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Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:12 pm
by CFoulke
Handpan Community United -
Today the nonprofit organization Handpan Community United (formerly HMU) has officially been founded!

An organization with the goal to preserve and protect the handpan community.

Most of you have heard about the recent lawsuit between PANArt, the creators of the original Hang, and World of Handpans, a German online shop. PANArt won this case in its first instance and have recently published the verdict (in German). It states that the Hang® is a work of creative art and therefore protected by intellectual copyright - and that any handpan that uses a similar shape violates said copyright.

If the verdict stands, the consequences could be that handpan makers would not be able to make handpans in the basic shape any more, except with PANArt’s permission. Nobody knows if they would give that permission or under which conditions. The current court procedure will affect Germany, but PANArt has already mentioned that they will go to court in other countries as well.

We believe that Handpans are musical instruments more than anything else and therefore the copyright claim is not justified. Unfortunately there is a long history of lawsuits involving PANArt and different handpan makers. While we wish more than anything for a more positive and collaborative relationship between the handpan world and PANArt, in the current situation we feel the need to help those who end up in court.

Our larger goal is to counteract the current copyright claim and to preserve the continued creation and availability of Handpans of any shape and form, as well as a creative space for new developments and further research into the subject.

If you love the handpan and want to support this cause, please visit our website at You can become a supporting member or sign up for the newsletter. We will start a crowdfunding campaign soon to help fund lawyers and court expenses for those directly affected by this situation.

We strongly believe that this goal is worth fighting for and that this is best done as a community!

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:59 pm
by ~jb
Thank you Colin for posting this, I was unaware of the present situation with Panart's legal proceedings against makers. I signed up for the newsletter so I will look forward to updates and for ways to support the community.

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:13 pm
by SilapaSiang
Felix "told" he would wait.......

.....then...... attacks !

who doesn't know him?

Come on.....

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:01 pm
by Meister Eder ... N9txe/view

Sadly we were notified recently that Prof, Dr. Anthony Achong passed away this year in June. At this time we were writing a review on his latest article about Hang & handpan. Therefore we’ve published it now as an open letter to the worldwide pan-community. R.I.P Prof. Achong – your work will remain

Matthieu MARK, maker and tuner at Shellopan Fablab, France
Birgit PESTAL, maker and tuner at Pan Lab Vienna, Austria
Clemens HANDSCHUCH, maker and tuner of Soulshine, Germany
Daniel BERNASCONI, maker and tuner of Soma, Switzerland
Nico BACHUS, maker and tuner of Owl-Pan, Germany
Afonso RIBEIRO, maker and tuner of Pandakini, Germany
Jan GÜNZEL, maker and tuner of Taopan, Germany

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:49 am
by greenoak
This is so baffling at this stage in the game. I am so sad.

I've read about stories like this from past "inventions" but I never thought I'd experience it first hand - and on so deep a level. I cross a border and my copycat instrument gets destroyed?

Literally stealing away my ability to make music?


Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:29 pm
by Mikey P
So saddened by this aggressive attack by PanArt !!!
The More things Change.......The More they stay the Same !!!!
Shameful PanArt that this is how your History is being written !!!

You deserve So Much More......but "your actions" put you in the darkest corner of this beautiful community !!!
It could be SO different.....
So Sad !!!

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:31 pm
by SilapaSiang
i thought once the memory of PanArt would survive and the one of Felix disappear, now i'm sure both will do.....

he's like a small boy taking revenge on his grandma....just because she didn't want to buy him sweets when he was 4.......

i'm now proud i've never been to the bauhaus, conflict with Felix started from day 1, in 2000, i knew he was a jxxk.... travelers would feel the same...

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:26 pm
by Mikey P
Looking back I feel so lucky that Felix declined my several letters when I was panless and hopeful !
I was so disappointed !!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Then life changed............................
To have started my journey with Kyle, Jim, Aaron and team Pantheon Steel was a such true blessing for Me !
The Incredibly positive vibes and Love of the Art form, helped to shape Me into the Handpan Enthusiast I am today !
I am forever grateful !!!!
Cheers !!!


Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:30 pm
by heimadell
Hello, first time poster here. I still have my letter from over 10 years from Panart promising me that I was on the list to get a hangdrum, but they never got back to me. It is near impossible to get a hangdrum and I had no choice but to go to another maker and I am glad I did (Symphonic Steel). The whole legal situation is frustrating because I see where they are coming from, but there is no other option if someone wants to play one of these beautiful instruments.

Re: Handpan Makers United

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:37 pm
by CFoulke

Dear Handpan Community / Handpan Enthusiasts

Today we ask for your support with raising funds for a cause that concerns all of us. PANArt, the swiss company that created the Hang, claims to have copyright on the shape and the defining aspects of the instrument and wants to declare handpans illegal copies. Their claim states that the Hang is not primarily a musical instrument, but a piece of ‘fine art’ and therefore eligible for copyright protection. Musical instruments are usually not protected under copyright.

If this claim stands uncontested, it will have far-reaching consequences for the handpan world. Makers could be forbidden from creating handpans as we know them. It would be impossible to purchase handpans in their current form within the affected countries. In the worst case scenario this could also affect the right to public display through live concerts, videos, workshops, etc.

Handpan Community United, a non-profit organisation, was created to contest PANArt’s copyright claim and protect the future existence of the handpan instrument. HCU hired the high profile international law firm Bird & Bird, as it is of utmost importance to have the best lawyers available to ensure our goal. From recent events, it is clear PANArt has spared no expenses on their own legal representation.

The seriousness of adequately funding and defending this cause cannot be underestimated. PANArt’s recent Cease & Desist, warning letters and court proceedings against shops in Germany (World of Handpans and Yatao Shop) and a maker/material provider from the Netherlands (Ayasa Instruments) clearly show what is at stake. This is just the beginning...

The funds required to defend this instrument are substantial. However, the effect on our lives will be even greater if the handpan instrument ceases to exist as we know it. A serious and well-defended response requires expertise and funding if we are to effectively protect the handpan industry from the very real threat of being shut-down.

The court procedures can potentially last several years and the current estimate of legal costs from Bird & Bird from start to finish is circa 250,000 Euro.

All raised funds will be placed in the trust account of HCU, a registered non-profit organisation, to be used only for purposes as defined in the HCU Mission Statement. (

A huge thanks for everyone's support!