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GEMA demands YouTube pay €1.6 mln in damages
Photo: DPA

GEMA demands YouTube pay €1.6 mln in damages

Published: 11 Jan 2013 13:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2013 13:01 GMT+01:00

Germany's music royalties authority GEMA has declared that negotiations with YouTube have broken down, and wants to haul the internet video platform before the arbitration board at the German Patent and Trademark Office.

In a statement released late on Thursday, GEMA said that it is appealing to the board over the alleged unlicensed use of 1,000 music tracks in its catalogue, and is calling on the board to decide independently whether its demand for €1.6 million compensation is appropriate.

In addition, GEMA is demanding that YouTube take down the on-screen notice blocking music videos in Germany that blames GEMA for the impasse. In November last year, GEMA head Harald Heker accused YouTube of deliberately misleading German users with the notice.

"The notice about GEMA is being posted wilfully, purely to stir opinion," he told WirtschaftsWoche magazine at the time. "YouTube is trying to awaken the false impression that the failure to license is GEMA's responsibility. That is simply wrong."

The last agreement between GEMA and YouTube ran out in March 2009, since when most music videos on the site have been blocked in Germany. "Up till January 2013, despite efforts on both sides, no agreement could be found on the question of the service's copyright responsibility for the content put online, nor on the amount of remuneration," GEMA's statement said. "Therefore GEMA is now taking the first measures to secure appropriate compensation for the copyright holders."

A Hamburg court is already arbitrating another row between GEMA and YouTube over how the platform should be defined. GEMA claims that YouTube is a content provider whose business model is built on content that is subject to royalties. YouTube, on the other hand, says it is a hosting service which simply makes space available to its users.

The distinction is legally important as a content provider is responsible for making sure that the content on its site does not break any laws.

For its part, YouTube owners Google had already declared at the end of last year that the talks had broken.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:46 January 11, 2013 by nonicknameleft
Seriously? First world problems. GEMA is so money hungry they tried to fine someone I know 3,000 euros for downloading a Coldplay album. They couldn't even prove she did it. Money hungry institution. Please donate the 1.6millions euros to people who really need it, Youtube!
13:47 January 11, 2013 by pigsnuck
I've said it before, but I'll say it again - F**K YOU GEMA!!!
13:49 January 11, 2013 by keeps71
GEMA may believe it is protecting the interests of its members - but they are trying to apply 20th Century copyright principles to a 21st Century media model. Take David Bowie's new song and video - posted by David Bowie (his media team?) but blocked by GEMA in Germany. Surely GEMA cannot be representing the best interests of the artist here? Time for a rethink, GEMA. Time to embrace the new technology.

BTW the GEMA block is easy to get around if you want to...
13:49 January 11, 2013 by raandy
They should categorize this organization as a Terrorist group.
13:54 January 11, 2013 by mits
quote,"The last agreement between GEMA and YouTube ran out in March 2009, since when most music videos on the site have been blocked in Germany. "Up till January 2013, despite efforts on both sides, no agreement could be found on the question of the service's copyright responsibility for the content put online, nor on the amount of remuneration," unquote. Brilliant English from the reporter ! Kudos !
14:21 January 11, 2013 by whiteriver
I couldn't watch Gangnam Style on youtube. Germany didn't participate to get the video to the billion views mark.

@keeps71, how do you get around the block?
14:46 January 11, 2013 by raandy
whiteriver I get around this by using a VPN called HMA Hide My As^ the pro version is a must cost was around 75 $/yr,

you can get Netflex ect.

I was using DT as a provider but found they were slow, switched to Cabel Deutschland and it rocks,,
15:33 January 11, 2013 by steel jaws
GEMA is nothing more than an authorised Music Mafia. In a free country such monopolies should be banned.
15:38 January 11, 2013 by lucksi
It's sad that when you think about the older times when youtube stripped the music from videos due to copyright issues and that were the good times as opposed to now.

Sooo many videos blocked which are about something else entirely but the have music on them, so you don't see anything. Back then, I could at least watch what the video was about.
15:49 January 11, 2013 by aruntutu
They even blocked a video from an Indian radio station on Youtube since they used a tune from a popular song... I bet not a dime of the money they extort from the people even sees the light of day in the hands of the copyright holders!

Rightly said, GEMA is a money hungry, greedy bunch of !@#$%^ who like many other groups in Germany are trying to suck the German residents of their right to do anything!!! Democracy? Yea right...
15:58 January 11, 2013 by ELDUDERINO
Proxy proxy proxy proxy proxy proxy proxy.

I sent GEMA an email the other day letting them know exactly what I think of their extortion / protection racket,.

Via the medium of colourful language I also informed them that EVERY time I see a GEMA blocked song, I download it and send it to as many torrent sites as I can.

Parasites.
17:41 January 11, 2013 by whiteriver
@raandy, thanks!
17:53 January 11, 2013 by Dalmation
It is beyond belief how a dinosaur like GEMA can still operate. Between them and the new mandatory TV licence one can only consider Germany to be run by mafia stasi like organisations just like the old days of the cold war. These organisations are simply placing themselves in the way of a free and competitive market place and dipping their hands in everyones pockets. There is a useful add on for firefox at https://proxtube.com/ which gets around these gangsters. They can chase after me for posting it if they like. I am in Russia now and they can swing from the TV tower if they think they can get my data.
20:17 January 11, 2013 by Englishted
The Local ,

This may not be the same subject but on the same theme,you ran a article called

"Parents not liable if kids download illegally"

Published: 16 Nov 12 .

Could you please look into this again as I believe many courts are not following what you reported this is a important issue and you could clear it up for me.

GEMA are just contemptible blocking things they have no right to touch ,I am waiting for W.A. to make his comment and I know I'll agree and support him.
23:24 January 11, 2013 by wood artist
GEMA needs to get their own house in order first. They banned a piece I posted, citing supposed copyright issues. I wrote the libretto, composed the music, and created the whole thing on my computer using Sibelius...and they KNOW that, but they still took it down. Months of emails have accomplished nothing. They refuse to reveal who else is claiming a copyright on my work, although they have (sort of) acknowledged that I hold all the possible copyrights. Go figure!

wa
01:10 January 12, 2013 by faceache
As Henry Hill said in Goodfellas:

F*ck you, pay me.

And why not?
04:32 January 12, 2013 by mitanni
I'm not sure what people mean by "dinosaur" or "not protecting the interests of its members". As far as I can tell, GEMA, VG-WORT, and GEZ are stronger and more profitable than ever, and the people they represent are less productive than ever. And newspapers want to get in on the action as well with the proposed "Leistungsschutzrecht".

Incidentally, almost all the money these organizations collect is effectively for foreign content.
05:00 January 12, 2013 by dmmde
@ whiteriver

You could also use Ultrasurf, it is free and just for youtube and Hulu, it does the job. I wouldn´t use it on anything that you have to give a password to as they probably sniff packets but, just to watch videos it is ok. (also, if you get a warning on Hulu that you are hidden, just click on a different server to bypass it). As i said, no passwords.
05:52 January 12, 2013 by wood artist
@Englishted

I hadn't even seen your comment when I posted mine, but thanks for the support nonetheless. Good timing I guess. Have a guten Tag.

wa
10:45 January 12, 2013 by blackboot11
GEMA, like so many other outdated German companies, still trying to do business like they did in the last century... they are probably still trying to figure out how to FAX a music video.

That is probably why ' this video contenet is not currently available in your country'....LOL !!!!!!!
12:36 January 12, 2013 by Raydoggy
Artists should get together and sue GEMA for ruining their careers by blocking the main way they could be seen by newcomers. In fact, the artists should be paying YouTube for advertising their wares. GEMA is a serious scam and the only people making serious money are GEMA and the record companies because they get a bit of all the artists fees, whereas each artist only gets a few measly Euro. I can think of at leat 10 artists I probably would have bought music by, if I had access to sample their songs, because I've been refused entry to probably 100 artists so far.

WAKE UP artists, GEMA is killing your career.
21:32 January 12, 2013 by MaKo
The German people should collectively sue GEMA for broadly denying them access to culture readily available in other EU countries. Then they should sue for damages inflicted by every Bryan Adams or Phil Collins song they had to listen to during GEMA's dark reign.
13:06 January 21, 2013 by pingbong
Obviously GEMA is Music Mafia. But you can easily f**k them,

by switching your IP location with VPN (i.e. UK, US, NL etc).

I can suggest HMA (~$8-11 per month) or seed4.me (~$3 per month + free week).

@whiteriver don't be fooled by free 'unblock' addons and software,

thease are most likely adware or spyware.
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