Now let’s be honest: where do you get your music from?

After concentrating on the mobile industry and its problems with privacy rights I want to draw your attention to another industry we have to do with everyday, the MUSIC INDUSTRY!

So what is the current discussion about?

Its all about the Copyright! According to Online dictionary, Copyright is defined as:

the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
I guess everyone of you knows this scenario: You want to listen to a song, you click on the youtube link, and then it says: “GEMA does not allow this video”
Especially if you have been to a foreign country it becomes clear to you that you cant get access to a lot of music videos when you are in Germany.
So what does the GEMA actually do and what is it for?
GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 64,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one of the largest societies of authors for works of music worldwide.
And why are they doing this?
Music isn’t created “just like that”. It’s the result of an individual’s creative effort and therefore the intellectual property of the music author.
Supporter of GEMA are of course especially artists and musicians. With campaigns like “Mein Kopf gehört mir” (My head is my property) they demonstrate against the abuse of copyrights through the internet.
Opposers of the Copyright are especially the “Piratenpartei“. They claim in their actual program free access to music in the internet. Meaning that you can download music in the internet for free and legally. Of course the problem with that is obvious, who would pay the artists and musicians?
Are there any alternatives or middle ways?
A program which offers you a wide range of music LEGALLY is for example Spotify.  This application finances itself through advertising, furthermore the hours of music is limited. For 5 euros per month you can enjoy as much music as you want, without any ads!
Gray area in Germany is the streaming of films and series. There are plenty of pages on which you can stream your favourite serie, without paying. Whether this is helpful or not has everyone decide for himself.
Problem for Managers and Organizers
Imagine you are a clubowner or an organizer for a big event, what economic consequences causes GEMA?
-You have to budget the extra costs for playing music, of course.
In the past years Clubowners and Organizers of events got along with that. But since 2012 there was a change in tariff rates planned.  The original plan was to introduce the new tariff reform in January 2013. This did not happen, because the BVMV(Bundesvereinigung der Musikveranstalter) negotiated with GEMA and they could find a middle way. This middle way includes higher costs of only 5% in January 2013. In April 2013 costs should be raised for clubwoners for another 10% (For more detailed infos click here). The ultimate tariff reform should be introduced at the earliest in 2014.
What is the problem with the new tariff reform?
In order to simplify the tariff rates and make them more transparent GEMA wants to have 2 instead of the former 11 tariffs.  This means a lot of extra costs for a lot of people. Clubowners expect extra costs of 600 to 1200% and “club dying” because not everyone can adjust the extra costs with extra entrance fees. Lutz Leichsenring, member and spokesman of the Clubcommission Berlin fears:
“The money could end up with the Dieter Bohlens of this world, and not with the small actors.”
Procrastinating the introduction of the new tariff reform is a first success for the oppenents like   LiveKomm , Aktionsbündnis Kultur retten etc., but it doesn’t solve the problem in the long run.
What do you think? Is the GEMA necessary? Isn’t there another side of GEMA?

3 thoughts on “Now let’s be honest: where do you get your music from?

  1. Hey Julie,
    Wow! I can perfectly see an improvement in your writing style and research skilly over the last few blogs. In last week´s lecture we learned a lot new tips for better blogwriting and it´s nice to see how you found your structure by following the new things. In the beginning you told us how you got to that topic and therefore showed us that you found your way. By providing us different sources and opinions you made your blog much more investigative and professional. And the accentuation of the different point of views, opposers and supporters, are giving the whole blog a better structure. Furthermore, it´s visible that you tried to think further, by offering an example of a “middle-way”.
    Check out this article:
    It offers tons of data around your topic and also points out the huge loss the music industry is facing right now, because noone buys CD´s, etc. anymore.
    After reading your headline, I thought you might allude to the harm of illegal streaming but you didn´t. Maybe some more negative effects ofstreaming would have been nice. But the amount of sources, opinions and quotes shows that you did well research!
    I know, we are supposed to give professional opinions but I would be really interested in hearing your opinion about that topic or even your answer on the question: “Would you buy it?”
    Maybe tomorrow evening ;)? Thanks for coming up with this topic!
    Good night and well done!

  2. Hay Jula912,

    I did find it quite surprising that I can’t listen to music freely in Germany and just have to find a different song I want to listen to. I guess this is for a good reason after all, providing the musicians with more money and by that creating more music for us to listen to.

    I did some research about your topic online, and I found out that there is a political party in Germany called the Pirates that their goal is to free Youtube (and other programs/websites), so it would be possible to listen to everything for free. Check this BBC article out!

    Another thing I found interesting, are loop-holes in this system. There are many ‘Proxy-Servers’ out there, sending our IP to a different country like the Czech Republic, letting us to actually listen to the music which is blocked.

    Any ideas how this subject will look in the future? What do people actually think – are they in favor or against blocking youtube?

  3. Hey Julia,
    thanks for your great post for this week :-)..we already talked about it since we are now working together and I was really looking forward to your final version. In general your topics are always interesting and relevant for my life as well because usually you talk about problems that also concern my daily life. For this week I really appreciate that you chose the topic “Gema” because I have also been following those discussions over the last couple of weeks and I have been in the same situation that you describe: trying to open a video on youtube, but Gema didn’t allow it. Your post is very personal but also professional because you refer to offical statements of Gema and definitions of copyright. I like the way how you referred to the pro and contra side because in this way you demonstrate how much you learned in class and how you followed the literature review: you did your research very well and tried to do your research from different points of perspectives. Wow, you really made a great step further in the last couple of weeks.
    Check this articel out:
    It is about the decision made by court that youtube has to block videos if they violate copyrights of musicians etc.
    I think your topic gives you the opportunity to do more research about it because I think that we probably all want to have free access to music but at the same time we understand why musicians complain about this. Therefore it is a very controversial topic and there are probably lots of opinions about this. Btw, I have to agree with Melanie: What is your opinion about this topic? With your headline it seems that you actually think that most people still download music and videos illegally. Is that your opinion? Maybe you could develop your arguments more and put some fotos?
    Will you focus on this topic in your next post as well?

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