• Germany's news in English

GEMA demands YouTube pay €1.6 mln in damages

The Local · 11 Jan 2013, 13:01

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

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)

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.

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!

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

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.

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.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
EU refugee rules are 'obsolete': Merkel
Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande before their joint speeches to MEPs in Strasbourg. Photo: DPA

EU refugee rules are 'obsolete': Merkel

7 minutes ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the European Union's asylum rules were "obsolete" as they put the burden on EU states where migrants first arrive to process claims for refugee status.

Forestry boss' mishap sparks forest fire
Helmut Brunner. Photo: DPA

Forestry boss' mishap sparks forest fire

2 hours ago

Bavarian Forestry Minister Helmut Brunner accidentally started a forest fire over the weekend, after dumping ashes in a thicket near his house.

Nine tasty German food and drink idioms
"Everything has an end; only sausages have two." Words of wisdom from Germany. Photo: DPA

Nine tasty German food and drink idioms

3 hours ago

Because apparently, even when Germans aren't talking about food... they still like to talk about food.

Germany counts gold to calm conspiracists
Gold bars at the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Germany counts gold to calm conspiracists

5 hours ago

The Bundesbank (Federal Bank) has released a detailed list of all the gold Germany owns, hoping to settle fears it has been exaggerating its wealth.

Could Merkel win the Nobel Peace Prize?
Photo: DPA.

Could Merkel win the Nobel Peace Prize?

7 hours ago

Angela Merkel is emerging as a favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize given her work to open Germany up to nearly one million refugees this year alone, according to some peace activists. But does the German Chancellor have what it takes to make the cut?

Five hurt in brawl at Hamburg refugee centre
A refugee centre in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Five hurt in brawl at Hamburg refugee centre

9 hours ago

Five people were injured in a punch-up between scores of Afghans and Albanians at an asylum seekers' centre in Hamburg on Tuesday, local police told AFP.

VW chief: recall of cars could start by January
Photo: DPA

VW chief: recall of cars could start by January

8 hours ago

The new chief of embattled carmaker Volkswagen said the recall of diesel cars affected by the pollution cheating scandal could start by January and end by the end of 2016.

Football legend Gerd Müller has Alzheimers
Gerd Müller. Photo: DPA

Football legend Gerd Müller has Alzheimers

9 hours ago

Former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the Bundesliga club said on Tuesday.

UK exit from EU would be 'disaster': Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA

UK exit from EU would be 'disaster': Schäuble

9 hours ago

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday that he wanted to do everything possible to keep Britain from leaving the European Union, adding that it would be a disaster for both the British and Europeans.

Activists love-bomb NSA with 'quit spying' drone
The entrance to the Dagger Complex in Darmstadt. Photo: DPA

Activists love-bomb NSA with 'quit spying' drone

1 day ago

An anti-spying organisation used a drone to drop leaflets over an NSA complex in southern Germany last week, hoping to persuade spooks to choose another line of work.

Are the German public too happy to see Hitler?
Government blocks plans for Berlin 'cannabis cafes'
'Der Klassiker': no classic at all for Dortmund
Dortmund fans' bad behaviour in Thessaloniki
UK Ambassador wants more young Brits in Germany
How Snoop Dogg dissed Munich hip hop scene
More wind power generated so far in 2015 than all of 2014
Rent a nuclear bunker near Berlin for just €3,000 a month
German universities leap up world elite rankings
Business & Money
What to do if you own a cheating Volkswagen
Homeland star's fave Berlin spot is Berghain
Why Dresden Buddhists won't be using the swastika symbol
Mystery of 'murdered' student found alive after 31 years
What wearable technology might look like in the future
Why vegetarian food is more German than a Bratwurst
The very best of traditional German vegetarian food
The secret to more travel for less
The first glimpse of Neptune - from an observatory in Berlin
How VW was rebuilt from nothing... by an English army officer
Our favourite songs about Germany by foreigners
Expats' loves and hates about Germany
Court thinks Sphynx cats are too weird to be allowed to breed
Business & Money
What do cars mean to the Germans?
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd