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Villages asked to pay copyright fee for singing folk songs at events

SOZA, a group representing the interests of music copyright holders, has demanded that the village of Heľpa in Banská Bystrica Region pay €65 for singing folk songs during events at its Fašiangy celebration and on Mothers’ Day. Similar bills were sent to another village in the region, the Sme daily reported.

SOZA, a group representing the interests of music copyright holders, has demanded that the village of Heľpa in Banská Bystrica Region pay €65 for singing folk songs during events at its Fašiangy celebration and on Mothers’ Day. Similar bills were sent to another village in the region, the Sme daily reported.

“We were singing To tá Heľpa and others,” Mária Kemková, from the village government, told Sme. “I do not understand why we are to pay. Who has the copyright for a folk song?”

A bill for €60 was also received by the village of Pohorelá which organised performances to celebrate Mothers’ Day and the Day of St Nicholas held last December 6.

While the representatives of the villages say that they do not understand why they have to pay, SOZA told Sme that it is entitled for the payment because the villages violated the copyright law when they did not sign a collective licence agreement which would allow them to use the songs. SOZA also told Sme that the organisers of the events allegedly did not meet the requirements for organising a school performance, which are to be free for the audience, and they did not report about organising the event.

Slovak copyright law states that users must pay for use of songs with folk motifs whose authors are known who are represented by SOZA but not for other folk songs, Sme wrote. Residents in Pohorelá told Sme that they are ready to protest against the bill received from SOZA by singing songs by Slovak authors in front of the SOZA office from June 5 to the end of the month, the TASR newswire reported.

Source: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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