• Germany's news in English
 

Royalties agency GEMA kills off senior tea dance

Published: 21 Feb 2013 14:30 GMT+01:00

The Hotel Sportforum in Kaarst-Büttgen, near Düsseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, used to host the afternoon tea dance to which up to 35 pensioners would come to dance to live swing music, played on a piano.

With free entry as long as each dancer spent at least €4.50 on drinks or buns, the afternoon had, according to regional newspaper the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung become popular among seniors in the area.

But last July the party was cancelled after GEMA, the German association responsible for collecting royalties, said that the hotel was not paying enough. A representative spotted a poster advertising the free event and smelt a rat.

It demanded Hotel Sportforum pay €150 a month – three times more than what it was currently paying. For a small hotel, this was too much.

GEMA said an institution had to pay music fees no matter whether they were using it for a good cause - just like electricity bills.

Elderly people “should dance, preferably every day but the owners of the music also have a right to get paid,” Gabi Schilcher from the company told the newspaper.

Hotel owner Susan Losseff expressed her disappointment in GEMA and said that “the tea dance was a meeting point for elderly people and it was really only about meeting up and having a chat.”

Many of the guests lived alone and Losseff said she and the pensioners were determined to figure out a way to get the afternoon swinging again.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:01 February 21, 2013 by Wrench
F"cking Gema strikes again! What a bunch of useless asses.
15:13 February 21, 2013 by raandy
This organization is out of control. The people who "smelt the rat" are a good example of the moron mentality they exhibit.
15:16 February 21, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
Gema-Attacking,pensioners,kindergartens and anyone having fun near you.This organisation is really a menace and has got out of control.
15:58 February 21, 2013 by catjones
Maybe if everyone would just hum the same song, then everyone could dance to the same beat.

gema found the perfect home in the stasi-type mentality of germany. Funny, you don't hear about this problem in other countries.
16:26 February 21, 2013 by Englishted
What if the music they are dancing to is by artist who are dead there is a chance ,who do these idiots give the money they extort too? and what percent do they take for this public service?

I hate GEMA does have a Facebook page join I have.
17:34 February 21, 2013 by BobbyBaxter
It didn't know it was possible for me to HATE an organisation as much as I do GEMA. For me they respresent everything bad about the authorities Germany.
19:09 February 21, 2013 by frankiep
In other countries they have a name for a despicable organization like this: the mafia
19:29 February 21, 2013 by The-ex-pat
All they have to do is ensure the composer has been dead for 70 years and GEMA can go forth and multiply as the copyright will have expired.....Life of the artist plus 70 years.
20:38 February 21, 2013 by MaKo
You know, they remind me just ever so slightly of another despised organization: the Taliban.
21:06 February 21, 2013 by lucksi
Chances of me being affected by the Taliban: One in several million

Me being affected by GEMA: Daily

I know who is higher on my hate scale...
22:00 February 21, 2013 by AuslIndien
Really pissed off with GEMA. I agree the artists should get their fair share, but this was crossing the lines. As people here already mentioned, what about the artists who have already passed away? Does GEMA ensure that money reaches their kin?
22:56 February 21, 2013 by wood artist
I don't claim to be good at composing swing, but if some others want to try...and I'd certainly join in...we could give them some tunes, admittedly not the ones they're used to hearing, and literally just "give them" the tunes. A lot of us are more then willing to tell GEMA to shove it.

For those who might have followed my personal story with them, no, they still won't tell me who's claiming copyright on my stuff on Youtube.

wa
23:32 February 21, 2013 by wethepeople2012
I wonder if the hacker group "anonymous" can help GEMA's website.
00:06 February 22, 2013 by belladons
This is another lobbying agency, connected to politicians, to get rich. What a waste of time and effort, but boy do they attack your pocket book. No wonder the world is screwed up.
01:31 February 22, 2013 by marimay
If only there were as much outrage about those who steal music through illegal downloads.
01:32 February 22, 2013 by wood artist
Considering that most of the great composers during the swing era are likely dead, I wonder where GEMA is sending their royalties. Maybe they just go to "administrative costs."

wa
09:12 February 22, 2013 by Firmino
Do GEMA even give any money to artists?
10:06 February 22, 2013 by charlenej
Why is it as soon as I cross the border I have access to all kinds of music LEGALLY and only here is it a problem? These artists who come from all over the world outside of Germany posted their video themselves (or their label did) on YouTube but Germany is protecting them from themselves??? I don't understand.

I hate GEMA. Lord knows, if anyone ever wanted to organize a protest, I would be there selling T-shirts. We should seriously do something.
11:50 February 22, 2013 by LarryLaffer
GEMA, every day GEMA: http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab228/L_Laffer/Region_zpsb2d79ce9.png
22:47 February 22, 2013 by Knservis
I just wanted to respond to people wringing that this only happens in Germany. Wrong! Intellectual property mafias have a complete disregard for proportion and human rights such as privacy over commercial interests, in every country the operate. Eg. Us: DMCA, France: three strikes, Australia: read about the men at work case, internationally: region codes and geographic prohibition of services. We have allowed the content industry to do that.
17:21 February 23, 2013 by Harlan
In the USA you can have three seperate groups demanding music fees.
18:28 February 23, 2013 by MrMiyagi10301
I can't imagine ANY artist wanting this all-pervasive agency ensuring their own creations are *blocked* from being seen (???) - for example on any music artist's official youtube page, which I can see anywhere else, but is blocked here? How is that protecting the artist? And they're blocked for popular music but not for select other genres? Laughable. Although the recording industry has not gone this far in the US, there have been similar stories (suing single mothers for tens of thousands of dollars for what their *kids* downloaded - kids - to be held up as a public "example"). This sort of "powertrip" has been a direct cause of continued decreased record sales. No, record industry, it's not because everyone's still downloading music, it's because everyone *despises* you to the very core of their being. GEMA sounds positively Machiavellian.
13:29 February 27, 2013 by Brummie in the Sauerland
.....................Gemastapo
16:01 February 28, 2013 by princigalli
F*****g psychopaths at GEMA, but I ask myself why Germans tolerate this.
Today's headlines
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,216
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd