GEMA Under Fire For Royalties Dispute With YouTube
GEMA Under Fire For Royalties Dispute With YouTube

MUNICH - German collection society GEMA has adjusted tariffs for outdoor music concerts starting in 2013. Smaller events will benefit from the adjustment while larger events will have to pay more.

GEMA introduced its new tariff structure at a press conference in Munich on Monday. The new structure applies to events with live-music or music from records and tapes.

GEMA's 2011 Earnings Drop

"This new tariff structure will have distinct benefits for smaller size events and lower entrance fees, " said Georg Oeller, member of GERMA's board. Oeller pointed out that each year GEMA licenses about one million events with music of this kind and that therefore it is necessary to have a fair, clear and transparent tariff structures. Oeller said that, "from 2013 there will only be two rates instead of eleven. The calculation of the GEMA fees in the future will be based on the size of the event - over the used area - and the amount of the entrance fees."

The GEMA fees for a dance-event with live music in a restaurant with a 300 square-meter dance floor and a ticket price of 3 euro were, for example € 192 in 201, which will be lowered to € 90 in 2013. In contrast, the fees for a gala event with live music in of 1,500 square-meter dance floor and an entrance fee of €60 were €1.470,70 until 2012 and will rise to € 9.000 in 2013. Oeller said roughly 60% of all venues will benefit from the new tariff structure.

"With arrogance GEMA plays its overpowering position towards the users of music in Germany," Stephan Büttner, Managing Director of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association in Berlin, told Billboard. "Without any willingness to seek compromises or to negotiate, GEMA has presented new tariffs, which means raising feels for live-music and recorded music events that threaten the existence of the organizers." Büttner said that GEMA's fees increased 45% for events up to 200 square-meters and a €15 euro entrance fee, and 81% for up to 600 square-meters and 15 euro fee and 534% up to 2200 square-meters and 40 euro entrance fee.

"In regard to the new tariffs, the only the way to [fight these is in] court. There is no reason for such a new structure since the tariffs have worked for over 50 years in the market,", Büttner said.

In 2011 GEMA had revenues of € 825,5 million for the worldwide right-owners, a drop of 3 percent compared to 2010. In Germany, GEMA represents the copyright of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers). Represents over 1 million copyright owners all over the world, GEMA is one of the world's largest music collection societies.