The GEMA - a German collecting society

GEMA Society

German Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights.

What conditions must be met by a piece of music to achieve the status “royalty free according to Gema”?

Under which conditions music rights are managed by the GEMA?

Music rights are not managed by the GEMA, if the exploitation of the music rights by the music-makers was not given into the care of the GEMA as a rights exploitation society.

GEMA (Society for Musical Performance and Mechanical Reproduction Rights) takes care of rights management for musicians. The prerequisite is that the GEMA has been authorized for this by the music-makers. The music-maker has to become a GEMA member.

In principle royalty free is music, the author of which died at least 70 years ago. A GEMA exploitation right therefore only exists if the author of the music

  1. is a member of GEMA and therefore its exploitation rights are managed by GEMA; and
  2. the origin of the music was not more than 70 years ago.

What about the quality of royalty free music?

A non-membership at GEMA does not say anything about the professionalism or the talent of a music-maker. It merely states that the music-maker wants to determine the exploitation of his music himself.

The online marketing possibilities associated with the worldwide spread of the Internet have led to the fact that more and more talented professional artists are opting against a membership in a collecting society.

Current possibilities of self-marketing via online channels often offer the artists more influence and often also significantly better exploitation conditions. Since self-marketing does not have to co-finance any administrative apparatus of a rights-exploitation society.

The prejudice that royalty free music has some kind of a quality deficit is unfounded. The days of bland elevator music are long gone. You can benefit now from the same emotive effect music has by using royalty free music streams of MUSIC2BIZ.

The royalty free music repertoire of MUSIC2BIZ is distinguished by its high professional quality standard. All music pieces are hand-picked by professional music editors. The repertoire is continually expanded and updated.

What is the function of GEMA?

Under Article 22 of the German Civil Code (BGB), GEMA is granted the status of a registered association by charter (the charter was granted by the Prussian State Ministry on 28th September 1933 to STAGMA, whose name was changed to GEMA by resolution of the supervisory council).

GEMA monitors the commercial use of music in all German media. These include television, radio, the Internet, but also the use of music in areas of the public, for example in hotels, restaurants, restaurants, shopping areas or fitness centers.

GEMA’s declared objective is to protect the intellectual property of music producers and to ensure an adequate remuneration for the use of music.

For this purpose, GEMA needs the consent of the rights holders. GEMA can therefore only manage the rights of its members (composers, lyricists, music publishers).

As an association, GEMA acts only on behalf of its members and only for their music. It has no general right of exploitation for all commercially used pieces of music.

How is GEMA performing its duties?

Works by music-makers are copyrighted in Germany and many countries of the world per se. Only the music-maker himself is entitled to allow the commercial use of his works. This permission is usually granted in the form of a license.

The practice of monitoring the media and public areas with regard to the use of protected music is not uncomplicated and can hardly be realized by individual musicians.

GEMA therefore takes this responsibility for its members and at the same time acts as its “debt collection” department.

Among other things, GEMA carries out inspections in restaurants, hotels, trade fairs and shopping centers. It is checked whether the operators of the restaurant, the hotel, etc. can proof that he has a written permission from the artist or the GEMA for the public performance of the respective work for commercial purposes.

Anyone who wishes to use music from GEMA members must obtain a license for public music performance from GEMA. The revenue from these license sales is distributed by GEMA to its members, in accordance with a sophisticated procedure, minus the costs of monitoring services and their internal administrative apparatus.

Advantages of subscribing royalty free music from MUSIC2BIZ

The costs for the use of the repertoire of MUSIC2BIZ are significantly lower in comparison to the use of the GEMA-compliant repertoire since the GEMA institution does not have to be co-financed.

MUSIC2BIZ shares the revenues with the music producers based on a transparent fee model. The amount of the revenue share depends on the frequency of the respective piece of music.

Subscribing to the MUSIC2BIZ music streams is quick and easy. It´s done via an online order on the MUSIC2BIZ website. All subscriptions and all used music channels can be managed online by the customer himself.

All royalty free tariffs can be tested without risk for 30 days free of charge.

During the test period, customers have unrestricted access to all available music programs. Registering with MUSIC2BIZ is quick and easy and is the best way to convince yourself of the quality of the MUSIC2BIZ repertoire for free. Please use our registration form.

Use royalty free music

MUSIC2BIZ has a confirmation in writing from all the musicians with music in our music database.

In this GEMA exemption declaration, the composer of the musical instrument is named and it is confirmed in writing that the music title is not GEMA-liable.

A confirmation of the GEMA exemption is made available by MUSIC2BIZ to all customers as proof in case of controls by the GEMA staff.

This confirmation is important because GEMA basically assumes that every music producer has signed a contract with GEMA. As long as a user can not prove otherwise, GEMA assumes that the user has to pay GEMA fees.

Die MUSIC2BIZ Bestätigung der GEMA-Befreiung dient bei Vorort-Kontrollen durch die GEMA als Beurkundung, dass der eingesetzte Musikkanal gemafrei ist und der Nutzer daher keine GEMA-Gebühren zahlen muss.

The MUSIC2BIZ acknowledgment of the GEMA exemption serves in the case of on-the-spot checks by the GEMA as an authentication that the used music channel is not GEMA-liable and the user therefore does not have to pay GEMA fees.

Links to further information sources:

VPRT (Verband Privater Rundfunk und Telemedien e.V.)
The association is committed to optimizing the economic, regulatory and technical framework conditions for private media companies in Germany and adapting them to the dynamic development of the market.

The Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) represents the interests of around 250 record producers and music companies representing more than 80 percent of the German music market.

IFPI – Performance Rights
The performance rights sector illustrates how music plays a vital part in driving a much broader range of economic activity.

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