Dear Handpan Community,
Below is an update on all the fronts that HCU has been working on since our last newsletter. Thank you for your continued support as things continue to unfold.
Table of contents:
- Protective brief sent out to all German courts
- Direct donations to HCU are now possible as well as getting a donation receipt.
- Yatao shop and Rav Drums relaunched with help of HCU
- An Interview with Ron Kravitz; PANArt Distributor
1. Protective brief sent out to all German courts
The HCU lawyers drafted a 76 page protective brief and distributed it to German courts in an effort to educate anyone who might make a future ruling in regards to handpans. This brief contains a detailed description of our side of the story, including counter-arguments to many of the points that PANArt used in their existing preliminary injunctions. This is to make sure that every judge has the full picture before considering any decisions and should make it less likely for PANArt to succeed by attacking single targets who lack the resources or knowledge to properly defend themselves.
Furthermore, during the meeting in Zurich in October, our lawyers put PANArt on notice and officially gave them a list of all handpan makers they found online. This is significant and directly relates to the type of legal action PANArt has taken thus far. PANArt has been filing Preliminary Injunctions which is a type of legal filing that is based on urgency in relation to copyright infringement.
By giving PANArt this list of makers they will most likely not be able to argue urgency in court any more, which is a prerequisite for preliminary injunctions (“Einstweilige Verfügung”) letters. With these measures in place, handpan makers should be much safer for now and it would be more difficult and resource-intensive for PANArt to sue them.
2. Direct donations to HCU are now possible as well as getting a donation receipt.
It is now possible to make a direct donation to the bank account of HCU. Donations can be made to Stichting Handpan Community United – IBAN: NL62BUNQ2049174195. For anyone who would like to make a direct donation from an account that uses a different currency than euro, we would advise to use Transferwise to save transfer fees and additional exchange rate costs: https://transferwise.com/. If any further details are required, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
GoFundMe already gives a donation receipt after making a donation, however we have noticed that some would appreciate a receipt from the HCU Foundation for administration purposes. We are now able to create this type of receipt. If you have made a donation either to the GoFundMe campaign or a direct donation, you can send an email to email@example.com requesting your receipt. Please be sure to include the following details:
Full name, company, and address.
3. RAV Drums and Yatao shop resumed distribution with the help of HCU
After receiving a legal action from PANArt, RAV Drums and Yatao shop temporarily stopped worldwide distribution and sales of handpans. After receiving advice from Bird&Bird, the lawfirm of HCU, they have both resumed world-wide distribution, excluding Germany.
4. An Interview with Ron Kravitz; PANArt Distributor
From The Handpan Podcast: “Ron Kravitz is a notable figure in handpan history. As the sole Hang distributor in the US (2002-05) and then one of only two worldwide distributors (2005-07) Ron recounts untold stories and reveals secrets from the past. A must-listen for any old-timer, Hang-lover or anyone trying to make sense of PANArt’s position towards the handpan community.”
Listen to Ron Kravitz tell the story on The Handpan Podcast at 47m45s at https://www.sylvainpasliermusic.com/post/panart-history-with-ron-kravitz-hang-distributor
Sylvain: “So now, when the first handpan makers emerged — Pantheon Steel, BELLArt, Spacedrum, Caisa — how did Felix and Sabina respond back then? Which is, you know, 13 years ago.”
Ron: “Hmm. Just backing up. I have the clear memory of them saying or remembering them saying ‘we hope someone else creates an instrument so it takes the pressure off of us’. And then these instruments came out, and I kind of remember them not being, they weren’t so happy about it because they [handpan makers] weren’t doing it how they [PANArt] were doing it. It wasn’t the same kind of material. That’s a vague recollection of a conversation, which was contrary to what, ‘we wish people would come out with an instrument to take the pressure off of us’. So, I don’t remember a lot of dialogue about it, but that’s a general thing. So somewhere along the line, um, they changed their viewpoint, I think.”
Best wishes to all of you and merry Xmas,
The HCU administrative group