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Publishers' participation in pay-outs
If you are an author of a published work, you can contact your publisher and - as long as this is in line with the agreement you have in place with said publisher - confirm to them that you would like a continuation of the publisher participation. Whether a publisher is entitled to receive such a confirmation declaration for pay-outs in relation to exploitation rights and statutory remuneration entitlements depends on the provisions and circumstances of your publishing agreement.
Pursuant to a basic resolution of this year’s General Assembly (motion # 21), subject to the legal effect of the decision of the Higher Regional Court, pay-outs to publishers which have been made between 01 July 2012 and 24 December 2016 should be reversed based on the details in the ECP during the second semester 2018. From 01 December 2017 onwards the option for publishers to provide details via the ECP on claims for the past shall lapse. This means for publishers: All works and agreement lists which are submitted via the ECP after 01 December 2017 can no longer be considered to avert a reversal.
On 24 December 2016, an amendment to the Act on Collective Management Organisations (VGG / CMO Act) in relation to the participation of publishers came into force. It allows GEMA to let authors and publishers jointly participate in exploitation rights again in future, irrespective of the rights flow. This development will have a positive effect on the payment dates 2017 which had already been postponed, as some dates can now be brought forward again:
The payment of the statutory remuneration claims dated 01/07/2017 for authors and publishers will take place on 01/09/2017.
Current Payment Schedule
GEMA currently dispatches registration confirmations containing the information provided via the EBV so that recipients can check the submitted details. These confirmations will be gradually dispatched to our members. All composers, lyricists and publishers involved in a work will be informed on the work registrations via e-mail or letter. The registration confirmations will be mailed out on a per-work-basis and complement the existing registration with details pertaining to the publisher participation. In the case of originally published repertoire, all original publishers (composers, lyricists, arrangers of public domain works, arrangers of medleys) of a work and the original publisher(s) will receive such information. In the case of sub-published repertoire, only the relevant sub-publisher(s) will receive such information. Such notifications may also be issued in cases where original publishing or sub-publishing agreements have already been terminated.
Please note: Due to the high volume of affected works and agreements, the dispatch has been delayed over the last few weeks but will be sped up from September onwards due to subsequent technical improvements. Depending on the dispatch method you selected, please be prepared for an increased e-mail resp. post volume and do verify your inbox size and spam filter.
If you are an author: The registration confirmation serves the purpose of checking the details submitted via the EBV. It contains the following information on a per-work-basis for you:
Step 1: Identify publisher(s) The registration confirmation contains information on the authors represented by each publisher with a participation in the work. In cases where you are listed as an author with a publisher, please check that your work is actually published by said publisher. At this point it does not matter whether the participation of the publisher is legitimate pursuant to the decision by the Higher Regional Court. Please also check whether the details are complete. The registration confirmation shall be deemed to be incorrect if a publisher is not listed with which you have published your work, or if you have not been named as an author with a listed publisher even though you have entered into a publishing agreement with said publisher.
Step 2: Check details on the publisher participation Please check the details submitted regarding the publisher participation. So-called publisher at-tributes are shown at the beginning of the line in front of your name in relation to your role as a composer or lyricist; they are VBALL, VBNOK, VBNUT or VBUNB. Should several agreements have been entered into for the work in question (usually publishing agreements); they are listed separately indicating their period of validity. Please observe the note in this regard as per below. Please note: The deadline for publishers’ submissions of the relevant information relating to a participation in the past shall lapse on 01/12/2017. It is thus possible that you may receive several notifications for the same work.
Should the registration confirmation be incorrect, rights holders may appeal against it within three months of receipt (Art. 49 clause 2 of the Distribution Plan). Please reply to the registration confirmation e-mail indicating the grounds for the appeal. Please post any appeals by letter to GEMA, P.O. Box 30 12 40, D-10722 Berlin.
The publisher attribute is relevant for the question whether pay-outs to publishers since the payments between 01 July 2012 and 23 December 2016 will be reversed. The General Assembly 2017 has passed a resolution to this end. Furthermore, the attribute indicates whether the publisher will enjoy a participation in the work in future pay-outs. In this context, a distinction has to be made for the participation in usage rights which make up the majority of GEMA’s pay-outs and the participation in statutory remuneration entitlements such as the blank media and device levies (ZPÜ-pay-outs).
Detailed information about the meaning of the publisher attributes can be found here.
The period of validity of the agreement on the publisher participation shall start on 01 January 2011 at the earliest (beginning of the earliest financial year which would apply in case of a potential reversal from 01 July 2012). In the case of agreements that have been entered for an indefinite period, resp. for the duration of the term of protection, the end date of the agreements will initially be shown as 31 December 2400 and consequently as “indefinite” due to technical reasons.