Federal German Gov-ernment takes creatives for a ride: Press release by the GVL Board on the Collecting Societies Act (VGG)

20. April 2016. 

The GVL Board calls upon members of the German Bundestag not to approve the governmental draft of the Collecting Societies Act (VGG) in its current version. On the contrary, the parliamentarians should rather return to the original objective of the legislative draft, which was to support and strengthen creatives and their producers, and to finally correct the drastic maldevelopments related to blank media levies by the device manufacturers and importers.

 

Chairman of the Board, Hans Reinhard Biere, said: "This legislative draft must not pass the Bundestag in its current form. The producers' and importers' obligation to provide security collaterals must be re-anchored into the law - compulsorily and unreservedly - otherwise it is not worth the paper it is written on. Creatives and producers have been deprived of an adequate levy for devices and storage media for years. The members of the Bundestag must not buckle under the hardware industry's profit motives now."

The grand coalition had correctly identified the dramatic defects concerning the statutory remuneration entitlements for private copying; the currently valid coalition agreement therefore provides a filing and deposit duty for all manufacturers of devices and storage media to satisfy the creatives' entitlements. On this basis, the draft version of the VGG contained a sustainable compromise which had been coordinated with all involved parties. In the current governmental draft, however, the obligation to provide security collaterals has practically been suspended by limiting it to organisations that are in danger of insolvency.

Biere concluded: "The actual objective of the law is running idle, and creatives are being taken for a ride. After all, it is impossible for creatives to detect a danger of insolvency in practice. No device manufacturers will ever announce their impending insolvency - and even if they did, it would be much too late to secure any claims."

Background:

The GVL Board consists of 24 members. They represent the interests of more than 147,000 performing artists (singers, actors, orchestra musicians, studio musicians, rock and pop musicians, dubbing actors, conductors, choir and ballet members, literary directors and music directors), producers of sound recordings and audiovisual recordings, music producers, music video clip producers and event organis-ers/promoters.

About GVL:
Those who render artistic performances or create the respective financial basis for the latter must receive money for the exploitation of their performances. GVL, Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten mbH, captures and manages such exploitations. GVL pays the fees it collects on a fiduciary basis e.g. from radio and TV stations and for the communication to the public (e.g. in restaurants or cafés) to its members in the form of a remuneration each year. More than 147,000 performing artists, producers of sound recordings and audiovisual recordings, music and music video clip producers as well as event organisers have placed their trust in GVL on a global level - and thus make GVL one of the biggest collective management organisations for neighbouring rights in Europe. The German Orchestra Association (registered association) [DOV] and the Federal Association of the Music Industry (registered association) [BVMI] are associates of GVL.