Questions regarding the performer distribution

Do you still have questions on the performer distribution? Here are some compact and comprehensible answers:

GVL payouts do not pose a risk to corona support by the government

The Minister of State for Culture and Media, in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Economics, has confirmed: current remuneration from collective management organisations or music licensing organisations (CMOs/MLCs) has no influence on the special economic support measures granted by the Federal Government in November and December.

The current payouts by CMOs/MLCs relating to past performance periods are not taken into account when calculating turnover under the support programmes. 

Specifically, the taxable turnover pursuant to Section 1 of the German VAT Act is used as the basis for calculating turnover. According to that, turnover was thus generally achieved in a specific month if the performance or service was provided in that month.  As such, the date of the performance or service is thus generally relevant, and not the time when the order was placed or the payment was received, in the GVL context, this would be the performer distribution for the years 2015 to 2019 in November 2020, for example. Payment receipts without provision of services thus do not lead to an exclusion regarding your application for corona state support.  

In view of the financial bottlenecks that many artists suffer from, we were asked by a large number of rights holders and associations to offset advance payments only moderately against distributions in 2020. 

The advances were determined specifically from forecasts for individual distribution years. During the regular distribution process, they are now assigned to the individual distribution years and offset with the corresponding amount, so that a combination of offsetting and payment can easily occur. This may, under certain circumstances, extend the settlement period, but has the desirable advantage that unexpectedly high remuneration in certain years will also be felt by the rights holders. You will find information about the prepayments and the amounts paid and cleared in each case on your payout notifications.

Unfortunately, we cannot meet this wish. As a trustee, our fiduciary obligations demand that we pay out allocated monies as quickly as possible. We have no technical means or legal option to retain monies or to transfer them at a requested date, like a bank would.   

In the case of corona advances, the rights holders could decide whether they wanted to apply for them and accept potential payment offsets, since this was a voluntary offer and not a payout linked to a deadline.  In the case of regular distributions, renouncing on them or postponing them is therefore not possible from a legal point of view.  Withholding monies could be interpreted as criminal assistance to obtaining benefits with deception.

We are aware that some of our rights holders are in a very stressful situation due to the corona-related restrictions, where the financial conditions with regard to support services are constantly changing and where one has to constantly reassess the overall financial situation. However, the vast majority of our rights holders are urgently awaiting the distributions.

The immediate emergency relief can still be applied for as a one-off, unless you have already done so. Please note that this might be charged with other social benefits by the government. Please contact Further information can be accessed at

At present, we are not yet aware of the specifics regarding the VAT relief. Of course we will keep you informed on this point. The collection services shall be subject to the current VAT rate of 16%. From 2021 onwards, the VAT rate applied to collection services shall amount to 19% again.

You can access information on remuneration from private copying and rental/lending here (performers).

There can be various reasons for this:

Has your personal master data changed recently? If there has been returned post or bank returns, we cannot carry out a payout. Please contact us to update your data to its current status.

Have you received any advance payments recently, such as the corona advance? Then the distribution amount was probably fully offset or is now below the minimum limit of €5.00.

The payout amount is below the minimum limit of €5.00..

In some cases, the forecast for the value of contributing to a production must be adjusted downwards. Any overpayments that have taken place up to that point must first be offset against the payout amounts.

GVL runs several parallel distributions.  We are about to run the subsequent distribution 2015-2018 as well as the initial distribution for 2019.

The distributions relate to the productions which were used in the respective year.

Unfortunately, no, the actual transferable amount will only be communicated to you with the payout notification on the day of the bank transfer. A few days later, detailed reports will be available to you on the performer portal where the expected total remuneration until the end of the distribution window is shown per production. 

Please contact our team for distribution finances in the event of tax related questions or regarding your transfer: or call them on +49 (0)30 48483634 Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 2.00pm.

Please contact our team for distribution finances in the event of tax related questions or regarding your transfer: or call them on +49 (0)30 48483634 Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 2.00pm.

In 2010, the EU Commission prompted GVL to change its distribution system to an internationally valid standard. This entailed a migration from our performers’ distribution system of an income-based distribution to a usage-based calculation. Since then, it no longer matters how much income a performer 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 meine.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 report 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 reported 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 performers 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 meine.gvl is straightforward - but you can also e-mail it to us.

All performers basically have a four-year period to report their contributions to productions (e.g. music or film).

Duplicates are data records within the GVL databases which relate to one and the same product but may have slightly deviating titles due to typos or transmission errors and therefore incorrectly appear in our database multiple times. In short: Duplicates are unwanted twins of data records.

GVL is working under high pressure to detect these data duplicates and to merge them to one single and unique data record. This type of data clearing process helps you as an performer – after all, the more unique and specific a data pool is, the easier and quicker it is for you to submit your contributions for productions. 

Please note: By deleting duplicates the total number of your contribution registrations may decrease but we will ensure that all registrations will be transferred to the remaining data record and the remuneration is thus not diminished. Another benefit for you is that you will get a better overview of your productions. 

The GVL distribution calculation is based on distribution regulations which include fixed distribution rules. In the course of the distribution calculation there is a so-called regressive multiplier i.e. especially in the case of particularly intensive usages, the remuneration is reduced based on tiers. 

Following the reduction of the duplicates (see above), it may be possible that a product might include a higher amount of usage units after the data cleanup. In such cases the total of the usage units might exceed some threshold values of the regressive scaling system. All usage units above a given threshold made up of the added up usage units for a production are then no longer considered for distribution at 100%.

The first regressive multiplier applies to

  • sound recordings spoken word & music from more than 30,000 usage units
  • radio productions music from 15,000 usage units
  • AV productions/radio broadcasts spoken word from the 5th broadcast

All details relating to the distribution calculation can be accessed on our website:

We are positive that the final distribution of the reserved remuneration – whose final amounts will not be known prior to mid-December – will exclude claw backs or reclaims. If, however, repayments were to result from a regressive multiplier being applied for the first time ever, they would be offset against future payouts. No right holder will have to pay back monies.

Should you have reported several different contributions (e.g. different instruments) for one product, these contributions will, of course, be taken into account separately and therefore remain valid as different, non-identical contributions.

In order to use our online portal artsys and report 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 performers 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 meine.gvl, 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.

You can access all relevant information here