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GWVR to give promoters cut of concert recordings

The BDV-backed collection society will enable event organisers to earn royalties from audiovisual content, such as live albums and concert films, captured at German shows

By IQ on 10 Feb 2017

BDV executive board, GWVR

BDV's 2015–18 executive board, with Jens Michow third from right

image © BDV

New German collection society GWVR has published details of its tariffs in German government gazette the Bundesanzeiger, launching officially after more than a decade in development.

GWVR (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Veranstalterrechten, Society for the Exercise of Promoters’ Rights), a subsidiary of promoters’ and agents’ association BDV, was approved as Germany’s 13th collection society in 2014 by the German Patent and Trademark Office, with its governing board meeting for the first time at the Live Entertainment Awards in Frankfurt the following year.

The society’s USP is that it allows the organisers of concerts and live events in Germany – international promoters included – to earn royalties from the use of audiovisual content, such as live albums and concert films, captured at their shows.

As GWVR chief Johannes Ulbricht explained in IQ 61: “For the first time there is a collection society in Germany which collects fees for the commercial usage of live recordings.”

Audience reports artists making their own recordings for commercial use will also be liable to make payments to promoters, whose right to royalties is retrospective for 25 years.

“It’s the biggest thing we have ever done – it’s a revolution in the live entertainment business”

According to Audience, despite 18 months of negotiations, record label associations BVMI and VUT have not accepted GWVR’s tariffs – 7% where the live content is more than 50%, 4.5% for live content of 25–50% and 3.5% for anything under 25% – and have instead offered a flat rate 2.5%. Until an agreement is reached, the society says the labels are compelled by law to deposit the difference between 2.5% and 7% in a third-party bank account.

“It’s the biggest thing we have ever done,” BDV president Jens Michow tells the magazine. “It’s a revolution in the live entertainment business.

“Every promoter who has such rights will also be entitled to revenue from radio and television broadcasts of the recordings, as well as from platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.”

He adds he doesn’t “want to have a war with record labels, or push too far back into the past for payments”, but emphasises “the promoter has to get what they are entitled too.”

In order to receive the royalties, eligible promoters and venues will need to join GWVR. Membership is priced at €300 per annum.


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