The CEO of Chinese music technology site MIDIFAN.com Nan Tang, has been in contact to let us know about a letter he received from the legal representatives of Behringer in China threatening criminal proceedings after his site was critical of Behringer's product releases at Superbooth this year.
As we know, Behringer dropped a number of clone products: Pro-One, Odyssey, 808, 101 and VP330, with intent also to create an OB-Xa, and System 100M modules.
MIDIFAN.com used terms such as "Copycat" and "Shameless" in its editorial posts which Behringer and its other properties have taken to be "damaging to their reputation". The letter of intended prosecution (which was translated by Midifan to English) goes on to threaten criminal libel action unless the words used are retracted (deleted) from the website and an apology posted.
This does seem pretty heavy handed, and as Peter Kirn on CDM.link says in his article, "A manufacturer taking legal action against music press for being critical or even calling it names is as far as I know fairly unprecedented" and we have to agree, it is.
Imagine waking up to a letter of that nature and seeing the considerable power of Behringer's skilled legal department gearing up to take action, its enough to scare anyone, no matter what size cojones you may possess.
Since we received the email from Midifan CEO Nan Tang, the site has capitulated to the demands and posted an apology - after all in China criminal libel can result in a custodial sentence, and nobody would want to risk that. But the tone of it is deliciously snarky, and with good reason. To criticize a company for its policy is fair game, and actions like this will give us all pause for thought before we do that, though fortunately in the country we operate, threats would mostly result in financial penalties, not custodial sentences.
UPDATE: Uli Behringer responds to issues surrounding factory strike.
In the comments for this story, a report was referred to outlining strikes by workers at the new factory. In a Facebook post, Uli Behringer CEO of the company, addresses the issues. You can read a copy of the statement in the comments section, Uli has posted it below, and also on Facebook here.
We hook up a bunch of synths - now where's my cape?