It is clear why publishers enjoy advantages if they are GEMA members: You can be sure that GEMA issues licences and checks the relevant exploitations of your published works, and looks after the subsequent payment of royalties of your published/sub-published music recordings. Just as well - ever since the internet revolution it is hardly 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 his/her 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.
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