Germany’s music industry lobby group, BVMI, has applauded a new ruling against stream-ripper MusicMonster.fm by the Regional Court of Munich as a positive step forward for accountability. The court affirmed that not only is the site on the hook for copyright infringement, but that it is also liable for distributing the content to the public.
“A groundbreaking judgement!” said Dr. Florian Drücke, BVMI chairman & CEO. “In recent times, it has become increasingly accepted by the courts that the digital license revenues of creatives and their partners can only be protected by reliable liability rules. A very encouraging development that gives hope for the future. At a time when most of the music is being distributed and consumed through online channels, there is no room for freeriding services that circumvent royalty payments and so do not remunerate those who actually funded the content.”
The case dates back to October 2017, when it was discovered that an entire album by Jennifer Rostock was available for download on MusicMonster.fm. After the site’s operator, DEMEKOM Entertainment AG, ignored a warning letter from Rostock’s label, Sony Music Entertainment Germany, a lawsuit was filed in a Munich court. The lawsuit was directed at the site’s reproduction and distribution of the album, and sought compensation and other expenses.
This week’s decision joins with other judgments in recent months. Among others, on Jan. 17, the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg ruled that the stream-ripping service ZeeZee Media illegally reproduced music recordings. The Court considered its own decision confirmed by another MusicMonster.fm judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Munich of Nov. 22 last year.