15 July 2011

Blocked Videos of Foreign Artists on YouTube

YouTube Germany is confusing foreign artists more and more. Foreign artists see a misleading notice instead of their videos. There is the suggestion that GEMA is responsible for the video being blocked. As GEMA has already repeatedly emphasized, this interpretation is not based on facts.
The notice that has been appearing recently on YouTube for blocked videos has now come to the attention of foreign copyright holders. The notice says, "Unfortunately this video, which contains music by SME, is not available in Germany as GEMA has not granted the publishing rights to the music in the video," and the notice gives the impression GEMA initiated blocking the video. That is not the case. Music videos are blocked by record labels, other copyright holders, or by YouTube itself – and not by GEMA. In particular, blocked videos by the artists Nina Paley and Joon Wolfsberg are causing quite a stir. In both cases there seems to be unanswered questions regarding the agreements on the mutual administration of rights with foreign copyright administration societies (joint contracts), as well as questions regarding what falls under GEMA's responsibilities. In both cases, GEMA supposedly did not grant right of use, which is, however, impossible, as GEMA is obligated to grant right of use in accordance with German law. GEMA represents the intellectual property rights of more than 64,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers) in Germany as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one the largest authors' societies for music works worldwide. Press Contact:
Bettina Müller, Head of Communication & PR
email: bmueller@gema.de, phone +49 89 48003-426