Reform of the rules on distribution share splits

Working group for the operational implementation begins its task

With the adoption of the motion regarding agenda item 19, the 2020 GEMA Members' Assembly decided on a fundamental reorganisation of the distribution share rules.  In order to accompany the process of the operational implementation of the new rules, a technical working group made up of representatives of publishers and GEMA has been set up. The task of this working group is, in particular, to support the data reconciliation between the GEMA documentation and the IT systems of the publishers as well as to coordinate a smooth and seamless implementation of the new rules in the digital work registration process.

For this purpose, the working group mainly focusses on the two central elements of the new scheme which should be regarded separately in the technical implementation process:

  1. Enhancement and simplification of the free agreement on the share split within the performing rights area (AR)
    The new scheme makes it possible that the author shares in performing rights (AR) for all newly registered works can be integrated as standard into the work registration process. This new service is scheduled to be operationally introduced for our members as from 1 July 2021, via the work registration channels IWA, IWA web service and (partially) the CWR. 
  2. Introduction of a deduction logic
    The second element of the new scheme is the introduction of a deduction logic. This makes it possible to replace the current logic of the distribution plan with its roughly 1,500 different distribution keys for the various constellations of the participating parties by way of a few rules that logically build on one another in order to determine the distribution shares.  The deduction logic shall apply to the existing repertoire as well as all works that are newly registered. At this time, it is envisaged that it will be applied to the distribution dates from 1 June 2022.  The operational challenge for this changeover will mainly be the migration of the existing repertoire into the new share images.


The enhancement and simplification of the free agreement on the share split in the performing rights (AR) and the introduction of a deduction logic are an important contribution for the sustainability of GEMA in the digital age. The new share rules simplify the GEMA distribution plan in a significant way and remedy existing inconsistencies. As a result, they entail a considerable gain in traceability, efficiency and transparency in the work documentation and distribution. At the same time, the new scheme also manages to bring GEMA closer to international standards, enabling it to secure and expand its leading market position (e.g. via cooperation initiatives such as ICE Copyright).

Progress report

After a kick off on 19 October, another meeting of the working group took place on 2 November.  In order to clarify open questions in preparation of the implementation, meetings of the working group were scheduled in a two-weekly cycle.

The focus of the coordination was the clarification of the administrative basic requirements for a successful implementation of the new scheme and rules, ensuring that the go live dates were feasible on the publishers’ side, and the technical implementation of the free agreement on the share splits in the various work declaration channels, especially the CWR.

We will inform you on any further activities of the working groups via this platform. You can send your questions about the activities of the working group at any time to this email address:

Download further information (With the exception of the Technical Specification on Agreed Shares in CWR2.1, the texts are in German)

Deviation Reports

CWR works registration channel

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Questions & Answers

The basic distribution split between music and lyrics is referred to in cases where the quotas set by the GEMA distribution plan for the music and lyric shares are applied.  These are, according to the new scheme for the performing and broadcasting rights (AR) 64% for the music share and 36% for the lyrics share. In the mechanical rights (VR), 50% for the music share and 50% for the lyrics share.  In line with the GEMA distribution plan, shares between music and lyrics can be freely agreed upon, and can deviate from the basic distribution split for the AR categories.  In the VR categories, the basic distribution split shall always be applicable.