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What is GEMA and what is its significance?

The acronym “GEMA” stands for “Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte” [Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights]. We are a collective management organisation and a fiduciary trustee for more than 95,000 members. They are:

  • Composers
  • Lyricists
  • Music publishers
  • Legal successors of the mentioned groups

The significance of GEMA for creators:
We manage the rights for our members and for more than two million foreign rightsholders and ensure that they are fairly remunerated. We also get involved in other ways on behalf of the interests of music creators and lobby for them and for copyright matters, at national and international levels. After all, without copyright, creative people could not live from their work and would be deprived of their livelihoods.

The significance of GEMA for music users:
We are also here for music users. Remember: Copyright applies in any case, independently of collective management organisations like us. What this means: Without us, you would have to acquire the rights from each creator individually if you are using music in public. Because we are here, you get access to the global music repertoire. We also represent the rights of foreign creators in Germany. You get in touch with us and pretty soon you can enjoy the music. You can learn more about GEMA's purpose on the page “GEMA at a glance”.

As an organisation, we are looking back to a long history and profound experience. As early as 1903, composers founded our predecessor organisation, the first collective management organisation in Germany, called “Deutsche Anstalt für musikalisches Aufführungsrecht“ (AFMA) [German institution for musical performing rights]. We at GEMA have the legal form of a commercial association and are under the supervision of the German Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Cartel Office.

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