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How is the new version of the Deed of Assignment different to the rules applied previously?

In line with the previous version of the Deed of Assignment, the synchronisation rights for UGC platforms already lay comprehensively with GEMA, but under a so-called resolutory condition (Article 1 i (1) Deed of Assignment). Pursuant to this provision, rightsholders can decide for each individual use whether they wish to licence the synchronisation rights individually or have them managed by GEMA. To this end, rightsholders must, where applicable, inform GEMA in writing in each individual case that they wish to manage the synchronisation rights in their own name. The declaration of the rightsholders must refer to the use for the synchronisation of a specific film work and must be submitted within a period of 4 weeks from the point in time where the rightsholders have become aware of the use of the works in each individual case.

This complex case-by-case clarification was conceptualised for the production of commercial films; it is, however, not practicable for online multi-user platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. In practice, this has previously led to a situation where film synchronisation rights for private uploads to online platforms have regularly remained unlicensed.

From now on, a distinction is made in the new version of Deed of Assignment between commercial and non-commercial uses when it comes to granting synchronisation rights to UGC platforms:

For non-commercial uses, synchronisation rights are always granted by GEMA.

For commercial uses, rightsholders do, however, have the option to object to GEMA managing their rights regarding to each individual UGC platform or for all UGC platforms overall (“opt out”).

Details on the distinction between commercial and non-commercial uses are governed by separate rights management conditions for UGC platforms which you can access under management of synchronisation rights

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