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What is the difference between a cover version and an arrangement of a work?

Cover version: A cover is a new recording of an existing musical work, possibly also with different instruments. The creator details therefore correspond to the original version e.g. when submitting the setlist in the course of a live event.

Performers or a band may not derive creators’ entitlements of any kind from such cover versions. As a consequence, a cover is not registered with GEMA.

If a cover is played back or performed in public, we receive a notification from the event promoters and can distribute the royalties to the creators in question.

Arrangement: Here, the music or the lyrics of a work are changed. In the case of works protected by copyright, the arranger always has to acquire a arrangement authorisation from the rightsholders.

Note: We are not allowed to decide whether it is an arrangement or a cover version.  Only the rightsholders of the original work can do this.

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