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How do I register an arrangement and what do I need to consider?

First, please check whether the work you want to edit is still protected by copyright. In Germany, copyright protection is valid until 70 years after the death of the author. If several authors have created a work together, copyright protection usually does not expire until 70 years have passed after the death of the author who died last.

In the case of copyright-protected works, you must acquire an arrangement authorisation from the rightsholders up front. Rightsholders are the authors (composers and lyricists). If the authors have a publisher or if the work is sub-published in Germany, please direct your query to the publisher, otherwise to the authors. Moreover, you do require an authorisation to arrange a work if the arrangers also expect to be included in the pay-outs.

Two ways to notify us of an arrangement:

  1. The easiest way is to register an arrangement in the GEMA online portal in the Services section under Work registration as a change notification. If you, as the processor, make the notification yourself, we require a processing authorization from the rightholders. Send this by e-mail to:
  2. You register the processing in paper form. To do this, fill out the form Registration for a GEMA Original Work and send it with the processing authorization by rightsholders by mail to:

    PO Box 30 12 40
    10722 Berlin

Proceed in the same steps if you are setting a poem or another text to music and have an authorisation for music settings or if you want to use a protected piece of music in your new work. For this purpose, please submit the permission to use.

Evidence for the use of third-party works:

As the applicant, you are required to appropriately identify works that were created using third-party works or third-party motifs and to cite the sources of the works used.

You will find the relevant forms on the page All about your works in the lower section.

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