Is the GEMA in Germany losing sight of normality? Who are they protecting really?
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  1. #1
    DJTT Admin Scammer scamo's Avatar
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    Default Is the GEMA in Germany losing sight of normality? Who are they protecting really?

    Hi,

    We all think artist, especially artists who create music, should get rewarded properly for their hard work, when it is used by others. In Germany, the GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) is an organization that protects those rights of "compensation" for the use of music and they do it by acquiring and distributing money for the usage of music by others (like DJs in night clubs). They have new rules as of January 1, 2013 and they seem to me to be totally off the wall. Not only off the wall, but it seems the GEMA has lost sight of their purpose.

    As I've read more and more about their actions and the results in the past, like the shutdown of a ton of videos on Youtube and other streaming media web sites or now these drastically high increases in fees (700% in some cases) for replaying music in venues like night clubs, it seems the GEMA is now overdoing its monopoly position and actually hurting the music writers/ creators more than helping them. For instance, young artist don't have a chance to show their music off to the German audience on Youtube, since the conflict between the GEMA and Youtube about how much Youtube should pay hasn't been settled. This is killing a good platform for gaining inexpsensive publicity. I am not sure the conflict is still ongoing, but to even ask for 12 cents per viewed video seems a mighty high fee and mighty wrong, even for Google. Also, if club owners can't financially make the new payment fees and have to close down, a lot of music stops getting played as entertainment = less recognition for the artists and a lot less fun for club goers who enjoy the music.

    The GEMA has now set up fee rates based on the size of the club and the price for entrance and there is no differentiation between a full house and an empty one. An example of what this change means.

    "An average club with 10 open nights with 2 dance floors with a total room space of 410 and 310 square meters with an entrance price of 8 Euros goes from 21,553 Euros per year to 147,916 Euros per year net. (a price increase of +686%)"

    This has started a wave of outcry among the club owners and club goers in Germany and even an online petition has been started to protest against the new fee schedule and the increases. Over 200,000 people have signed the petition to date.

    As I see it, last year the GEMA distributed just over 700 million Euros to its around 64k members. I am not really sure how the money is distributed, but still, that is theoretically about 11k Euros for each member each year. Is that really not enough? Is an increase of up to 7 fold really necessary? I don't think so and I think the GEMA is now hurting musical artists more than helping them.

    What do you think?

    scamo

    Articles of reference (some in German)

    https://www.gema.de/fileadmin/user_u...richt_2011.pdf
    http://www.rollingstone.de/news/meld...in-berlin.html
    http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-...eos-in-germany
    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/indus...05250002.story
    http://www.dehoga-bundesverband.de/p...dehoganews_pi1[nid]=763
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  2. #2
    Tech Wizard DJ Asdrn's Avatar
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    As of a couple of days ago I noticed that Pandora is no longer available here - I'm willing to bet that has something to do with GEMA. I can't count the number of songs I've purchased after hearing them on that site.

    This doesn't seem a whole lot different from the type of thinking displayed by the RIAA and MPAA though, just maybe different details.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru basspenetrator's Avatar
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    thanks for posting this here.. i totally forgot to spread the word on the forums.. if this changes come true this will be a disaster for germanys nightclub scene..

    here is a infographic (in german)



    translation help:
    qm = square meters
    eintritt = entrance fee
    Euro/Jahr = € per year
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
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    Wow 40000 euro's for a 101 square metre dancefloor?

    Although if it opens twice a week and a bit more xmas / new year it only works out at about 330 euros a night - which sounds reasonable, until you realise that it will probably come out of the DJ's wage...

    What if there is no entrance fee? e.g. bars etc..

    If I owned a club I'd consider cheap entrance fees, but I'm sure it's not that simple..
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    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Über Tech Guru Ed Paris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicky H View Post
    What if there is no entrance fee? e.g. bars etc..
    it doesn´t really matter if it´s free entry or not. the club/bar would have to play only music that isn´t under the gema license. there´s no way for most of the club here in germany to compensate this.
    either those fucked up gema-bastarts make up their mind and rethink their concepts or there will be blood on the streets!

    no one´s gonna take my right to party!!!
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Paris View Post
    it doesn´t really matter if it´s free entry or not. the club/bar would have to play only music that isn´t under the gema license. there´s no way for most of the club here in germany to compensate this.
    either those fucked up gema-bastarts make up their mind and rethink their concepts or there will be blood on the streets!

    no one´s gonna take my right to party!!!
    Yeah I see what you mean but the poster/advert above seems to relate floor size to entrance fee - so what happens if its free?
    I'm guessing there is a minimum charge for free clubs, bars etc... ?
    SC | MC

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor Lilac's Avatar
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    This is an absolute joke. Censorship and ownership are taken to a whole new level these days.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru MyUsername's Avatar
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    In belgium some reporters showcased some outrageous conduct by the Belgian version of this type of organisation. They are called SABAM here.

    They made up some artists and songs, just out of thin air and then they told SABAM that they organized a concert and those imaginairy artists were booked. The thing is there were no songs, no protected intellectual property at all BUT they still got a bill for a couple hundred euros. There was no actual concert, no actual music, yet still a bill.

    They payed the bill anyways and went to collect some money in name of the artists that they made up, but then they were told that they were not covered by SABAM and the artists couldn't collect fees.

    So they charge for not covered artists but they don't pay the artists they collect for.

    Pretty outrageous.

    They also did some other stuff just to fuck with them, like organize a party with lights and everything but they did no promotion and they themselves also didn't show up, so that you have a party with litterally 0 people. Since no one is hearing the music they can't collect money.

    Or organize parties with a footprint smaller then 1 square meter, because if you read their policy to the letter they can't collect for that either.


    Anyways after their report made it to national television their conduct was altered any are now a lot looser, they 're still bastards, but looser bastards.


    And hey, there 's one shimering piece of hope: ACTA was rejected by the EU recently.

    EDIT: I wrote this in sleep deprived state, did it make any sense at all ? Much love

  10. #10
    Tech Guru basspenetrator's Avatar
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    the ACTA voting is today.. but will probably fail.

    time to become a CC and netlabel DJ so you will be booked all the time
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