Frequently Asked questions about HCU (FAQ)

For what is the funding needed? 

Funding is needed for legal fees. As PANArt continues to pursue legal action, HCU will continue to help fund legal efforts with the goal of opposing PANArt’s Copyright claim. Legal costs are very high and the current court proceedings regarding the copyright might go through several instances until a final verdict or settlement is reached.

Who exactly has access to the raised funding? 

The funds are withdrawn from the GoFundMe platform directly into the bank account of HCU. A Dutch bank account belonging to the Netherlands based Stichting (foundation) The funds can only be used in coherence to the Dutch law regarding foundations. That means the funds can legally only be used in coherence to the official mission statement of the foundation. 

Can the funding be used for paying scientific and other experts in order to create documents supporting the case

Yes and basically for anything that can help the case.

Who is the HCU? 

Handpan Community United stands for and includes people who have an affection for the handpan instrument and believe in its mission statement. Everyone who wants to be included can do so by signing up on the website: https://hcu.global/ And everyone who wants to be more involved can join the discord server: https://discord.gg/p5xsJvg Unfortunately due to the short time frame, HCU could not be set up as a full democratic organization.

Regarding the question of if HCU should become democratic; this is where you can take part and join the discord server. If there is a wish for a more democratic system and people have input on how to make this a reality, their ideas are most welcome.

Are decisions made in the HCU public or are they decided only by a few members?

This is done on a case by case basis. As many of the decisions that HCU must make are around sensitive legal matters, strategic choices and confidential issues, most of the decisions are made in the administrative group. HCU is very open to outside input on decisions that aren’t deemed confidential and all decisions are made according to our mission statement. The administrative group (listed by alphabetical order) currently consists of:

Yhonatan Ale-Yahav (Yishama)

Duncan Arnot (Meridian Handpans)

Ralf van den Bor (Ayasa Instruments)

Ezahn Bueraheng (EchoSoundSculpture)

Flávio Brant Alvim (EchoSoundSculpture)

Kyle Cox (Pantheon Steel)

Colin Foulke (CFoulke)

David Kuckhermann (Handan Dojo)

Victor Levinson (SPB)

Alessio Massi (Hardcase Technologies)

Zachary Roome Lamscha (Leaf Soundsculptures)

Why should we support the HCU?

Supporting HCU is supporting the handpan and the greater handpan community. Our mission statement declares that HCU has one main focus: To safeguard and protect the growing international handpan community, through the commitment to preserve the playing, fabrication, availability and the further development of the handpan musical instrument.

To ensure our main purpose, HCU is willing to give support to individuals where needed, be it financial, advisory or otherwise, whilst not specifically endorsing or supporting the actions of any individual reseller or maker.

Through recent events it has become really clear that PANArt targets handpan makers and sellers and that they are looking to expand their claims. Their actions could seriously compromise the handpan instrument worldwide. We want all handpan builders to be able to continue their amazing work and build quality instruments, all resellers to be able to sell instruments and all players and enthusiasts to be able to play!

Why is the HCU not sharing with the public all information about what is currently happening?

There are topics that are legally sensitive which is why the exact time when to share some information needs to be examined for each individual case. If and when we can share pertinent and current information, we will via the HCU newsletter. HCU is striving to be as open about the current situation as possible, whilst staying safely within the confines of the confidentiality imposed by the legal proceedings. 

Is there any other way to support the HCU other than donation?

Absolutely. Awareness is a great way to support HCU. Share our website and our mission statement on social media, email your subscribers a link to the HCU home page or the GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign. 

 Where does the money go if there are funds left after the case is settled?

There are currently several court proceedings happening involving PANArt and various handpan makers/resellers and community members. At the moment we are still quite far away from covering all expected costs and it seems rather unlikely that there will be funds left afterwards.

Should the cases get settled more quickly and if there are funds left over, all donors who donated 100 EUR or more will be given the options to get a corresponding percentage of their donation back or to keep them in the fund. 

Any funds remaining after that will be either donated to another good cause or used in line with the mission statement of HCU. This can be done together with the community in a democratic way through online polls for example. This decision will not be up to the administrative group alone. 

 Why has the HMU site been deleted? Who was part of HMU initially?

Similar to HCU, HMU (Handpan Makers United) was founded in the effort to protect handpan makers from PANArt’s patent-based legal threats. As HCU was being founded, all HMU members voted to dissolve HMU and completely integrate into the new HCU. 

 Why is there no english full translation of the 48 Hamburg court pages publicly available?

Translations are very expensive and time-intensive. HCU translated the main pages of the Hamburg court cases so that all details in relation to the specific claims of copyright could be accessible to all. If anyone would feel incited to make the translation, it would be very welcome. It’s also possible to come to the HCU discord server and ask for help to make the translation. 

 Will everyone who is creating/providing Handpans be protected by HCU? 

Handpan Community United is there to protect all HCU members against diverse legal issues. If you are not a member it’s not too late to join and contribute to the GoFundMe campaign.

 Who is responsible for communication between the HCU community and the lawyers/ legal guidance?

Currently Ralf van den Bor and David Kuckhermann. In turn they communicate back to the administrative group and bigger strategic decisions are made together there. Decisions are only made with a majority in the group.

If there are any unanswered questions please join our discord server and ask them there.