Since 2009, many major musicians’ videos have been unavailable on YouTube in Germany, thanks to a music rights organization called the Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte (GEMA).
The dark era is finally coming to an end: After seven long years, YouTube announced that it’s struck an agreement with GEMA to allow users in Germany to view videos from its catalog without any fuss.
The state-authorized collecting society represents thousands of musicians in Germany as well as millions of international copyright holders. It demanded a fee per video stream from Google to compensate artists, but negotiations repeatedly fell through.
YouTube didn’t explain exactly what terms it’s agreed to with GEMA, but it’s pulled off a huge victory for its platform and its fans in Germany. The company said in a blog post:
We continue to invest in our rights management system, Content ID, to protect rights owners while continuing to innovate and create new and exciting YouTube features such as VR and 360, that can heighten the music experience on YouTube even more.