If you are a publisher, now is the time for you to act. This applies:

a.    if you directly assign rights to GEMA as a publisher. In such cases, you must provide evidence and confirm in future that you have assigned such rights to GEMA yourself/directly.

b.    if you have entered into an agreement on your participation as a publisher. In such cases, you must check the agreement in place with the author or agree on and provide a confirmation declaration with the author. As a result of the court decision, GEMA is no longer allowed to make the general assumption that such agreements between publishers and composers have been entered into. GEMA is providing a template for such a confirmation declaration at www.gema.de/verlegerbeteiligung.

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.
Due to a decision made by the Supervisory Board on 12 October 2017 works and agreement lists can now still be uploaded to GEMA’s servers until 13 January 2018. Publishers that have not yet finalised processing their works and agreement lists by 01 December 2017 can use this one-off deadline extension. This means for publishers: All works and agreement lists which are submitted via the ECP after 13 January 2018 can no longer be considered to avert a reversal process.


With immediate effect, publishers may:

  • Add author-publisher relationships and publisher participation attributes for new works and agreements i.e. registered after 31 January 2017, and which had not been included in the lists previously made available for download via the ECP.
  • Change author-publisher relationships and publisher participation identifiers in relation to works and agreements that had already been submitted.

This may be done via the works and agreement lists which can be edited via the ECP - just like before - either via the online dialogue or via download/upload. In this context, the following changes apply to the process:

  • Creating new works and agreement lists: New lists shall be individually created by GEMA upon request by the publishers.  The new lists are necessary in cases where details to works or agreements registered after 31 January 2017 shall be submitted, or details in already submitted lists need to be complemented or edited.
  • Requesting new works and agreement lists: You may request a list via the search dialogue in the tab “Search request” where you can compose individual lists in line with your needs on the basis of various criteria.
  • Additional information on works and agreement lists: The works and agreement lists have been complemented with details which facilitate the editing process for you. For example, work lists for original publishers additionally feature registration status, names of editions and author-publisher relationships. Furthermore, the existing publisher participation attributes  will be mentioned in the works and agreement lists for original and sub-publishers.
  • Processing data batches: It is particularly important to take note of the new editing field “change_flag” (Excel list) and/or “Change” (dialogue). Here, the publisher may highlight whether the information in the respective line in relation to the author-publisher relationship and the publisher participation shall be saved into GEMA’s documentation database. This helps to avoid cases where data are inadvertently overwritten in the documentation. Detailed information can be accessed here .
  • Declaration of indemnification: Providing a declaration of indemnification for each work or agreement list continues to be obligatory. From 01 September 2017, publishers may submit the declaration of indemnification directly and online via the ECP without having to upload additional documents.


Simplification for sub-published repertoire

Publisher participation for sub-published repertoire may be transmitted directly to GEMA when you register new sub-publishing agreements (online or via the adapted registration forms here ) from 04 September 2017 onwards.

The lists which have not been submitted yet shall remain at your disposal and can be edited just like before. You will, however, not benefit from the new functions which simplify the process. In the case of lists that have not been submitted yet, you may thus select whether you wish to edit and finish these lists in the old format or request the new list format for the case in question.

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:

  • Publisher payments scheduled for 01/01/2017 that had been held back are now going to be released and paid out to publishers on 01/03/2017 - taking any payments on account made in the meantime into consideration.
  • The regular distribution scheduled for 01/04/2017 can now be executed as early as 01/05/2017 for authors and publishers instead of the previously announced date, 01/06/2017.
  • The distribution scheduled for 01/07/2017 for exploitation rights can now be executed on 01/07/2017 instead of the previously announced date, 01/09/2017.


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.

Please check that the details you provided are correct. Please also check whether other publishers have been incorrectly listed as participating on the works you represent.

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.

The confirmation declaration can be used in the Electronic Confirmation Process and will be accepted by GEMA. The declaration is based on the current legal situation and is intended to provide a situation where the participation is established in as legally secure terms as possible. If the legal situation should alternate due to legislative changes or new jurisprudence/case law, it may be possible that the declaration will have to be amended. GEMA cannot accept any liability for the effectiveness of the declaration.

Download Confirmation Declaration (original German version)
Download Confirmation on the joint participation of author and publisher at GEMA (Convenience Translation – German version prevails - Do not sign)


From 1 September 2017: Declaration of indemnification: Providing a declaration of indemnification for each work or agreement list continues to be obligatory. From 01 September 2017, publishers may submit the declaration of indemnification directly and online via the ECP without having to upload additional documents.
Until 31 August 2017: The declaration of indemnification could be submitted to GEMA from 01 March 2017 onwards, together with the completed electronic work lists via www.gema.de/ecp. The declaration of indemnification must be signed and include the reference from the EBV. Declarations of indemnification which have been altered will not be accepted.

In cases where publishers do not have all contact details for the authors that have a relationship with them, GEMA can, in principle, provide the addresses of the respective authors free of charge.
Please create a list with the relevant authors with a publisher (Excel format) including the following details: Name, first name, IPI number, membership number (if both IPI number and membership number are available, the completion of either of the two fields suffices).
Please send this list to GEMA's Member and Partner Services at: mitgliederservice@gema.de. 
Please be aware that the following requirements need to be fulfilled:
GEMA has the current address and, where applicable, additional contact details such as telephone number and e-mail address of the author.
The author has agreed that his address can be passed on to other GEMA members.
The publisher signs the data protection declaration as provided by GEMA and submits it together with the Excel list.

Download Data Protection Declaration
Download Data Protection Declaration (Convenience Translation – German version prevails - Do not sign)

Should your GEMA membership have ended in the meantime, you will still need to confirm your publisher participation in order to avoid any clawbacks related to payments since July 2012.