Chinese tech blog Midifan has received a cease and desist letter threatening legal action from lawyers representing budget gear manufacturer Behringer.
The letter claims Midifan's critical opinions of Behringer's fleet of synth clones had "caused the reputation of the four clients (Uli Behringer, MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd, Zhongshan Behringer Electronic Co., Ltd and Zhongshan Ouke Electronic Co., Ltd) to be seriously damaged." It goes on to demand Midifan remove the infringing articles and release an apology within seven days, after which point legal action would be initiated.
As CDM pointed out, a music manufacturer threatening the press is extremely rare, if not unprecedented. (Criminal libel charges can lead to up to three years jail time in China.) Last year Midifan reported on strikes being held at Behringer's factories, where employees were protesting unsafe working conditions and practices.
This is a translation of Midifan's response to Behringer's threats.
"Here, on behalf of Midifan, I hereby make a very solemn apology to the four principals who have been 'seriously hurt':
1. Apologize for the wording of 'plagiarized dogs.' The cute dog is a human friend and the dog does not copy it. This is not correct, I’m sorry.
2. Express apologies for the wording of 'Shameless People.' Because Behringer is a company, not a person, this is not correct. I'm sorry.
3. Apologize for the allegation that Behringer's products are plagiarized. The politically correct statement is 'reference' or 'tribute.' These actions are all not plagiarism at all. I am sorry."The products in question were Behringer's clones of Roland's TR-808, SH-101 and VP-330, the Sequential Circuits Pro-One and the ARP Odyseey, all of which were displayed at Schneidersladen's Superbooth synth expo in Berlin back in May. Midifan is run by Nan Tang, the co-founder of 2nd Sense Audio.
Resident Advisor has reached out to Behringer for comment.