Since 2009, many popular music videos on YouTube were out of reach to German users due to a licensing feud between Google and GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte), a leading music rights organization in the country. The dispute dragged out for over seven years, but the two companies have finally announced a deal that will unleash thousands of new videos upon German audiences.
“Today is a big day for music in Germany”
The deal comes after a back-and-forth legal battle over whether Google could be held financially liable for music copyright-infringing in videos uploaded to YouTube. GEMA originally won its first case, but later court rulings reversed the decision, absolving Google from any financial damages over content uploaded by users.
“Today is a big day for music in Germany. YouTube has reached a landmark agreement with the Germany-based music rights organization, GEMA, meaning that starting today, more music will be available on YouTube in Germany,” YouTube’s Head of International Music Partnerships, Christophe Muller, said in a statement announcing the deal. “This is a win for music artists around the world, enabling them to reach new and existing fans in Germany, while also earning money from the advertising on their videos. And for YouTube users in Germany, who will no longer see a blocking message on music content that contains GEMA repertoire, for the first time in seven years.”