Q&A for artists

Do you have any further questions? Our Q&A contains concise and clear answers for you:

In 2010, the EU Commission prompted GVL to change its distribution system to an internationally valid standard. This entailed a migration from our artists’ distribution system of an income-based distribution to a usage-based calculation. Since then, it no longer matters how much income an artist received for a production. Today’s payments are based on the actual usage of a production on the radio/on TV.

The calculation basis for such a distribution is the broadcast of a production on the radio and/or TV in line with the relevant broadcast minutes. Radio and TV usually do not broadcast an entire album during a programme, but individual titles only. It is the number of minutes a work has been broadcast that is relevant for distribution purposes. Such broadcast minutes incur for individual titles that have actually been broadcast. Radio stations and TV broadcasters provide us with the titles they broadcast, together with the relevant broadcast duration in minutes. We match them against your contribution registrations which you have submitted via our online portal artsys.gvl. If a production which you have evidently contributed to has been broadcast, you will receive a payment from GVL for it.

Only if you register your contributions to artistic productions to GVL, can we match them against the broadcasts on radio and TV. Your registration is the prerequisite for being paid a remuneration for your productions that have been used by radio/TV.

With the migration to a usage-based distribution system, the verification criteria for registered contributions have been modified. As we have only been evaluating your contributions from a track-based aspect since 2010, our verification criteria are much more detailed today than they were before the systems migration.
Furthermore, the evidence we received from you before 2010 was usually not returned to artists which means that we do no longer hold them as a basis for evidence. In order to verify all of your contribution registrations, we research through existing and available sources first in order to ensure that your contribution can be confirmed. Only in exceptional cases, when our research was unsuccessful, we wil contact you with a request to provide us with evidence.

In order to receive remuneration for your contributions to used productions that are relevant for distribution, you need to be able to document these upon request. In such cases, we will get in touch with you. Uploading your evidence in our online portal artsys.gvl is straightforward - but you can also e-mail it to us.

All artists basically have a four-year period to register their contributions to productions (e.g. music or film). For the first two distributions after the systems migration (distribution years 2010 and 2011), our supervisory authority, the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) has, however, set a transitional period. A registration period of six years thus only applies for 2010; for the distribution year 2011, artists had five years time to register. The intention was to ensure all artists had enough time to familiarise themselves with the new distribution regulation and to register their contributions on artistic productions with GVL online.

Before the systems migration, professional fees’ statements of the artists formed the basis for the distribution. The relevant payouts were based on them and transferred to artists - under the assumption that within the next 50 years, one or several broadcasts of such submitted productions would take place.
Today, artists receive remuneration each year, depending on the actual usage on radio/TV. You may register your contribution with GVL in relation to broadcast i.e. used productions during a period of four years after the transmission. Once the four-year registration deadline has lapsed, a final distribution for the relevant year is made. The distributions in 2017 for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 will show for the first time how high the total sum for each individual title within a distribution year actually is. The first final distribution will also take place for the first time since the migration of the system and we can make a more accurate statement.

Before the systems migration, you received a payout based on a fee or income for your contribution to an artistic production. With the new system, you have been receiving payments each year that are based on the actual usage since 2010. It is thus not possible to answer this question now but only in 50, resp. 70 years for sound recordings: This is how long a work is protected and this is how long you receive remuneration payments from us. In the event of your death, remuneration payments for your contributions can be paid to your descendants - as legal successors - until this protection period has lapsed. Whether you are paid a higher or lower total by GVL can only be established once all distributions have been added up over 50 or 70 years.

Since the beginning of this year, the option to register for so-called open budgets has been made available. Commercials & advertising music on the TV and documentaries can be registered already via this option. Music in radio plays, advertisements on the radio and jingles as well as individual TV contributions will follow gradually.
 You will have time until 2019 to complete your contribution registration for productions broadcast between 2010 and 2012 from this category. The first distribution for such budgets (with the exception of the recordings not used for broadcasting purposes) is expected to take place at the end of 2017, with the the final distribution to be made in 2020. Please click here for further information.

In order to use our online portal artsys and register your contribution registrations in it, you require a computer with internet access. Your contribution registrations are centrally stored in our system and automatically matched against the respective product data submitted by the users. This makes our work very efficient. A manual matching process between contributions received in writing and the respective product data would be very time-consuming and would entail high costs - and we deal with money in a very responsible way on behalf of our members.
Nevertheless we offer artists without a computer and/or internet access the possibility to provide their contribution registrations in writing. As we are a fiduciary collective management organisation, we hope you appreciate that we need to raise a processing fee for this additional effort. The fee level is currently being coordinated with our supervisory authority - the German Patent and Trademark Office.
Our new service provides support for you with regards to the online registration! With the new registration area in the online portal artsys.gvl [verlinken], we now offer you not only a more comfortable user guidance but also a simplified registration process. We would be happy to guide you through the online portal in order to support you with your searches for productions and the online registration of your contribution(s). After all this helps us to avoid charging you a processing fee.