantly to) On the condition that you don’t provide the complete -in your case- song, in good downloadable quality.

On the other hand, once you start putting audio on your website, you will need to pay diffusion rights to your local office which collects the rights of authors. (GEMA?)


Does that mean I would have to pay something to (in my case) GEMA if I put some edited snippets of songs in a streaming player embedded on my page? I don’t want to do that…

Another way would to upload the stuff to something external (for example) soundcloud - and then link to that…?

Well, we’re in the content business and we only get paid if people pay for content, so it seems fairly reasonable for us to pay for the content we use as well.

And I don’t think “hotlinking” will get you out of trouble. Or it will at least bring trouble to the host of the media if the rights aren’t gained properly…

Hehehe … our friends at GEMA…
Yes, you get milked and squeezed for putting even half a minute of your own songs / works on your site.
It is still heavily discussed what the final modus operandi for this and for the use of samples will be.
Latest, here in Germany, is that you also have to consider if you really needed that sample or if you could have made it with your own resources yourself, as well. How this is going to be controlled and checked is beyond me…

I have pulled all music samples and external stuff from my ( meager ) pages, years ago.
I even threw out the shop that was integrated, after I got fined to pay 50 Grand to a CD-online shop
for using the incorrect note on how to cancel a buy and return the CDs. After some astonishingly friendly negotiations with the owner he pulled the plug on the laywer and it cost me “only” 200 DM… I got lucky…others didn’t.

Internet is a helpful as it is dangerous …

Big K

Good warning, Big K.
We learned this lesson a long time ago, and never reprint anything unless I have permission in writing to do so.
I guess, sad though it might be, the rule of thumb is “always, always get written permission to copy anything”.

Even if you wrote the article originally there may be copyright issues - check the contract you signed for the piece as you may have signed away your own copyright.

Well, that sounds complicated. I don’t see why I should have to pay for uploading snippets of music which was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by me. Usually quite a lot of energy and creativity is in it, usually quite a lot of studiotime was added for free to have a great result.

I wonder how other studios are doing this - every studio-dude puts up reference-songs to his page as well as quotes from reviews and stuff… I don’t have anything because of time-issues, but I urgent need to put stuff up.

And if you own the rights, then no - you should not have to pay. However, if you were paid for that service & do not own the rights then you need permission from whoever does own the rights.

If they do not have permission to do so, then they are doing it illegally.

Complicated and/or pereception of “fairness” really does not come into it, only copyright law.

Well, if the songs / snippets-of-songs are GEMA repertoire, (even better if you are member of Gema and you have written or texted the song) you will have to pay for putting it on your own homapage, too. After 6 to 12 months the composer and texter get about 90 % back… Oh, what fun, isn’t it!
When I quit the whole demo song thing, it was that they didn’t even count the clicks or plays for the invoice they sent, but charged you a fictitious sum, based on something I could not quite gather…
This will become more transparent and comprehensible, soon… they say…
I prolly die of old age before that really happens, but anyway…there U go.

Well, it is actually that “fictive” count of plays which bothers me.

I do not think that it will be toooo expensive to actually pay for about 200 clicks a year or something like that - but it seems that they just “guess” the amount of plays and charge you for that, this can usually get quite expensive.