The missing link between Wind of Change and 99 Luftballons
What do Scorpions and Nena have in common? Or Tokio Hotel, Scooter or Mark Forster? These and many other German acts are highly successful not just in Germany, but also internationally. Music knows no borders – and that’s exactly why music creators find it difficult to keep track of the cross-border use of their works.
As a GEMA member, you’ll benefit from strong international representation. We are networked across the world, working with our partners in other countries to make sure you receive fair remuneration for the international use of your works.
The international category – a simple explanation
If your music is performed, played back or reproduced abroad, you will receive royalties in our international categories, based on agreements with collecting societies in other countries – our so-called sister organisations.
This means that when GEMA’s repertoire – works by our members – is used abroad, the respective collecting societies collect royalties for this locally and pass them on to us. We pay this revenue then out to our members.
Our list of countries will tell you in which countries GEMA is exercising your rights and which categories and countries are included in each respective distribution. You can find more detailed information about your distributions in your detailed listings or in the online portal under My royalties.
The international category at a glance
How the categories break down:
In category A (international), we distribute revenue received from our sister organisations in respect of the assignment of performance, playback or broadcasting rights. In category A VR (international reproduction rights), you will receive royalties in respect of the assignment of reproduction rights by our sister organisations in other countries.
Where the revenue comes from:
We receive income from our sister organisations when GEMA repertoire is used abroad.
What usage information is considered:
The sister organisations collect the relevant information and pass it on to us.
How the money is distributed:
We receive payments from foreign sister organisations and distribute them to our members based on the information provided.
Other countries, other distribution models
In Germany, GEMA issues licences and distributions in accordance with its own rules. In other countries, this is carried out by our sister organisations in accordance with their own respective guidelines. There are often significant differences in respect of the amount of a licence, cost deductions and other guidelines. How much you receive for the use of your work may therefore vary from one country to another.
It’s not the seas you sail – it’s the flag you sail them under.
One special area in the field of international distribution is revenue generated on cruise ships. The key factor that determines which collecting society is responsible not the route, or where the tour operator is domiciled, but the flag under which the ship is sailing.
For example, ships from the travel company TUI sail under the Maltese flag. This means that for licensing purposes, PRS, the British collecting society, is responsible as it is responsible for licensing music in Malta. We regularly receive PRS payments in respect of use of the GEMA repertoire on TUI ships, that we distribute to our members. If GEMA repertoire is used in live shows on TUI ships, GEMA members receive their distributions in the UK distribution in the category International.
Important dates, periods and deadlines
Declare works in time:
We recommend register works promptly via our Online Portal, but at the latest with the publication. Only then, a work can be included in a distribution, according to the GEMA distribution plan.
Annual distribution cycle:
We distribute quarterly, on 01 January, 01 April, 01 July and 01 October. You can find the most recent distribution in our list of countries.
Make claims promptly:
You have 18 months to make a claim following each respective distribution date. To find out how this works and what you need to know in order to proceed, see our Claims page.