english francais deutsch

IRIS 2017-1:1/10


Licensing agreement signed by GEMA and YouTube

print add to caddie Word File PDF File

Martina Viviane Totz

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

According to media reports, following years of legal discussions and negotiations, the German collecting society for music rights, GEMA, and the company Google reached an agreement on 1 November 2016 on remuneration for music content on the Google-owned YouTube video portal.

GEMA represents approximately 70,000 musicians and publishers, assisting them with the commercial exploitation of their works. It negotiates tariffs for the different types of use of music, issues licences, verifies the analogue and digital use of works and collects licence revenue on its members’ behalf.

Founded in 2005, the YouTube video portal has been a subsidiary of Google Inc. since 2006. YouTube makes video clips available to its users free of charge for them to watch, rate and comment on, as well as enabling them to upload videos themselves.

Under the new agreement, GEMA members will receive a fee for the use of copyright-protected works via the online platform. The agreement applies not only to future use, but also retrospectively as far back as 2009, when the previous agreement between Google and GEMA ended. After that agreement expired, all videos containing copyright-protected material that should have been licensed via GEMA were blocked on the online portal.

Google is now thought to be prepared to pay a currently unknown fee to GEMA for each video view. YouTube will inform GEMA about the number of times each video is viewed and make the corresponding payments. The agreement will cover not only YouTube’s traditional advertising-funded service but also its new subscription service, which is already available in the USA and should soon be launched in Europe.

Pressemitteilung der GEMA vom 1. November 2016 DE
  GEMA press release, 1 November 2016