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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Companies: c3s, gema

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Comments on “Fed Up Germans Are Trying To Crowdfund A GEMA Alternative That Isn't Evil”

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out_of_the_blue says:

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”?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Guardian says:

and y aknow wtf is GEMA

ya might want to explain what is GEMA fro those that dont know…
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 ….

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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)

PlayNicely says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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