Preschools have been sent a reminder that they need to pay for a license if they want to copy sheet music for the children to sing certain songs. This has triggered a copyright discussion in Germany.
Singing is a core component of many kindergarten timetables
German copyright rules require anyone who copies sheet music pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA. The organization has begun notifying kindergartens and other preschool facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.
"If a preschool wants to make its own copy of certain music - if the words of a song or the musical score is copied - then they need to buy a license," GEMA spokesperson Peter Hempel told Deutsche Welle.
The rules have been in place for 25 years, but they have only recently drawn attention. GEMA began at the beginning of 2010 to send out reminders to daycare centers stressing that they need to sign contracts before making copies of sheet music for the children to sing from.
If copies of music are made, the fee needs to be paid
"It doesn't cost anything to sing in kindergartens," said Peter Hempel. "If a kindergarten or school does not make any copies of music, then of course they don't need to pay anything."
Traditional songs are copyright-free
The copyright rules only concern the rights for modern songs. Songs written by an author who has been dead for over 70 years are automatically in the public domain.
"For old songs, for traditional folk songs for example, it costs nothing," said Hempel.
Fees start at 56 euros ($74) for 500 copies of a song, a rate charged annually, not per child.
GEMA - the German abbreviation stands for the Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights - exists to make sure that the intellectual property of musicians is protected. It is the collection agent for another group, VG MusikEdition, which monitors copyright for musicians and distributes the profits from the licensing fees back to its members.
Author: Catherine Bolsover
Editor: Nancy Isenson
European plane maker Airbus has reported a rise in earnings and revenues for the first half of the current year. With no major interruptions in global aviation expected, the group confirmed its 2015 guidance.
Organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro say they'll have more than double the number of security personnel as London had at the previous games. Pollution in Brazil has also been under the microscope.
Thomas Tuchel recorded his first competitive win as Borussia Dortmund coach in the Europa League third qualifying round. The Germans were made to sweat, but possess a lead going into next week's return leg.