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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, creative commons, germany
Companies: gema

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Masquisieras, 15 Nov 2011 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: law in Germany

    Spain have something similar but here you only have to prove that the assumption is false so you only need to probe that you are able to get and are using no collection agency music then is the collection agency which must prove the specific cases of infringement.

    How is different in Germany?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.