GEMA boss says Google must pay proper price for content

By | Published on Friday 2 July 2010

While AIM boss Alison Wenham was criticising Google for their (mis)treatment of music creators in London this week, the boss of the main German collecting society was saying similar things at his AGM in Berlin. Though officially he was holding out an olive branch.

As previously reported, GEMA fell out with Google over YouTube royalties around about the same time as PRS last year. However, unlike PRS in the UK, GEMA never resolved its royalty dispute, meaning premium videos have never returned to YouTube in the country.

According to Billboard, GEMA boss Harald Heker called on YouTube to return to the negotiating table this week in a serious bid to get music back on the video site in Germany, but, he added, the web firm would have to be willing to budge on the royalty issue first.

Heker said: “Any author wants his work to be heard as much as possible and YouTube has become an important marketing instrument for many artists. [But] music has a value – YouTube knows that and it benefits from this. That’s why YouTube must pay for the content which it uses. This is what we are aiming to achieve”.

The GEMA boss revealed that after a year of wrangling, the collecting society’s talks with YouTube officially broke down back in May.