Since music became a business, musicians and those who support and benefit from them like labels, publishers etc. have been ‘targeted’ by its transformations. We’ve passed three big revolutions so far, the Jazz Revolution of the 20’s, the Rock ‘n Roll Revolution of the 60’s and the seemingly still continuing Digital Revolution since the 90’s.
Most complaints are of financial matter, which is understandable. But what if there’s a threat that you didn’t expect or know of?
In germany there’s only one collecting society for musical works, GEMA, society for musical performance rights and mechanical duplication rights.
But truth of the matter is that so far almost 1900 anti-GEMA complaints/petitions have been filed with the german parliament.
Major points of criticism are the unjust voting power of its members, because only 5% actually have a vote. Another one would be that the regulations for the calculating formular are impossible to fathom for a normal person and therefore can hardly be reviewed by outsiders. Creative commons licenses are not accepted, you either sign your whole work over or nothing. The thing that bothers the remaining 95% probably the most is the unfair bureaucracy, that sometimes leaves independent artists having to pay fees for selling their own music and never being paid compensation.
But we may finally see the end of the tunnel these days.
As it looks like there is a new collecting society on its way in germany. C3S, namely the Cultural Commons Collecting Society. This is their mission statement:
„The C3S is a collaborative initiative with artists for artists to found a new and trend-setting european collecting society. A non-exclusive collecting society, that allows musicians to exploit their under non-commercial Creative Commons licenses published work outside traditional schemes commercially. More than that, the C3S will also be open for the commercial exploitation of works under other free licenses, including works that are published without explicitly defined license.”
This sounds much more reasonable than the slave all-or-nothing operation system that GEMA officials so mulishly cling to.
Up to now, the financial foundation, with an amount of more than € 200.000 ($ 267.660) is set. The crowdfunding campaign will be open until september 30th on http://www.startnext.de/c3s.
Meeting the remaining requirements for being able and allowed to turn their plans into reality, will probably take some time. But guess what? Since C3S gets a whole lot of attention and response, even GEMA claims they would implement creative commons licenses in the future, which they always denied possible.
Ergo, as a matter of fact, they already have brought some movement into european music business, imagine what they could do, if when successful?
Best of luck to Meik Michalke, Wolfgang Senges, Zoe Leela and all the others!
Watch their introduction video here