The ongoing negotiations between German royalties outfit GEMA and YouTube have broken down with 1.6m Euros worth of damages being called for by the European company.
GEMA originally filed a lawsuit which resulted in a ruling holding YouTube liable for user-uploaded copyright-infringing music after it had been informed of the infringement. The ruling was appealed by both parties and a deal was not reached before the appeals deadline.
Now, according to a statement released by GEMA last week, it wants to bring the case to the arbitration board at the German Patent and Trademark Office in order to agree minimum payments for its members from the platform. In the interim it has asked YouTube “to refrain from the arbitrary insertion of locking plates”, referring to on-screen blocking notices naming GEMA responsible for the takedowns, which GEMA said are “highly misleading”
The damages filing “applies to the unlicensed use of 1,000 copyrighted musical works of GEMA repertoire”.
The two parties have been out of agreement since March 2009. The statement explained further: "Up till January 2013, despite efforts on both sides, no agreement could be found on the question of the service's copyright responsibility for the content put online, nor on the amount of remuneration," "Therefore GEMA is now taking the first measures to secure appropriate compensation for the copyright holders."
Dr. Harald Heker, CEO de GEMA says of the applications: "Our position is clear: the use of the copyrighted repertoire creators need to be fairly compensated. Since 1 April 2009, YouTube has refused all proposals of an appropriate licensing. This means that YouTube perceived by GEMA rights of our members since exploited without any compensation to the owners.
“In our view, this represents a violation of copyright represents a claim for compensation is appropriate, in our view, because the copyrighted musical works are used on YouTube and mass marketed. "
GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 65,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) in Germany and more than two million rights holders around the world.