The GEMA vs Berlin clubland battle has risen its ugly head again, adding another twist to the ongoing royalties saga that is affecting clubs and DJs in the German city.
Earlier this year we reported that Berlin clubs could face closure as soon as January 2013 because royalty fees were being raised to an extortionate degree by German organisation GEMA. Then we reported that the clubs, such as institutions like Berghain, would in fact stay open after reaching an agreement with GEMA.
Now it appears that GEMA could be putting a surcharge on DJs who use laptops during sets, adding renewed pressure on clubs.
According to FACT, DJs playing music from laptops will have to pay a surcharge of 30 per cent for every track under five minutes with an extra 20 per cent being added on top for every added minute. This means that if you wanted to play a bunch of MP3s during a set, you'd have to stump up a princely amount of cash. There is some confusion over this but it looks like DJs using software to play out could be slapped with a fine.
So, the battle between GEMA and Berlin clubland continues. More when we have it. And, if GEMA has its way, do expect things to kick off. Just see what Scuba has to say about the matter...
Fuck GEMA. There needs to be co-ordinated civil disobedience on this.
— Scuba (@ScubaUK) November 30, 2012
Photo: James Kendall