Pirate sues against gema distribution

So far, music publishers have received 33 to 40 percent of the royalties, the suit says. "At the end of the day, these royalties belong to the creators," says kramm.

With the lawsuit, which his lawyer filed with the berlin district court on monday, kramm wants to set a precedent for other artists. The lawsuit has not yet been served on gema, a spokeswoman for the collecting society said. Therefore, it could not give any information on the allegations made.

According to the statement of claim, it is specifically about several albums by kramm and lyricist stefan ackermann. They argue that they had transferred the rights to use their works to the gema, not the publishers. The publishers were therefore not entitled to a share of the gema fees.

Kramm denounces music publishers’ influence in collecting society and calls for more say for smaller artists. Gema fees are incurred when playing music on the radio or performances by bands. The gema distributes them to music publishers and artists. More than 64,000 artists belong to gema.

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