Asset Publisher

29 September 2010

GEMA and Allied Partners Take YouTube to Court

Together with seven other music author societies, GEMA is making a claim against YouTube in the principal proceedings. GEMA had requested the Regional Court of Hamburg to issue an injunction against the Google subsidiary YouTube.
On August 27 of this year, the court decided that there was no necessary urgency as a prerequisite for an injunction. However, the court pointed out that in principle there are many factors that indicate the plaintiffs would be entitled to request a cease and desist order based on copyrights against the defendant. It seems likely that the defendant did not administer reasonable auditory duties and/or undertake reasonable measures to prevent new copyright violations.

Dr. Harald Heker, chairman of the Executive Board of GEMA: "We – in other words, GEMA and its partners – feel the principal proceedings against YouTube is the correct course of action, and in view of the Regional Court of Hamburg's opinion we are optimistic that our demands against YouTube are justified."

GEMA had been conducting negotiations unsuccessfully with YouTube for a new licensing contract for music use in Germany since April 2009. After contrast negotiations with YouTube broke down in May 2010, GEMA and seven other societies of composers, lyricists, and publishers created an alliance. The members of this international alliance include, among others, the U.S. societies of composers, lyricists, and publishers ASCAP and BMI, and also the French society SACEM. Together this international alliance represents approximately 60 percent of the global repertory of music.

In Germany, GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), as well as the copyrights of over one million copyright holders from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies of authors of music works in the world.

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Press officer:
Bettina Müller, director of communications & PR
E-mail:; telephone: +49 89 48003-426

The eight members of the international initiative are:

  • AKM, Austria:
  • ASCAP, U.S.:
  • BMI, U.S.:
  • GEMA, Germany (initiator of the initiative): 
  • SABAM, Belgium:
  • SACEM, France: 
  • SIAE, Italy: