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GEMA Attacks Digital DJs

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Notoriously bullying German collection agency GEMA have announced details of their new Digital DJ license which will force DJs to pay hundreds of euros if they turn up with over 1,000 tracks on a USB stick or laptop.


Leading German magazine de-bug published anOpen Letter To All DJs Playing In Germany’ in response to GEMA’s latest anti-club culture attack, outlining the mechanics of the money grabbing scheme.


“If you play a track that is a copied version of something you bought legally (or got for free as a promo), for example on a CD you burnt or on a USB stick, you might have to pay GEMA a license for copying. Even if you play tracks from an external hard drive this license applies,” de-bug noted.


“For tracks to require a license, it is not necessary that you play them while you are doing your best DJ set ever in germany, but to carry them with you with the intend of playing them while in a club is enough.”


“Btw. you are not allowed to tell GEMA what tracks you actually play, so there will be no chance, that any of the money you are supposed to pay, will ever end up in the hands of the artists you support.” (De-bug)


GEMA’s announcement provoked thousands of electronic music supporters sign a petition against the scheme which outlined in detail the dire consequences the new license could provoke.


“The situation is this,” the (German language) petition explains.


“DJs will have to pay for each song they bring to a club a license fee of € 0.13 plus tax plus any excess length surcharge. For many long-time DJs with great music databases that would mean economic ruin.”


“Calculation example: A DJ who has around 10,000 songs in their music database will be forced to pay DJ pay € 1,300 (plus tax and any excess length surcharge). And if the DJ’s laptop is ever broken or his switches his database to a different device, that amount will be due again.”


We demand: A transparent and equitable solution. In today’s time it must be possible to create a modern and simple billing system,” the petition accurately points out.


“Because the licensed songs are charged only by quantity and not by titles, the GEMA will not distribute these funds to the artists that are actually played by DJs but will instead throw the money in their general distribution pot. Thus, GEMA’s large chart and Radio Artists will benefit while the artists whose music was actually played by the DJs won’t see any of the money.”


GEMA press release:







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