Mp3flat.com Has Discontinued Its Illegal Service After Being Sent A Warning Notice From GEMA
The online radio recorder Mp3flat.com has discontinued its illegal service after being sent a warning notice from GEMA. The Mp3flat.com web service had been making automatic numbers of copies of musical works for downloading in mp3 format. Up to 30,000 music titles were therefore being illegally placed at the disposal of visitors to the Internet site of Mp3flat.com each month.
The licence needed to use the copyrights of composers, lyricists and music publishers was not, however, obtained from GEMA beforehand. Following GEMA's intervention, both the operating company and the managing director - who has in the meantime resigned - have issued statements to cease and desist and undertaken to pay a fine.
Dr. Harald Heker, member of the Executive Board of GEMA, commented: "The Mp3flat.com case shows how the available techniques for digital distribution of music can lead to copyright violations on a scale as yet unknown in terms of quality and quantity, when they are used against the creative music authors. GEMA will therefore take legal action against any and all operators of such illegal services that disregard the protection of intellectual property. GEMA will, however, step up its cooperation with those online dealers, who support the development of the online music market with their innovative legal business models and so establish new markets for creators of music."
In Germany, GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) as well as of over 1 million rights owners from all corners of the world. With an income of EUR 852 million (in financial year 2005) it is one of the largest authors' societies in the world for works of music.