Germany's small clubs could face crisis and closure if the new GEMA laws are passed, as well as some of Berlin's most famous clubs, such as Berghain. The long and short of it is this: GEMA takes cake of mechanical royalties, which means if you want to play a record and the record belongs to someone who's a GEMA member you have to pay a certain amount per recor, which is then paid to the artist.
However, the new laws are proposing to raise the fees to an extortionate amount (600%-1200%). It also affects all events where live music or sound recordings are played, including CDs, DVDs, Laptops, so includes Jazz evenings, street parties, dances, balls, galas and New Year Celebrations. GEMA have 'sold' their new tariff structure so that it's easier and more balanced and will lead to significant benefits for artists, but in reality it means many small clubs and venues, as well as some larger ones, will face closure. With much of Europe in recession and tourism (aka clubbing!) being a huge source of revenue to Berlin, is this a sensible idea? In these dark times to shut off the lights in the some of the world's most famous clubs seems an extreme and unnecessary measure.
Steffi spoke out saying 'I think this might actually be a way of trying to put a stop to the unlimited party possibilities in Berlin. It's very radical. I am sad to say that there weren't so many people at the protest but look how many people were there celebrating the weekend... 'This will ruin the whole music scene in Germany!'
You can sign the petition to save German clubs from the GEMA laws HERE.