Slovenian band Laibach threaten to sue Croatian right-wing party

Slovenian band Laibach threaten to sue Croatian right-wing party
Slovenian band Laibach (Image: Gruppe Laibach under a CC licence)

19 October 2015

Slovenian experimental group Laibach are set to sue the Croatian right-wing HDSSB party for using one of their songs in a promotional video.

The band said in a statement on Thursday that they intend to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement against the HDSSB party (Croatian Democratic Assembly of Slavonia and Baranja), claiming that the party used their 1987 hit Geburt einer Nation (Birth of a Nation) without permission in a promotional video for the Slavonian Hawk Guard, a youth unit of the party. The video was shown both at a party rally and on local television.

Party founder Branimir Glavaš, who is currently awaiting re-trial for war crimes, reportedly supervised the training of the Guard and claims that they constitute a “sports and recreation section” with a “security” function for events.

Laibach claim that the HDSSB did not ask for permission or pay to use their song, and say they have informed ZAMP, the owner of the song’s copyright in Croatia, about the infringement.

“They [ZAMP] are the first ones required to take legal action for the unlawful use of the song, and consider the possibility of lawsuits. One of the creators of the HDSSB’s video used the song illegally, ignoring or not knowing the copyright legislation,” the group stated.

“If they feel that we harmed them, I apologise to them. I hope that a lawsuit will not be considered, since there is no basis for starting [one],” HDSSB MP Ivan Drmić said, claiming that the party paid all necessary fees to ZAMP.

ZAMP, however, stated that the party had paid the fee only for “playing music in a public place”, highlighting that this fee does not include using a song in a video.

Laibach made headlines earlier this year when they became the first foreign musical group to play in North Korea. The band, formed in Yugoslavia in 1980 as the musical wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst art collective, played on 19 and 20 August in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, as part of their Liberation Day tour.

Source: Balkan Insight