GEMA asks senior singing circle to the cash

The GEMA tariff structure repeatedly causes problems throughout the country. Now, however, senior citizens – some of whom are demented – are also supposed to pay discounts for their musical coffee party.

In a cultural café that is actually only open for a few hours on Sundays, the very old ladies and gentlemen meet and sing a few folk songs. What they did not expect is that GEMA now systematically evaluates newspaper reports and asks the participants of such events to pay.

“We protect the intellectual property of the music creators. When music is made, you have to give the authors the benefit of a small amount of money”, GEMA spokeswoman Gabi Schilcher explained to the SHZ.

Recently, in a similar case, GEMA had asked the organizers of the Neumünster city festival “Badaboom” to pay almost 7500 Euros in arrears. -because street musicians had performed voluntarily and made music for the visitors. Since the festival pursued exclusively non-commercial purposes and no reserves were formed in advance, the city had to step in and pay the claim with the help of donations.

However, the fact that the Senioren-Singkreis in the small cultural café in Fahrdorf cannot afford this tax due to lack of income and low pensions is of no interest. Therefore probably on 13 May the last meeting will take place. “Then we will probably sing the last verse together, say around the 80-year old “organizer”, that will so sadly for the ladies and for us a large load.

We read § 52 UrhG: Public reproduction

(1) (…) The obligation to pay remuneration does not apply to events of youth welfare, social assistance, care for the elderly and welfare work, care of prisoners as well as school events, provided that they are only accessible to a certain limited circle of persons according to their social or educational purpose. This does not apply if the event serves the profit purpose of a third party; in this case the third party must pay the remuneration.

… and ask us further: I wonder if all this is covered by the interest of the authors!

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Presumably as a result of massive media protests, GEMA admitted to heise online that they wanted to cancel the invoice. It had been a mistake, which was largely due to the lack of cooperation of one of the senior citizens.

However, there was a so-called “GEMA presumption”. According to this, she could first of all assume that the repertoire she represents is affected when music is played or performed in public. -So if one of the demented ladies does not respond to the letters from GEMA, it can therefore also quickly lead to an invoice being issued.
-An extremely questionable concept.