SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — German collections society GEMA and video streaming service YouTube have finally struck a licensing deal that includes coverage of the contractual gap since 2009.
The agreement will pave the way for the more than 70,000 music authors and publishers represented by GEMA to receive remuneration for use of their copyrighted works in YouTube videos. The deal also ends the use of so-called blocked content notices that YouTube users saw when trying to view material covered by a GEMA repertoire protected by copyright.
On top of the traditional ad-based service, the agreement also covers the new subscription service that YouTube is already offering in the USA and which it is planning to launch in Europe.
"After seven years of tough negotiations, the conclusion of this contract with YouTube marks a milestone for GEMA and its members. We remained true to our position that authors should also get a fair remuneration in the digital age, despite the resistance we met. It is crucial that the licensing agreement that we have now signed covers both the future and the past. By reaching this agreement, we can secure the royalties for our members," GEMA CEO Harald Heker said while announcing the agreement.
Despite the deal, some division remains between GEMA and YouTube over the complex issue of whether YouTube or the uploaders are responsible for the licensing of the used musical works and the current implementation of the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act safe harbor provisions.
"Despite the conclusion of this agreement, the challenge remains for the politicians to create a clear legal framework. The economic value of cultural and creative works must also be passed on to the creators of the works. A modern copyright needs to be created which enables music creators to claim their financial share in the digital value chain," Haker said. – Staff Writers