What makes a song commercial

Legal certainty: you should know that.

Which conditions have to be fulfilled for the status “GEMA-free”?

Buy music for commercial use

Royalty free? Yes or no: when is music GEMA-free and when is it not? These are the things to look out for when purchasing music for commercial use. Music is royalty-free if the exploitation of the music rights has not been placed in the care of GEMA as the rights management company by the music creators.

GEMA (Society for Musical Performance and Mechanical Reproduction Rights) is one such company. GEMA takes over the rights administration for music creators to their music. The prerequisite is that they have been authorized to do so by the musicians via GEMA membership.

Music whose authors died at least 70 years ago is basically royalty-free. A GEMA exploitation right only exists if the author of a music title

1. as a member of GEMA allows GEMA to manage its exploitation rights and
2. the authorship of a music track does not date back more than 70 years.

Quality in GEMA-free music

Not being a member of GEMA says nothing about the professionalism or talent of a musician. It only says that the music maker wants to determine the exploitation of his music himself.

The online marketing opportunities associated with the worldwide spread of the Internet have resulted in an increasing number of talented professional artists deciding not to join a collecting society. Royalty-free music is often referred to as freely available music, but this does not mean that this music can therefore automatically be used free of charge.

Current opportunities for self-marketing via online channels often offer artists more influence and often also significantly better exploitation conditions. Since no administrative apparatus of a rights collecting society has to be co-financed for self-marketing.

The quality shortcoming that royalty-free music from the past few days still clings to the unspeakably cheaply composed and produced “elevator music” is nowadays unfounded.

In particular, the royalty-free repertoire of MUSIC2BIZ is characterized by its high professional quality standard. All music is handpicked by professional music editors. The repertoire is continuously expanded and updated.

The use of our music flat rates is like freely available music directly from the internet radio

Companies can receive and play our royalty-free music flat rates with many internet and audio-enabled devices. PC, Mac, audio receiver, tablet, mobile phone, router, internet radio - everything works as a plug & play solution in next to no time. Our high-performance server infrastructure also guarantees that our music programs are available all year round, around the clock. The MUSIC2BIZ software player saves two hours of music - just to be on the safe side - just in case your internet connection doesn't work.

What role does GEMA play?

Founded as a legal association in Germany, GEMA monitors the commercial use of music in all German media. This includes television, radio, the Internet, but also the use of music in public areas, for example in hotels, pubs, restaurants, shopping areas or fitness centers.

It is GEMA's declared aim to protect the intellectual property of musicians and to ensure appropriate remuneration for the use of music.

For this, GEMA requires the consent of the rights holder. GEMA can only manage the rights of its members, because only those composers, songwriters and music publishers who are voluntary members have given it their consent.

As an association, GEMA only acts on behalf of its members and only for their music. It has no general right of exploitation for all pieces of music that are used commercially.

How does the GEMA association perform its tasks?

Works by musicians are copyrighted per se in Germany and many countries around the world. Only the music producer himself is entitled to allow the commercial use of his works. This permission is usually granted in the form of a license.

The practice of monitoring the media and public areas with regard to the use of protected music is not inexpensive and can hardly be implemented for individual musicians.

GEMA therefore takes on this task for its members and at the same time acts as their “debt collection” department.

Among other things, GEMA carries out inspection visits to restaurants, hotels, trade fairs and shops. It is checked whether the operator of the restaurant, the hotel etc. can present a written permission from the artist or GEMA for the public performance of the respective work for commercial purposes.

Anyone wishing to use music from GEMA members must acquire a license for public music performance from GEMA. GEMA uses a sophisticated process to distribute the income from these license sales to its members - minus the costs for monitoring services and its internal administrative apparatus.

Advantages of royalty free music from MUSIC2BIZ

The costs for the use of the royalty-free repertoire of MUSIC2BIZ are significantly cheaper compared to the use of the repertoire that is subject to GEMA, as the GEMA institution does not have to be co-financed.

MUSIC2BIZ shares the royalty-free music creators in the income within the framework of a transparent tariff model. The amount of income depends on the frequency with which the piece of music is played.

The use of royalty-free music streams is quick and easy via an online order on the MUSIC2BIZ website. The purchase of the rights of use is easy and unbureaucratic as part of a fair subscription. All subscriptions and music channels used can be conveniently managed online by the customer himself.

All royalty-free tariffs can be tested free of charge for 30 days without risk.

During the test period, customers have unlimited access to all available music programs. Registering with MUSIC2BIZ is quick and easy and is the best way to convince yourself of the quality of the royalty-free MUSIC2BIZ repertoire for free. For the registration form, please click here.

Legally secure use of GEMA-free music

MUSIC2BIZ has a written declaration of exemption from the musicians for all music titles licensed as royalty free. In the GEMA declaration of exemption, the composer of the music title is named and it is confirmed in writing that the music title is not subject to GEMA.

MUSIC2BIZ provides all customers with a confirmation of the GEMA exemption for regular checks by GEMA employees.

This confirmation is important because GEMA generally assumes that every musician has signed a contract with GEMA. As long as a user cannot prove otherwise, GEMA assumes that the user has to pay GEMA fees.

The MUSIC2BIZ confirmation of the GEMA exemption serves as a certificate for on-site inspections by GEMA that the subscribed music flat rate is royalty-free and that the user therefore does not have to pay any GEMA fees.

Links to further information sources:

VPRT (Association of Private Broadcasting and Telemedia e.V.)
The association works to ensure that the economic, regulatory and technical framework conditions for private media companies in Germany are optimized and adapted to the dynamic development of the market.

THE BUNDESVERBAND MUSIKINDUSTRIE e. V.
The Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) represents the interests of around 250 record manufacturers and music companies, which represent more than 80 percent of the German music market.

IFPI - Performance Rights
The performance rights sector shows that music plays an important role in a much wider range of economic activities.

The GEMA
Business reports

AGOF
Study digital facts