At an extraordinary meeting of GEMA members in Berlin, the German collecting society's members voted in favor of a new version of GEMA's deed of assignment, which its CEO says restores "legal certainty" in relation to synchs and broadcast licensing.

The new deed of assignment makes a clear distinction on how rights are exercised in the advertising sector between authors/publishers for synchs and GEMA for broadcasting licenses.

GEMA's vote formalizes its existing system, after a the Federal Supreme Court ruled last June that the society's deed of assignment did not allow for such a two-step licensing process. The ruling resulted from GEMA's lawsuit against the advertising agency Heye & Partner GmbH in Hamburg, who refused to pay licenses to GEMA and did not accept the two-step model.

Composers, songwriters and music publishers have formally agreed that for the use of musical works for advertising purposes, synch rights will be exercised by rights holders (songwriters, composers and publishers) and GEMA will be responsible for broadcast licensing and collection of broadcast royalties for works by its members used in commercials.

Dr. Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA, said in a statement: "With this clear order from members we have restored legal certainty. Both members and customers of GEMA can be very satisfied."

GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 60,000 members (composers, songwriters and music publishers) in Germany as well as of more than 1 million copyright holders from all over the world.