GVL members elect four new Board representatives

17. February 2014. 

392 attendees at the early rights holders' assembly in Berlin

On 14 February 2014, GVL held rights holders' assembly at the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin that it had brought forward in time. The election of Board members by the rights holders which usually takes place every three years was brought forward due to the fact that the validity of the past Board elections in 2012 was challenged by a rights holder by lodging an appeal.

"Irrespective of the question whether this appeal had been lodged rightfully or not – something that we do not believe was the case and so far it has not been decided by the court – we felt it was necessary to bring the next rights holders' assembly, including the Board elections, forward to re-establish the necessary legal certainty". This is how the Managing Directors, Dr. Tilo Gerlach and Guido Evers, justified the early date. Two representatives of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) were present and monitored that the event was held in an orderly fashion in line with regulations.

A total of 392 members followed GVL's invitation and attended the rights holders' assembly 2014. Moreover, the simplified and expanded regulations for representation had a very positive reception: More than 300 artists were represented for voting purposes by another member. Individual group meetings elected their representatives for producers of sound recordings, producers of audio and audiovisual recordings (music video clip producers), conductors and music directors, studio musicians, instrumentalists (soloists), actors and artistic performers, soloists (singers and dancers), literary directors, orchestra members, choir and ballet members as well as event organisers.

Eight members of the Board were confirmed and remain in office as representatives of their rights holders' group. New GVL Board members and their respective member groups are: Christof Ellinghaus (City Slang) for sound and audiovisual producers, Bernfried Pröve (Edition Zeitklang) for producers of sound recordings, Clemens Bieber for soloists (singers and dancers) plus Christian Balcke for orchestras. "We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to our Board members Peter Brem, Michael Hansen, Peter James and Lars Oliver Johna who left their Board positions, for their trusting and committed voluntary work. A cordial welcome to our newly elected Board members as representatives of their rights holders' group; we look forward to working with them in the interest of all members", say Guido Evers and Dr. Tilo Gerlach, GVL's Managing Directors.

After the elections, the Managing Directors presented the financial development of GVL in the previous years as well as an outlook onto the current business year: The number of artists, event organisers and producers which entrust GVL with the administration of their neighbouring rights was increased to 142,635 members.

Another positive development could be noted with respect to GVL's total collections – they amounted to EUR 146.96m in 2012. Approx. EUR 14m of this amount represented receivables on the balance sheet only and is held in suspense from distribution to members for the time being. "Previously blocked funds for distribution years up to and including 2011 could be dissolved and paid out in the meantime. From distribution year 2012 onwards, we unfortunately lack significant portions from the private copying levy therefore we can only put receivables into the balance sheet", explains Guido Evers.

During their presentation, both Managing Directors elaborated on further income areas and reported, among other issues, on the current state of negotiations regarding public performance. With regards to the latter, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) is now deciding on the GVL request to attribute the same share to artists and producers as authors and publishers in future (GVL currently only receives 20% of the GEMA tariff for public performance). The distribution system for artists was presented in depth; it had undergone major changes which impacted on the distribution from 2010 onwards.

"It is important for us that we alert all artists to the fact that a distribution subject to the new system will extend over several years and that we need to provide remuneration reserves until the end of the registration period for all contributors. It is not until 2017 that the closing distributions for 2010, 2011 and 2012 will take place", emphasises Dr. Tilo Gerlach. Following the reports, a discussion with the management constituted the final agenda item.

The GVL Board represents the interests of individual members. Twelve seats on the GVL Board are elected for a duration of three years by the rights holders' assembly, twelve further representatives are elected by the Associates' Assembly which consists of the Federal Association of the Music Industry (registered association) [BVMI] and the German Orchestra Association (registered association) [DOV]. The Board's duties include the ratification of the annual distribution regulations, the resolution of amendments to the agreement for the assignment and administration of rights and advising management regarding the conclusion of general agreements and regarding the setting of tariffs.

Board member Rights holders' group
Christian Balcke
(new board member)
Orchestra members
Clemens Bieber
(new board member)
Soloists (singers and dancers)
Prof. Gottfried Böttger
Instrumental soloists
Tonio Bogdanski, Universal Music GmbH
Producers of sound recordings
Christof Ellinghaus
(new board member)
Sound and audiovisual recordings
Dr. Stephan Frucht
Conductors and music directors
Günther Gebauer
Studio musicians
Felix Partenzi
Literary directors
Bernfried Pröve, Edition Zeitklang
(new board member)
Producers of sound recordings
Thomas Schmuckert
Actors and artistic performers
Detlev Tiemann
Choir- and ballett members
Ronny Unganz
Event organisers