German music publishers have called upon the federal government to implement a warning system to clamp down on the illegal use of music on the Internet.

At the German Music Publishers Association's (DMV) annual conference in Dresden, DMV president Dagmar Sikorski said urgent action was needed.

"Germany is on course towards becoming a land of paradise for Internet piracy," he said. "France, for example is combating the illicit use of music by taking a series of measures ranging from the issue of warnings through to a ban on Internet access."

The French government is implementing a 'three-strikes' scheme that would see copyright infringers' broadband cut off after two warnings for up to a year.
According to surveys, 80% of users stop such activity after receiving the first warning.

Dagmar Sikorski explained that the non-remunerated use of music jeopardized the German music industry and posed a threat to cultural diversity, adding that it was high time for a statutory obligation to be imposed on Internet access providers, forcing them to pull their weight in efforts to prevent Internet piracy.

Sikorski said that the German federal government should heed the words of its own state minister of culture Bernd Neumann, who had stated that illicit copying and unauthorized use of intellectual property were threatening the livelihoods of artists and companies in the creative industry and that this was an intolerable situation. Ahead of the upcoming federal election in September, music publishers fear that improvements to copyright legislation and efforts to combat Internet piracy will be delayed for years.

DMV represents the interests of German music publishers throughout Germany. With roughly 500 members, it covers around 90% of the music publishing sector in Germany. Last year, the music publishers organized in DMV generated revenue of €580 million ($814 million).

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