You might not know that Germany has officially joined the ranks of countries that now has a Digital DJ License. German law and the german licensing company, GEMA, make things a bit more complicated than you might expect. So, this is your chance to catch up, or have a laugh, whatever you prefer.
What all of this means is, that if you play a track that is a copied version of something you bought legally (or got for free as a promo), for example on a CD you burnt or on a USB stick, you might have to pay GEMA a license for copying. Even if you play tracks from an external hard drive this license applies. It applies to tracks you might copy from a backup to your computer too. For tracks to require a license, it is not necessary that you play them while you are doing your best DJ set ever in Germany, but to carry them with you with the intend of playing them while in a club is enough.
Now this does not apply to all your tracks you might have copied this way. As far as we know, if you copy a track in Germany, like for instance in a hotel room while on tour, just every track you copied in our country will be a track to which this license applies.
Now, how is this supposed to work? And why might it apply to you?
In general, every one of these tracks will cost you 0,13 Euro. You may even buy package-deals from GEMA for 50 Euro per 500 Tracks. Should you be terribly unlucky and your hard drive crashes, you will have to pay a fee of 125 Euro for all tracks, if you have more than 1000. Btw. you are not allowed to tell GEMA what tracks you actually play, so there will be no chance, that any of the money you are supposed to pay, will ever end up in the hands of the artists you support.
Still with me? Ok. So how would you pay this you might ask? GEMA imagines you will make a contract with them, that might even enable them to look through your computer, just in case you did anything wrong. Yes, we think this is strange too.
Will they really enforce this crazy license, and if so, how? Well, nobody knows so far, as it will only start the 1st of april (not an april fools joke though). We just thought we might give you a heads up, if anybody ever asks you in our country if you copied some of the tracks you play recently, or should you feel the urge to post on your social media outlets anything like: just got these crazy tracks from my friend and will play them tonight.
Yes this license applies to tracks you got from friends that are in the GEMA or any other licensing company and even to your own, if you have a contract with one. So don’t even think about playing tracks that you just produced on the road in Germany.
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