Authors’ societies sign two major deals this week with YouTube and SoundCloud

It has been an exciting week for a number of GESAC members, as negotiations between German member GEMA and YouTube finally paid off with a licensing agreement. On the same day, ICE, an online rights licensing hub for PRS (UK), STIM (Sweden), and GEMA (Germany), announced it had signed a licensing agreement with SoundCloud.


On the deal with SoundCloud, ICE Licensing Commercial Director Ben McEwen said: “The deal with SoundCloud marks another significant step forward as ICE continues to work to simplify multi-territory licensing for the benefit of rightsholders and digital music service providers alike; we are delighted to welcome SoundCloud as a licensee.”

On striking a deal with GEMA, Dr Harald Heker, CEO of the German authors’ society said: “After seven years of tough negotiations the conclusion of this contract with YouTube marks a milestone for GEMA and its members. We remained true to our position that authors should also get a fair remuneration in the digital age, despite the resistance we met. It is crucial that the licensing agreement that we have now signed covers both the future and the past. By reaching this agreement, we can secure the royalties for our members. »

Dr Heker warned that GEMA and YouTube still hold diverging legal positions, despite striking a deal, and added that “a modern copyright needs to be created which enables music creators to claim their financial share in the digital value chain.”

  • Read GEMA’s press release here.
  • Read the Q&A on the deal here.

Véronique Desbrosses, General Manager of GESAC said: “Platforms services like YouTube or SoundCloud are among the dominant players on the online music market and it is only fair that they remunerate authors for the works that they provide access to. This confirms that European law needs clarification to ensure that there is a strong and clear legal framework for the fair remuneration of authors online throughout Europe in the years to come.”

  • Find out more about the ongoing copyright review and GESAC’s position concerning platform services here.