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Gema warns of ‘even more difficult’ 2021 for many musicians

Germany collecting society Gema held its annual general meeting last week – online, of course, with around 1,000 of its songwriter, composer and publisher members taking part.

The event included some blunt words from CEO Dr Harald Heker on why Covid-19 relief measures taken by the society this year can only go so far.

“We are aware that these acute support schemes are not enough. From a financial perspective, 2021 will be even more difficult for many of you. Our revenues will be lower than in 2020, and we will therefore pay out less to you,” he warned delegates at the AGM. “Since March, hardly any events have taken place, which is an economic disaster of huge proportions.”

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Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (24 March)

Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities.

Start today with Bandcamp’s update on how last Friday’s big music sale went. “On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch,” reported the company. “That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.”

Continue with news that German collecting society GEMA has announced an ’emergency aid’ program of up to €40m (around $43.2m) for its members, over two stages of distribution for songwriters who get into financial difficulties as a result of the current pandemic. Detail of how to apply will be published later this week. GEMA is also promising to be “pragmatic and flexible” in its licensing dealings with music events organisers in the weeks and months ahead.

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TikTok issues statement on its UK Copyright Tribunal music-licensing referral

Yesterday, Music Ally broke the news that social app TikTok has referred three collecting societies – PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA – and their joint-venture licensing hub ICE to the UK’s Copyright Tribunal, in a dispute over music-licensing terms.

ICE issued a statement yesterday on the case, but this morning TikTok has also sent Music Ally an official statement on the referral.

“TikTok is an exciting way for songs and emerging artists to gain exposure and break through with a wide and varied audience. As a platform for unique and original creative content, we place high value and respect upon intellectual property rights, and we work closely with music rights holders to protect a library of sound on the platform which is available for users to infuse in their own short videos,” said its spokesperson.

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TikTok takes on collecting societies at UK Copyright Tribunal

Social app TikTok is set for a battle with three European collecting societies and their joint venture, via the medium of the UK’s Copyright Tribunal.

That’s the body that resolves copyright-related commercial-licensing disputes in the UK. Copyright Tribunal Ref 132/19 will be of intense interest to the music industry, then.

“Notice is hereby given of a reference to the Copyright Tribunal under section 125 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 by TikTok Inc (Applicant) of 10100 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, California 90232, USA,” it explains, adding that “a dispute has arisen concerning the terms of a licence” between TikTok and collecting societies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA, as well as ICE, their joint-venture licensing hub.