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Norbert Schubert had to pay $15 million in compensation for misusing music on his fitness DVDs

The largest Hungarian record label sued Norbert Schobert in 2013 for a series of copyright violations. The case has dragged on for so long that the fitness expert finally had to pay 15 million in damages last year, a fraction of the amount originally claimed. The publishers are now preparing a new lawsuit because they claim that Schubert is not willing to pay interest for the default. Schubert did not want to comment on the dispute to our newspaper until it was finally closed, because he said litigation should not be dealt with in the media.

The Public Prosecution Office of Al-Dabbasi ruled in October 2020 that Schubert Norbert He committed a criminal offense and therefore reprimanded him – it turned out from the documents in the possession of 24.hu. In the case of his crime and misdemeanours, he could in principle be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two or three years, but in the end the Prosecutor’s Office did not consider the slightest punishment necessary and closed the proceedings against Schubert. They took into account that the suspect

  • with a criminal record,
  • A long period of time has passed since the crime was committed.
  • And that Schubert had compensated victims for property damage a few weeks earlier.

In the end, the fitness expert had to pay a total of about 15 million forints to the record companies working against him for using the songs they owned on their fitness DVDs without prior permission and royalties. The publishers demanded much higher compensation – between 80 and 90 million forints – than him, but the attorney general’s office claimed that some of the infected DVDs were obsolete, so only from 2010 onwards there were three Robin Rica– In the case of the DVD, investigate the conviction of a fitness expert like Schubert in official documents.

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The tangled affair slowly swung for eight years, as major local publishers, including CLS, sued Schobert in 2013. At that time, the press also covered the matter several times, especially after NAV launched an investigation and seized twelve thousand discs. DVD from Norbis. However, there was a lot at stake: Publishers said about 800,000 copies of offending DVDs had been released since 2003, but prosecutors eventually classified more than two-thirds of them as outdated.

“We argued that there was no expiration because previously released DVDs were also constantly in stock and advertised. The attorney representing the publishers, 24, said. László Bérczes. brother, Ádám Bérczes, the head of one of the publishers involved, CLS, wondered why they had waited ten years to start proceedings once the violation, in their opinion, had been around since 2003. His answer was fairly simple: they didn’t know about it before, and one of the co-authors didn’t catch their eye on a disc DVD until 2013, Roberto Winnie about infringement. The strangeness of the case is that in 2004 Schobert and CLS together released an album of choice music for fitness called Norbi Music Update, and according to Ádám Bérczes, they acted completely legally with royalties.

In Hungarian, he also had accurate information about how music was used and royalties settled. Our company later became one of the biggest victims because we released a lot of electronic music and used it a lot. But before we were offended, we were partners

– said dám Bérczes, who remembers that publishers were open to out-of-court settlements from the start, but Schobert did not take this opportunity.

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Marjay Janos / 24

After the case broke out, the publishers demanded not only money from Schoberte, but also Artisjus, who administers the royalties, because they also failed to pay them. They were also engaged by the authority to investigate the case, and Schubert was able to reach an out-of-court settlement with Artisjus in 2015-2016 (we have no official information on how much they were paid). As a result, the prosecution terminated the criminal case, but the respective publishers filed a complaint because they did not receive compensation. Fitness DVDs are a depiction of the music, in which case Artisjus has to pay not only royalties, but also the rights holders in the audio recording, mostly publishers, who must also be required to obtain prior permission to use the songs. As a producer, it was all the duty of Schubert, but he failed to do so.

Not satisfied with the professional part of the protracted criminal procedure, the CLS also filed a civil case on the basis of the trial in the case. Officially, this should have started separately for each song, it was eventually Compact Disco fly or drive The song was chosen to test their legal options with it. Although the court ruled in 2017 that there had been a breach, the ruling only determined liability for the former joint venture of Schubert and Rica Robinette, Foodorgany Kft. And you didn’t personally find the fitness guru labeled as a DVD producer. . On the other hand, Foodorgany was no longer owned by them at the time the lawsuit was filed, and in the meantime became insolvent, so the publisher could not enforce his claim.

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Given the legal stalemate, they did not file any civil lawsuits, instead seeking to expedite criminal proceedings. He finally ended last October – eight years after the case erupted – with the prosecution reprimanding him and paying $15 million in damages. However, his legal draft does not appear to be finished, because despite the publishers’ invitation, Schubert refused to pay the interest for the default, which in their view, would be a large sum, given the time that has passed since the damage occurred. So the publishers will sue again. “We negotiated with the legal representative of Norbert, and an agreement was reached, which the publishers signed. Then Norbert Schubert changed his mind, ceased his relationship with his legal representative and refused to sign this agreement,” says Laszlo Percz, who again provides legal representation to the publishers.

We contacted Schubert Norbert with our questions so that we could also offer his position on the matter.

I am happy to complete the eight-year procedure. I paid for everything that was imposed on me and I wish everyone health and wellness

– The fitness expert said, adding that he did not want to say more than that until the dispute over the interest payment was over because he acknowledged that “litigation is not resolved in the media.”