Frank Peterson is a German music producer known for his work with Enigma and artists such as Sarah Brightman, Ofra Haza, Gregorian, Princessa and Andrea Bocelli on his first international album Romanza in 1997.
Peterson was born on 29 December 1963 in Hamburg. As a child he taught himself to play the piano and keyboard, going on to work in a music store. It was here that he met Michael Cretu and became lead keyboardist for Sandra, appearing prominently on her hit single Maria Magdalena.
He was a member of Sandra's band for a few more years, then moved with the Cretus to Ibiza. While there he became involved with Cretu's new project, Enigma, under the pseudonym of F. Gregorian. Peterson contributed to their first album, MCMXC a.D., writing several tracks.
Peterson left the group in 1991 and pursued work on Gregorian, a musical project co-founded by Thomas Schwarz and Matthias Meissner. The female vocals for this album were provided by The Sisters of Oz – a duo composed of Birgit Freud and Susana Espelleta, who was married to Peterson at the time. Soon after, he met English soprano Sarah Brightman and collaborated with her on her solo albums Dive through Symphony.
Gregorian was re-invented later on in his career as a group performing Gregorian chant arrangements of popular songs. Peterson's inspiration, as he stated in an interview, was the approaching new millennium and its spiritual aspect.
Lawsuit against Google/YouTubeEdit
On 16 April 2009, Billboard reported that Peterson had filed a lawsuit at the Higher District Court in Hamburg against Google/YouTube, claiming that his music videos and other audiovisual repertoire were used illegally. In his lawsuit, Peterson claimed infringement of his copyrights and master rights. He stated that more than 125 million streams of his productions – of which he owns the copyrights and master rights as author, publisher and producer – have been viewed, for which he never received payment from Google/YouTube.
In the Billboard interview, Jens Schippmann, senior partner of the law firm Kamin & Wilke representing Peterson claimed the lawsuit was necessary because Peterson never granted any synchronization rights and adaptation rights to GEMA as part of his membership agreement: "The German legal situation is different to the Anglo-American copyright law because in Germany the copyright itself will always remain with the author and exploitation rights granted do not exclude the author from any decision regarding synchronization and adaptation because of the author's moral right," Schippmann said. "My client did not assign any synchronization or adaptation rights to Google/YouTube and is therefore entitled to demand [they] cease and desist such usage [and] negotiate about demanding appropriate remuneration."
Lutz Melzer, junior partner at the firm said: "The lawsuit includes our demand for injunction, for information and accounting about the figures of the usage and the turnover, especially from advertising. In addition we demand for a court decision that any damages incurred by such exploitation have to be reimbursed by Google/YouTube. So far we cannot exactly compute the amount of such damages without additional information from YouTube but it seems that the damages will exceed a few million [U.S.] dollars solely in the Peterson case."