It is clear why music authors enjoy advantages if they are GEMA members: You can be sure that GEMA issues licences and checks the relevant exploitations of your works, and looks after the subsequent payment of your royalties. Just as well - ever since the internet revolution it has hardly been possible for you to check yourself where, when and how often your works were used in public.
By joining GEMA, each member automatically transfers the supervision of its exploitation rights to us. Since each usage of protected works is subject to licensing by law, a licence fee must be paid for each public performance - even if the event organiser and the author are identical.
This does not mean that GEMA is making it difficult for its members to promote their own works: Performing your own works for non-commercial purposes, on your own website, is free of charge once you have obtained a licence.
If you would like to become a GEMA member, please submit a membership application form. If you meet the required criteria for applicants, you will receive a Deed of Assignment from GEMA. Once you have signed the agreement, you become a GEMA member.
When does a GEMA membership make sense for me financially?
If your own musical works are published in the current year or the commercial exploitation is imminent.
Please note: As a GEMA member, you assign the exploitation rights for all your works to GEMA. This also means that you would obtain licences from GEMA as a user of your own works. Such situations occur when you may organise your own concerts, produce your own CDs, or publish/stream them on the internet for commercial purposes, for example.
What does a GEMA membership cost?
All members pay the same membership fee. It is €50.00 for authors and €100.00 for publishers. There is a one-off admission fee to become a GEMA member. Authors 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).
What is my membership level at the beginning of my GEMA membership?
Music authors and publishers start as associate members.
Which membership level can I reach during my GEMA membership and which is the most useful one for me?
If you wish to benefit predominantly from our collective rights management - i.e. royalty payments - an associate membership is sufficient. This membership category makes up the biggest group within GEMA.
You can only apply for full membership - informally - once you have been an associate member for five years and once you have generated a specific minimum income level. As a full member, you gain both rights and duties. Full members do, for example, enjoy the right to vote at GEMA’s General Assembly and may, if they meet specific requirements, benefit from GEMA’s social fund and GEMA’s pension fund.