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Become a member if you are a composer or a lyricist

Composing music and writing lyrics is hard work. You deserve a fair payment for that. We collect royalties for you from all over the world, look after your matters as a fiduciary trustee and stand up for your rights.

  • Earn money as soon as your repertoire is played
  • Manage music and royalties online
  • Workshops, insurances, performances and many more

Is it worth becoming a member? Check it out now and become a member!

Use our live slider and check independently and reliably whether membership is worthwhile for you.

  1. Check whether it is worth becoming a member.
  2. If yes, complete a membership application.

Benefit from the comprehensive services for GEMA members


Whether in person or as a webinar: Find out the most important things about GEMA and about topics related to the business sector such as rights, distribution shares and licensing.



Get discounts when taking part at music exhibitions, congresses and events. Our benefits for music creation facilitate your start and everyday life as a professional musician.



Music creators require special insurances: whether for valuable instruments, expensive equipment or to protect them against recourse claims. We have put together a package to suit your needs.



Present your music to a wide audience. Showcases are a brilliant platform to do so. We work together with well-known event organisers, such as the Reeperbahn Festival.


Declare your works

Pre-existing or new creations: Simply declare your works online.  Add contributors, indicate the music publisher and, if you want, also add the performers.


My royalties

Get an overview on your turnover and see where they come from (live, radio, TV/film, digital or abroad). Also find out how much you earned with your top ten most successful works.


Repertoire search

Who is involved in a song or a musical work? By using the repertoire search, you can carry out specific queries for works and export the data, if you want.


Change personal details

Do you have a new address or bank details? Did you change your name? Instead of sending letters or e-mails, simply log into the Online Portal and amend the data yourself.


GEMA distribution plan

How much do composers, lyricists and music publishers receive? The amounts collected by GEMA are distributed to the rightsholders after the administration costs have been deducted. Basis: the GEMA distribution plan.


It is the frequency of the use that makes the difference

Music users report which of your musical works have been performed, broadcast or reproduced. That way, we can determine the use of your works and pay out royalties to you and other rightsholders on the basis of that information.


Regular money flow

So that your income flow is as steady as possible, we pay out our collections at fixed dates which are spread across the year. The dates depend on the category.


Social and cultural purposes

We make 10 percent of the distributable amount in the performing and broadcasting rights sector available for social and cultural purposes. The GEMA Social Fund, a social compensation fund which pays out benefits in old age, in cases of illness, accidents and need.


This is what a GEMA membership costs for creators

As a composer or lyricist, you pay an admission fee of €107.10 (incl. VAT, net €90.00). Your annual membership fee amounts to €50.00. 

  • We care about newcomers! 

All creators who turn 30 years of age or younger in the year of application for membership and submit their application by 31 October of the current year pay only the membership fee of €50.00. The one-time admission fee of €107.10 (incl. VAT, net €90.00) is waived. So you save right from the start!

Earn money as a GEMA member - this is how it works:

Use the live slider and complete the application form

Sign the Deed of Assignment online

Upon successful admission, declare your works

Check & complete application

GEMA - your reliable partner for music usage matters

More than 85,000 members place their trust in GEMA.

1.5 million work registrations/year

More than 100 webinars per year

Your journey as a member. From application to payout.


Frequently asked questions

No, the protection of your works is governed by copyright law, namely without you having to fulfil any specific formalities such as joining GEMA as a member or registering works with GEMA.

The protection of the copyright in your works is therefore independent from a GEMA membership.

  • Composers
  • Lyricists of texts set to music
  • Legal successors of composers, lyricists and music publishers
  • Music publishers

Music arrangers and arrangers or translators of texts set to music can also become GEMA members. It is a prerequisite for the management of copyright of arrangers that their arrangements constitute personal intellectual creations and that, in the case of arrangements of an original work protected by copyright, the authorisation by the rightsholder of the original work has been granted.
GEMA membership is for individuals. As a consequence, it is not possible that an entire band becomes a GEMA member. Instead, each of the composer or lyricist band members needs to submit their own membership application.
Mere music performers, i.e. performing artists who are not composers, arrangers or lyricists at the same time, cannot become GEMA members since they are not creatively active as authors. The organisation in charge for them is the Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten (GVL) [German society for the management of neighbouring rights].
Those who are exclusively active as producers or producers of sound recordings cannot become GEMA publisher members.

You assign to GEMA as a trustee any and all copyrights world wide that are currently vested in you and those accruing to you, devolving or redevolving upon you or otherwise acquired by you in your works for specific types of exploitation: In this context, the most important types of use are:

  • Performing rights
  • Broadcasting rights for radio and TV
  • Mechanical reproduction rights and distribution rights for audio, audiovisual and multimedia recordings (carriers)
  • Communication to the public rights for radio and TV broadcasts
  • Communication to the public rights by way of audio and audiovisual recordings
  • Film performance rights and (unlimited) film synchronisation right
  • Statutory remuneration claims such as the so-called “hardware levy” and “blank media levy” (“blank tape remuneration”)
  • The rights of making available to the public i.e. make music available via the internet or similar means in such a way that it is available to music users at any time, anywhere.
  • Rights to use music as ringtone melodies

Full text of the Deed of Assignment

This is because GEMA is an association - more precisely, it has the legal form of a ‘wirtschaftlicher Verein kraft staatlicher Verleihung’ [commercial association by charter] pursuant to s. 22 of the Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch (BGB) [German Civil Code]. GEMA therefore consists of the composers, lyricists and music publishers (and, where applicable, their legal successors), who are its members. In other words: GEMA is its members.

Before you decide to join, ensure that a GEMA membership is financially sensible for you. This is the case if your musical works have been performed in public, broadcast via radio or TV or released by third parties via commercially published sound/audiovisual recordings to a certain extent during the current calendar year, or if such commercial exploitations are imminent.

In this context, it is also important to take into account that members need to pay if they organise the public exploitation of their works themselves. Since members have assigned their exploitation rights to GEMA, they must, even if they are music users themselves - i.e. if they organise concerts or produce sound recordings -, obtain the licence for the use of their own works from GEMA.

Members participate in the income generated from licensing on the basis of the GEMA distribution plan. The distribution plan governs the distribution split between composers, lyricists and music publishers of a work, among others. Typical distribution splits for published GEMA works are:

  • Performances: the composer share is 5/12, the lyricist share 3/12, the publisher share 4/12
  • Mechanical reproduction of sound recordings: the composer share is 30%, the lyricist share 30%, the publisher share 40%

There are two different GEMA membership categories: associate and full membership. The category initially intended for new members is the associated membership. You can reach full membership after five years of associate membership and once you have yielded a certain minimum income.

Information on the membership categories

Copyright is valid until 70 years after the death of the author. This is why the Deed of Assignment can be continued with the legal successor(s) after the death of a GEMA author with regards to their copyright. A requirement for this is a certificate of inheritance, which needs to be submitted to the Members and Partners Administration Department. In case there are several legal successors, they need to determine a joint authorised representative who is going to exercise their rights vis-à-vis GEMA. Royalty payments are, however, made individually to each of the legal successors.

Information Legal Succession

Notification of a death / a legal succession

There is a one-off admission fee to become a GEMA member. Creators pay €90.00 (plus 19% VAT; a total of €107.10), and music publishers pay €180.00 (plus 19% VAT; a total of €214.20).

In addition, an annual membership fee needs to be paid; it is €50.00 for creators and €100.00 for publishers.

We care about newcomers!

All creators who turn 30 years of age or younger in the year of application for membership and submit their application by 31 October of the current year pay only the membership fee of €50.00. The one-time admission fee of €107.10 (incl. VAT, net €90.00) is waived.

GEMA membership is established after (completing the admission procedure) by concluding what is known as a Deed of Assignment with GEMA. Music authors or publishers assign their copyright exploitation rights or publishing rights to GEMA for administration purposes. GEMA manages these rights as a trustee within the scope of the Deed of Assignment. This means that, on behalf of its members, it controls the frequency and scope of exploitation of their works, collects the due licence fees from music users and distributes these monies to those who are involved parties to the works that have been used respectively.

How can we help you?

If you still have any questions on the GEMA membership, please do get in touch.