Distribution in the Film Screening categories (T, TD, TD VR)
Music - an essential element of any film
The lights go out and the room goes dark for a moment. Then the title of the film appears on the screen. There’s not much to be seen, but often this is already the point when the music of a film begins to work its magic. James Bond, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings - many films are closely associated with their music. Music has the effect of bringing a film to life, and this is something you can feel especially in a movie theatre. However, corporate or promotional films also need some musical accompaniment. The revenue generated from all these kinds of use is distributed in the Film Screening categories.
Film Screening categories easily explained
GEMA's distribution category T comprises sound film. This term refers, among other things, to music in cinema films, cinema trailers and cinema commercials. The main focus in this context is on the presentation of the film music. Cinema operators have to report to us which films have been screened.
In such cases, GEMA does not grant a licence in the synchronisation right, which has to be obtained from the respective creators or their publishers before, for example, a film is produced.
Moreover, there are the categories of Sound Film Direct Distribution
(TD, TD VR) for music in corporate or image films. This includes, for example, films played at trade shows or sales offices. This distribution category also comprises educational, training, public information and documentary films presented free of charge.
Our Cinema and Sound Filmcategories at a glance
The various distribution categories are defined as follows:
In distribution category T, we distribute revenue from film screenings at cinemas including commercials and trailers. In distribution categories TD and TD VR, we distribute revenue from corporate films, educational and training films as well as image films that are played in public and free of charge.
Where the royalties come from:
In distribution category T, we distribute mostly licence revenue from the use of music in cinema films and cinema commercials. In addition, 30% of the royalty revenue from communication by means of audio-visual recordings (DVDs, CDs etc.) are included in this distribution sum. In distribution categories TD and TD VR, we distribute revenue from the grant of licences for public presentation.
How we know which works were used:
In distribution category T, we receive a report for each cinema film, specifying the number of times it was screened. In distribution categories TD and TD VR, the licence revenue is distributed directly to the works used.
How royalties are distributed:
In distribution category T, distributions are made using a collective distribution model based on second values. In distribution categories TD and TD VR, the revenue is distributed directly per licence.
How do we distribute your royalties?
In distribution category T, we distribute mostly licence revenue from the use of music in cinema films and cinema commercials.
As a rule, we distribute revenue from the Cinema category (T) using a collective distribution model. Specifically this means that:
All income received makes up the distribution sum.
We determine the total number of seconds of music played based on usage reports.
We then calculate the monetary value per second of music
(= total revenue/total seconds).
On the basis of the usage reports and our film documentation, we can then calculate the amount of royalties to be distributed for the works used.
Please note that, in order for your work to be included in the distribution of royalties, you or the production company have to register the film as an audio-visual production or, in the case of foreign productions, by means of cue sheets.
Sound Film Direct Distribution (TD, TD VR) for music in corporate films:
In distribution categories TD and TD VR, we distribute royalties received for music in corporate films. These are films made and reproduced for trade shows, sales offices or similar narrowly defined purposes. Educational, training, public information and documentary films presented free of charge are also comprised by this distribution category.
We license these films according to tariff T-W-AV. The revenue from these licences - less administrative costs and deductions for social and cultural purposes - is then distributed per licence directly to the works used in the film and paid out to the respective entitled parties.
Please note that, in order for your work to be included in the distribution of royalties, you or the production company have to register the film as an audio-visual production.
Important dates and deadlines for you
Declare works in time:
All works should be registered to GEMA at the latest upon release, preferably using our online work registration service. Please bear in mind that your work must be registered on or before 31 January of the year following its use to be taken into account in the annual royalty payout on 1 June.
Distribution cycle over the year:
On 1 July of each year, we distribute the royalty income from the respective previous year.
Deadline for claiming unpaid royalties:
After distribution of the main royalties, you have 18 months to claim for missing royalties. For more detailed information about how to do this and what you need to know before making a claim, please refer to the claims section of our website.