Standardized framework for the licensing of sound recordings in Europe: BIEM president Georg Oeller signs a new Standard Contract with the IFPI
The international organization representing mechanical rights societies (BIEM) and the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have signed a new Standard Contract.
As a result, standardized conditions for the licensing of physical sound recordings will continue to
exist in Europe in the future.
“By signing the new contract, we have been able to standardize the basis for the licensing of
sound recordings in Europe once more. Clear international structures will allow us to continue
safeguarding royalties for our copyright holders,” said GEMA executive board member Georg
Oeller, who was elected president of the BIEM (Bureau International des Sociétés Gérant les Droits
d’Enregistrement ET de Reproduction Mécanique) in June 2013. The new contract is of particular
importance because the previous contract expired a long time ago. “It would not have been
possible to agree on this new contract without the consistent negotiations conducted by my
predecessors Thierry Desurmont and Ronald Mooij,” Oeller added.
BIEM deals exclusively with the rights for the physical reproduction of sound and audio-visual
recordings. One of its main tasks is to negotiate the framework conditions for the licensing of
physical sound recordings with the IFPI and to stipulate these conditions in an international
agreement known as the BIEM-IFPI Standard Contract. In turn, this agreement forms the basis for
the national contracts in all BIEM member states.
Despite developments in the music market, the mechanical audio segment is still a relevant
market today. Labels in Germany continue to generate over two-thirds of their revenue from the
sale of physical sound recordings. The task of the BIEM and the collecting societies organized
under its auspices is to monitor developments on the market for physical sound recordings and to
make changes that are acceptable to copyright holders.
GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 65,000 members in Germany (composers, lyricists,
and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one of
the largest societies of authors for musical works. (www.gema.de)
BIEM was founded in 1929 and represents 52 organizations working in mechanical reproduction
rights across 56 countries. (www.biem.org)
IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) represents the recording industry
worldwide with some 1300 members in 66 countries and affiliated industry associations in 55
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