Now let’s be honest: where do you get your music from?

After concentrating on the mobile industry and its problems with privacy rights I want to draw your attention to another industry we have to do with everyday, the MUSIC INDUSTRY!

So what is the current discussion about?

Its all about the Copyright! According to Online dictionary, Copyright is defined as:

the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
I guess everyone of you knows this scenario: You want to listen to a song, you click on the youtube link, and then it says: “GEMA does not allow this video”
Especially if you have been to a foreign country it becomes clear to you that you cant get access to a lot of music videos when you are in Germany.
So what does the GEMA actually do and what is it for?
GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 64,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one of the largest societies of authors for works of music worldwide.
And why are they doing this?
Music isn’t created “just like that”. It’s the result of an individual’s creative effort and therefore the intellectual property of the music author.
Supporter of GEMA are of course especially artists and musicians. With campaigns like “Mein Kopf gehört mir” (My head is my property) they demonstrate against the abuse of copyrights through the internet.
Opposers of the Copyright are especially the “Piratenpartei“. They claim in their actual program free access to music in the internet. Meaning that you can download music in the internet for free and legally. Of course the problem with that is obvious, who would pay the artists and musicians?
Are there any alternatives or middle ways?
A program which offers you a wide range of music LEGALLY is for example Spotify.  This application finances itself through advertising, furthermore the hours of music is limited. For 5 euros per month you can enjoy as much music as you want, without any ads!
Gray area in Germany is the streaming of films and series. There are plenty of pages on which you can stream your favourite serie, without paying. Whether this is helpful or not has everyone decide for himself.
Problem for Managers and Organizers
Imagine you are a clubowner or an organizer for a big event, what economic consequences causes GEMA?
-You have to budget the extra costs for playing music, of course.
In the past years Clubowners and Organizers of events got along with that. But since 2012 there was a change in tariff rates planned.  The original plan was to introduce the new tariff reform in January 2013. This did not happen, because the BVMV(Bundesvereinigung der Musikveranstalter) negotiated with GEMA and they could find a middle way. This middle way includes higher costs of only 5% in January 2013. In April 2013 costs should be raised for clubwoners for another 10% (For more detailed infos click here). The ultimate tariff reform should be introduced at the earliest in 2014.
What is the problem with the new tariff reform?
In order to simplify the tariff rates and make them more transparent GEMA wants to have 2 instead of the former 11 tariffs.  This means a lot of extra costs for a lot of people. Clubowners expect extra costs of 600 to 1200% and “club dying” because not everyone can adjust the extra costs with extra entrance fees. Lutz Leichsenring, member and spokesman of the Clubcommission Berlin fears:
“The money could end up with the Dieter Bohlens of this world, and not with the small actors.”
Procrastinating the introduction of the new tariff reform is a first success for the oppenents like   LiveKomm , Aktionsbündnis Kultur retten etc., but it doesn’t solve the problem in the long run.
What do you think? Is the GEMA necessary? Isn’t there another side of GEMA?



The story

Recently I did an assignment on how to overcome the fear of technology. The purpose was getting to know and get oneself into different programs and management tools.

There are countless programs and online services/ platforms that make office work a lot easier, that connect people around the globe and allow us to exchange data, do business, present ourselves…  Great!                                                                                                                            But one day something strange happened:

A few days ago I looked for a video on the web to watch it on my Smartphone. Since I didn’t find it on youtube I watched it on Later on when I checked my facebook page, I realized that it automatically posted what video I had just seen … visible for everyone. Angry but also thoughtful some questions began to arise:

1. personal data protection on the internet

2. what do account passwords protect us against and what are the limit

3. can authorites access my personal accounts and who do they share it with

4. Why do people want to share their trivial everyday life with the whole world (why do I?)


Researching about the connection between Facebook and government led me to this video… you better check this out:

Actually I’m not quite sure if I should laugh or not… but if there is a grain of truth in it we should seriously rethink our internet presence…

Information revealed to third party

It is a fact, that facebook does give information of its users to authorities – “in response to a legal request”.

But how easily governments and authorities can access personal user data we can only estimate. Who knows how international intelligence works together and how the data once “requested” is forwarded.

On the one hand I consider it a success that crimes like terrorist attacks could be avoided by local authorities using facebook as the FBI did. By using facebook a terrorist was prevented from blowing up the Federal Reserve and many lives were saved. But on the other hand I believe it is quite a balancing act, not to cross the fine line and disturb the privacy life of people. And if there really is an interface for US intelligence in order to get information a lot quicker and less complicated every user is living in a surveillance state.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Facebook is the most comprehensive database about people all over the world, containing preferences, relationship status, locations, relatives, photos and so on potentially accessible to US authorities.  Another comment on this topic that I take much more serious comes from Julian Assange, this guy knows what he talks about…

Conclusion/ Reflection

I found out what happened, while watching a clip on I still was logged into facebook which was the reason for the posting… Well facebook won’t be running anymore in the background while I’m doing other things with my phone.

Talking about data protection does not only involve facebook issues. Google for example scans emails “for advertising purposes” and sells this information – the “free” account is paid with our privacy so to speak.

But for me it is disturbing enough that the possibility exists at all to basically “steal” user data without permission. From the firms point of view all users are cash cows. From the intelligence point of view we are all potential terrorists – justifying preventive data capturing. But still – it is the user that feeds the internet with his data.   Users should be careful with exposing themselves and always assume and remember that the intenet doesn’t forget.
Quote of the day

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Benjamin Franklin