New german law concerning copyright collection societies

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New german law concerning copyright collection societies

Postby Rarus » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:24 pm


I don' know if it is known here, that in the next days the german parliament will pass a new law concerning copyright collection societies. According to § 11 of the ''Verwertungsgesellschaftengesetz'' the copyright collection societies are obliged to allow their members to license their works without remuneration for non-commercial use. This is a consequence of the EU-rule from april 10, 2014, thus it should take place (or should have taken place) in every EU-state. A little complication (not surprising) derives from the botched text of the law, which is incomprehensible in some parts, and in others part ignores judgements of the European Court of Justice. The law should have been passed until april 10th, 2016, but isn't yet.

During their next general meeting (april 25-27, 2016), the GEMA members will vote about a new rule to put the law to practice. This means that members of GEMA will be allowed to upload performances of their works on IMSLP, provided that they announce it to GEMA in correct manner. Other european copyright collection societies should develop similar rules.

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Re: New german law concerning copyright collection societies

Postby Carolus » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:53 pm

That's actually pretty historic. Looks like the collection agencies are waking up to the fact that scores are now much more widely available in downloadable form than in printed form and that a significant number of their own members have a less narrowly-defined notion of a non-commercial use than they've been using. In the USA, ASCAP and BMI severely restrict non-commercial use to 3 narrow categories:

1. Benefit performances in which all proceeds go to a recognized charity (like Hospital, a Musician's Union Medical Trust, etc.) in which no person is paid for their services; and

2. Performances given in the course of religious services as part of the service.

3. Performances given by the military ensembles of the Federal government (the service bands and associated ensembles)

Everything else is subject to collection, though they do a very poor job in collection of concert music performances. Instead of actual tabulation of performances, a random sample is taken and allocations are weighted and awarded accordingly.

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