GEMA Goes Out On A Limb

German collection society GEMA appears to be going even further out on a limb over its ongoing royalties dispute with Google.

Google has reached agreement with 20 collection societies from 33 countries to allow access to its subsidiary video site YouTube, but GEMA is apparently hanging out for more money.

The haggling’s been going on for two years and now several top execs in the country’s major music companies are getting fired up over the revenues being lost in the meantime.

Sony Music Entertainment chief Edgar Berger said the German market welcomes streaming services like Vevo and Spotify, while GEMA’s blocking of such sites is costing the artists and music companies “millions.”

While GEMA’s getting it in the neck from the music companies over its attitude to new revenues, it’s still showing every intention of digging its heels in.

It’ll continue trying to impose what many see as unreasonable royalty rates, or simply keep the new technologies out of Germany.
GEMA and Google are expected to take the issue to a California court by the end of the year.