GEMA Blocks Mp3flat.com Service
GEMA, the German society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights, took steps to block access to the "Mp3flat.com" radio recorder service from the relevant providers. On 29 January 2007, Cologne District Court had already granted an interim injunction against the operators of the service in response to a request by GEMA. The operators had originally demanded up to EUR 2.99 a month from its users for copying specific titles from recorded radio programmes.
After the service had then adapted its purportedly free offerings to comply with the injunction, the Court has now issued another interim injunction, dated 20 February 2007, upholding GEMA’s view that the free nature of the offer still did not fall under the exemption for private copies and was thus illegal. The providers have now therefore complied with GEMA’s request that access to the service be blocked.
In the absence of any serious licensing negotiations with the operators of the service and of any willingness on the part of the operators to suspend the unlawful service until the negotiations had reached a successful conclusion, GEMA felt obliged to protect the interests of its members by having the service blocked until a feasible licensing solution had been found.
Dr. Harald Heker, chief executive officer of GEMA, commented: "The proceedings against Mp3flat.com show that GEMA is determined to pursue the interests of its members and will not tolerate offenders making profit on the backs of the authors."
In Germany, GEMA administers the copyrights of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) as well as those of over 1 million rights owners from all corners of the world. With an income of EUR 852 million (in the financial year 2005) it is one of the world’s largest authors’ societies for works of music.
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