German pop-rock band Tokio Hotel's songwriters David Jost, Dave Roth and Pat Benzner received a German Music Authors' Award from collection society GEMA in front of 250 guests in Berlin.

The German Music Authors' Awards jury honored the songwriting trio last night (April 22) in the rock/pop category for the worldwide success of Tokio Hotel.

Hamburg-based author and producer Alex Christensen was awarded composer of the year - dance, for the dance act U96 and productions with Paul Anka and Tom Jones.

Hip hop artist and author Jan Delay got the award for lyrics rock/pop, while trombone player Nils Wogram won in the composer jazz. German language group Silbermond got the award for hit of the year and Hans-Joachim Horn-Bernges was named the most successful lyricist for the schlager genre.

Carola Bauckholt won for the experimental music category, Rebebba Saunders received the award for instrumental composition, and the young talent prize went to Johannes Kreidler.

As previously reported, lyricist Michael Kunze got the lifetime achievement award in recognition of his translations of musicals like "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera."

"GEMA must repeatedly monitor and, if necessary, improve the transparency and efficiency of its activities," said Bernd Neumann, the German minister of culture, speaking at the ceremony.

"However, it is frequently unfairly perceived as being solely an authority on questions pertaining to copyright utilization rates, collection and distribution. Yet, today more than ever before, it is playing a crucial cultural role as an authors' society for works of music as it must be possible for livelihoods to be earned from intellectual activity even in this digitalized day and age."

Neumann stressed the importance of a European-wide legislative framework for collection societies in the interests of copyright protection.

"The German federal government is actively committed to the protection of intellectual property rights," he added. "Given the digital revolution, we need a solid European legal basis for collection societies in the music sector now more than ever. This is why I will be actively seeking comparable conditions both nationally and internationally in the interests of fair competition, and I am opposed to the notion of authors' societies acting solely as collection agencies."

For Jörg Evers, chairman of the GEMA supervisory board, the German Music Authors' Awards is important recognition for songwriters and composers.

"With this award the quality of the authors' works is honored," he said. "The motto 'authors are honoring authors' is a very good aspect for this prize. It shows the solidarity, respect and the sign of a living music community in Germany."

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