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A court in Germany has ruled that authors' society GEMA does not have the legal right to distribute royalty collections to publishers.


  • It’s not often the words “shocked” and “appalled” are used in relation to court rulings concerning the business of royalty collections. But a court in Germany has ruled that the assumed norm in German royalty distributions is in breach of German law, and music publishers’ associations have reacted with both shock and appall.
  • German music publishers’ association Deutscher Musikverleger-Verband commented after the ruling that it was appealing to the Bundestag to regulate the problem through some form of legal change.

Features and Benefits

  • Details why a court in Berlin has ruled that GEMA should not distribute collections revenue to publishers.
  • Details previous case law that influenced the Berlin court's decision.

Key questions answered

  • Why should GEMA be disabled from distributing revenue for publishers' rights?
  • What cases affected the Berlin court's decision to rule against GEMA?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • German court denies music publishers’ distributions from GEMA
  • Why the Higher Regional Court made the ruling
  • Guidance from the European Court of Justice


  • Author

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