“Dieser Video ist in Deutschland leider nicht verfügbar, da es Musik
enthalten könnte, über deren Verwendung wir uns mit der GEMA bisher
nicht einigen könnten”
YouTube user who has spent time living in Germany has probably seen this
message, accompanied by a frowning red face, more times than they can
count. The message bans viewing a video on the popular video platform
due to copyright infringement. YouTube, an American owned video sharing
platform that was bought by Google in 2006, allows individual users and
companies alike to upload visual and audio materials. Videos can then be
found using a search feature or featured as part of the homepage or
theme specific pages. Though the uploader of the video holds copyright,
there remains an “opt out” feature called creative commons which allows
users to share the media without fear of copyright infringement.
GEMA, the German Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical
Reproduction Rights, has had an especially difficult relationship with
YouTube. It is the opinion of GEMA, whose 60,000 members are made up of
lyricists, composers, and authors, that anyone who listens to music
videos on the platform should have to pay the authors for their use.
YouTube and GEMA have been in discussions on how to come to a deal since
2009. With no agreement made, YouTube has infamously blocked German
users from the videos of thousands of musical artists.
long negotiations, YouTube and GEMA reached a landmark agreement
Tuesday morning. In return for GEMA members receiving profit for each
view of their video, the red screen blocking German YouTube viewers from
music videos has been removed. This change has made waves in the
generation that came of age with the internet and has spent years
running into the copyright message. The change also allows music
producers to use YouTube as a free advertising platform for their music
and a tool to acquire new fans while still monetizing their music.
agreement, according to Thomas Theune from GEMA, is a landmark decision
as it shows a middle ground is possible between Creative Commons and
privatized media. Both users and artists can mutually benefit from the