GEMA (Germany) has announced a tax on music in podcasts as from this summer
- Hi All
GEMA www.gema.de - the German collecting society for author's rights on
music - has announced the levying of a lump tax on music in podcasts as
from this summer. For those of you who read German, see:
- GEMA Podcasting-Tarif angekündigt -
- Podcastday 2006 » GEMA gibt Gebührenmodelle für Podcaster bekannt
While the tarifs (1) may seem reasonable, this levying of a lump tax on
podcasts means that German podcasters should in theory register with
GEMA, as if they were traditional radio broadcasters, with a recording
studio at a physical address.
Podcasts don't work this way. The audio files in them can be hosted on
servers in various countries, the "podcast envelope" containing these
audio files is an XML file that can in turn be hosted on yet other
servers in yet different countries.
So on the one hand, this means that this tax levying might prove
difficult to implement - but on the other hand, the attempt to regulate
podcasting per se is there. And if GEMA does this in Germany, other
collecting societies in other countries might well follow suit.
Besides, the GEMA tax project doesn't seem to consider the case of music
outside its jurisdiction: in podcasts made by composers themselves, or
using music under a Creative Commons license, for instance.
And in the comments to the Netzpolitik.org post linked above, there is
one by someone calling himself "GVU Mitarbeiter", "a collaborator of
GVU", calling for the compulsory introduction of DRM protections in
podcasts. Now GVU = "Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von
Urheberrechtsverletzungen e.V." i.e. Society for the Prosecution of
Copyright Violations (dunno what the e.V. part means). Other people have
called this "GVU Mitarbeiter" a troll in their comments, sure.
Nevertheless, this is even more worrying.
(1) From 5 to 30 Euros per month, according to how much of a musical
work is use in the podcast - see the podcastday2006 link above.