Fed Up Germans Are Trying To Crowdfund A GEMA Alternative That Isn't Evil

from the about-time dept

We've had many stories over the years about just how evil and awful the German music collection society GEMA can be. I've been to Germany a few times over the past few years, and have spoken to musicians who tell me horrifying stories about how you basically have to sign up with GEMA, and then GEMA controls what you can do with your music. For example, I met a band that wanted to license its music under a Creative Commons license, but GEMA doesn't like to recognize such licenses. Another band showed me its "official" website, which it told GEMA about, and then its "real" website, which it told its fans about, where the band could actually put up their own music for free. GEMA is basically controlled by the legacy interests and only pays attention to a small group of very successful musicians. Everyone else is left out in the cold. There's a reason why GEMA is the only major collection society that still hasn't worked out a deal with YouTube.

Last year we wrote about some folks in Germany who were trying to do something about this, starting a competing collection society that understood that "free" wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and which actually respected its members and the new opportunities presented by the internet, beyond looking at them all as a cash register to shake as much money as possible out of. This organization, called C3S or the Cultural Commons Collecting Society is finally getting off the ground, and wouldn't you know it, they're turning to crowdfunding to make it work. Within a very short period of time, they've raised over €34,000 of the €50,000 target -- though they are really aiming for €200,000.

They point out that they're not against traditional licensing at all, but think there's room for a more forward looking organization that recognizes both traditional licensing and more modern options that many musicians want. Furthermore, unlike GEMA, C3S is designed to be open, social and democratic. This should be an interesting project, worth following.


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    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Hmm...

    Hey, Mike, think you could put a comma after GEMA in the title?

    the way it was written, i thought GEMA was trying to make the alternative.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    So far we're ALL confused by Mike's lack a punkshamashun!

    Grammar ain't his long soot.

    Anyhoo, I'm intrigued by what else he left out: Mike, is you saying "a competing collection society" is needed to give away your own music? Or is it actually a "a competing collection society' out to collect rents too? -- And if latter case, then what's the good of a new "collection society"?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

      Re: So far we're ALL confused by Mike's lack a punkshamashun!

      you are the last person who should criticize any one for spelling or grammar.

      You are the biggest hypocritic douchebag.

      You have the cognitive, technical and social skills of a 3 year old.

      Here is a hint for you. In the article, there are these things called links (yes, I know you think that all links should be illegal) that will take you to a previous article (yes, it is magic) where it was all explained.

      You really should put your PC back in the box and take it back to the store as you are too stupid to use a computer.

       

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        Pragmatic, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 3:43am

        Re: Re: So far we're ALL confused by Mike's lack a punkshamashun!

        ^This. So much of this.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re: So far we're ALL confused by Mike's lack a punkshamashun!

        To be fair, out_of_the_ass still has more English skill than darryl does.

        To be fairer... that's really not an achievement.

         

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      techflaws (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:57pm

      Re: So far we're ALL confused by Mike's lack a punkshamashun!

      OOh, the irony.

       

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    Guardian, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    and y aknow wtf is GEMA

    ya might want to explain what is GEMA fro those that dont know...
    haha
    met a nice german lady today rented a bicycle in city i live in canada and got a flat i helped her get some help....

    cell phones with net have a use for translating some stuff
    she said the electric bike i was on lots in germany....
    its nice meeting new people from different places....

    at least i know she will ahve a good opinion of people from canada ....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    I think it was Einstein that said that "Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is crazy".

    Creating a collection mechanisms based on a monopoly will end up always the same no matter what you try or how you try it, it didn't yield a different result in thousands of years what makes people believe it will yield a different result now?

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      I think it was Einstein that said that "Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is crazy"


      Yes, but quantuum physics has since proved him wrong on this.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:00pm

    I, personally, wouldn't get my hopes up. GEMA will not give away its power willingly as it knows that it can't compete with a better alternative.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:30pm

      Re:

      'Better' alternative? This is GEMA we're talking about, they couldn't compete with any competition, so I imagine they are going to go completely insane if this picks up.

       

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        The Real Michael, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 4:19am

        Re: Re:

        Another (rather serious) issue is the fact that GEMA and the German government have rather close ties.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 9:18pm

    Strange, I was always told that those disagreeing with the methods of a Label/Collection Society were just filthy freetards looking to get music for free, and yet here they are willingly contributing to a proposed solution to help the Artists that they're apparently so willing to 'steal' from get a better deal. At least its becoming abundantly clear who doesn't have the Artists best interests at heart (If it somehow wasn't clear enough already)

     

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    Pixelation, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:51pm

    Let's hope they succeed and we can import it here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:48pm

    Er, and what if this happens anyway?

     

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    PlayNicely, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 1:47am

    GEMA-Vermutung (GEMA-assumption)

    I recently read an interview with one of the lawyers who organize the C3S. And he talked about an interesting and very useful side effect: Apparantly the GEMA-assumption (a legal device by which you have to prove you are NOT with GEMA if you want to give music away for free or at least without paying GEMA-fees) completely relies on the fact that GEMA is the ONLY music collection organization in Germany.

    So even if C3S eventually becomes just as evil, as long as it remains a viable alternative to GEMA the GEMA-assumption is dead, which is a huge improvement over the current situation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 3:08am

    the most important thing it needs to bring is freedom of choice to the musicians. those that want to stay with GEMA and carry on getting ripped off can do so. those that want to join GEMA are also free to do so but those that want to NOT join GEMA or the legacy industries should be able to go where they want without the Nazi-like threats!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    GEMA is nazi.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:55am

    And I'm sure GEMA will sue C3S into oblivion

    I'm sure GEMA will find some way to sue C3S into oblivion if they ever try to get off the ground and start signing up musicians. They'll throw tons of bogus lawsuits against them, like anti-trust, etc, and drive C3S into bankruptcy despite winning all the lawsuits.

     

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