Higher Regional Court Munich retracts positive decision – continuation of the discrimination against performing artists and music producers

02. November 2015. 

On 29 October 2015, the Higher Regional Court Munich decided that the tariff payable to performing artists and producers of sound recordings for playing sound recordings in dance schools shall only be 20% of the GEMA tariff payable to music authors.

In August 2010, the Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) had deemed it adequate to increase the tariff to 30% of the GEMA tariff - this had been confirmed by the Higher Regional Court Munich in September 2012. Both sides had, however, appealed this decision; GVL appealed because it was not understandable why the tariff for performing artists and producers of sound recordings should amount to less than a third of that paid to authors; The dance school associations appealed because they rejected any increase whatsoever.

"These decisions really came as a surprise. We do not see why performances of performing artists and producers of sound recordings which attract at least the same level of remuneration as that of authors in other areas should only be 1/5 in this case. The continuation of such a blatant discrimination against performers and producers of music compared to authors cannot be justified. We are waiting for the opinion of the court as we hope it will shed some light on this matter; only then will we decide on what the next steps should be," said the two managing directors of GVL, Guido Evers and Dr. Tilo Gerlach "We place our hope - and that of more than 140,000 of our rights holders - on the new Act on collective management organisations. The planned provision entails that negotiations for usages affecting the rights of several collective management organisations should be held jointly. This provides a prerequisite for a fair split between individual groups of rights holders on the one hand, and the determination of an adequate total charge for users on the other.