Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{March 29, 2007}   Free Software and Composer’s Copyright Societies

We’re trying hard to include Frets on Fire in Debian. FoF is a really great game where you have to try to play a simulated guitar through your computer keyboard. The code is already GPL, and the developers are really nice and collaborative. The game consists of some code in python, some game data, graphics and so, and some songs, including a tutorial.

The problem comes when we try to get the songs into Debian too. It seems that, for being able for someone to be something in the musical scene in Finland, they must sign an abusive contract with Teosto (Finish Composer’s Copyright Society, which AFAIK is a private organization), giving them exclusive rights on whatever songs you make, so you won’t be able to license any song at all without using a license that has been approved by them. More discussion here.

This is wierd. Composer’s Copyright Societies should be there to help composers and artists, not to enslave them. For what I heard it’s not the only country in which that happens. Especially in Europe, the EU is extremelly protectionist to those matters, whether they do right or wrong, or whether they even go against the author’s will. Gosh, it’s the authors who should have the right to choose, not the mafias choose for them. In Spain I think it’s more or less the same, the SGAE seems to have the same attitude towards artists than Teosto. When will they realize they’re being anachronistic and unfair?

Anonymous says:

When they notice that they don’t have any useful members anymore. Not before.

Me says:

Sue them in the European court of Human Rights. If you do nothing, nothing will change. Their behavior is clearly abusive.

Mind Booster Noori says:

*sigh* Unfortunately, and also as an artist, I must say that the case is almost the same here in Portugal. I refuse to be a member of S.P.A. and that’s what it makes it illegal for me to do such things as releasing an Audio CD. Damn…

Martin says:

At least in germany there might be a possibility to start a new Copyright Society if it get approval by the Patent Office. And afaik the current ones do have some kinds of internal voting processes. I think if enough Artists care about these things and fight for their rights it’s possible to change to current absurd situation.

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