In Germany, nightclubs will face higher royalty payments when a new policy by the collecting society Gesellschaft für Musikalische Aufführung (GEMA) takes effect on January 1.  The new fees will be based on the size of the venue and the price of admission, but not on the attendence of events.  Some estimate that the new fees could be 5-10 times the current fees.

Attorney Mathias Straub told BNA that GEMA represents 80-90% ofmusic played in Germany, but “Whatever music is played [in clubs] is first deemed to be music from Gema unless any promoter or club owner can prove they do not use Gema material and then they don’t have to pay.”  (See full BNA story.)

In Spain, the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SGAE) has been fined nearly €1.8 million for abuse of its dominant position.  The competition authority found that it abused its position as the only collection society in Spain in “discriminatory and non=transparent application of discounts” and also through a “so-called replacement fee, which is unfair and discriminatory.”  SGAE is in the process of internal reforms, after other controversies surrounding fraud. (See full BNA story.)