GEMA, Once Again, Demands Royalties From Creative Commons Music It Has No Rights Over
from the entitlement-society dept
For years, we’ve covered how GEMA, the German music collection society, has a habit of demanding royalties for Creative Commons music it has no rights over. We’ve heard of it happening multiple times, and now it’s happened again, and the details are even more ridiculous than usual. In this case, a music festival/dance party in Leipzig planned to use only Creative Commons music. Not only that, but the organizers appeared to go above and beyond to make sure this was done properly, not just making it clear to the DJs, the public and all attendees, that only CC music would be used, but they also let GEMA know. In response, GEMA demanded the full list of all artists whose music would be played, including their “full names, place of residency and date of birth.”
After all that, GEMA still sent an invoice for 200 euros, claiming that they weren’t positive everyone on the list wasn’t covered by GEMA, and because there were a few pseudonyms, those musicians might be covered by GEMA… and thus the organizers should pay up. And, under the rather ridiculous current law in Germany, the organizers have the burden to “prove” that all of the artists are not covered by GEMA, rather than having GEMA prove that any particular artist is covered. That means, even if the organizers were correct and none of the artists are covered by GEMA, it still doesn’t matter, because the organizers have to go out and prove that each individual artist is not under GEMA’s umbrella. And people wonder why the Pirate Party is getting so much attention in Germany.