GWVR – the German Collection Society for promoters – publishes its first tariffs

April 2017

Live events sector



Some years ago, the German Association of Concert Promoters (BDV) applied to the German Patent & Trade Mark Office to set up a new collection society to collect revenues it has succsssfully argued are due to its members and due as compensation for the ‘neighbouring right’ under Section 81 of the German Copyright Act and arising from recordings made at live events. In 2014, the new royalty collecting society for promoters was approved by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) in Hamburg, after 10 years of lobbying by BDV.  At the time BDV President, lawyer Jens Michow, said that the new Society, Verwertungsgsgesellschaft fur Wahrnehmung von Veranstalterrecheten (GWVR) had plans to negotiate with broadcasters, record labels and other users of live recordings to set tariffs to compensate event promoters.  (GWVR, in English, The Collection Society for the Neighbouring Right) is a subsidiary of BDV. Michow said “after a protracted and difficult approval procedure with the GWVR, this mans that promoters are not merely dependent on the fleeting success of their concerts, but can also participate in longer-term rewards from the events they promote.” The GWVR will set tariffs, administer the rights procedures and collect and distribute royalties from the exploitation live evteranment sound and audio-visual recordings.
The neighbouring right for concert promoters in Germany is provided for by section 81 of the German Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz), giving the promoter almost the same rights as the producer of a phonographic recording, to protect and reward the promoter’s investment. The DPMA has said this collection right can be retrospective – going back 25 years. This is a full property right according to BDV lawyer  Dr Johannes Ulbricht, and the promoter may prevent communication to the public or online distribution of any live concert [he] has organised – and an audio visual recording cannot be broadcast without the promoter’s consent.
GWVR has now published its first tariffs that it says should be used when recordings for contemporary music, classical or comedy events – whether audio/visual or just sound – are broadcast on radio, television, YouTube or Spotify. 
The tariff on albums and recorded music products is:
50%+ live content:  7%
25-50% live content: 4.55%
-25% live content: 3.5%
Despite some 18 months of negotiation, the record label’s association BVMI and independent labels association VUT have not accepted the new tariff and have offered 2.5%. GWVR has said the difference should be paid by labels into an Escrow account until the matter is settled. The labels have said in certain circumstances the tariff could force companies into liquidation. 
All promoters based in the European Union can become a member of the GWVR and German promoters will be able to claim for events at home and abroad. The cost of 

membership is €300.


Audience Magazine: Issue 204 January 2017

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