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Collecting Societies

Who is GWVR?

German Event Organisers Have Founded Their Own Collecting Society

In order to help event organisers safeguardtheir rights better, especially concerning the reproduction and broadcasting of their recordings, the Federal Association of Event Organisers decided in November to found their own collecting society. Under the name of “Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Veranstalterrechten (GWVR)“ (Society for the Safeguard of Organisers‘ Rights)the new society will draw up tariffs, according to which all users of works (in particular radio stations and phonogram producers) have to acquire licences from the collecting society for the use of live-recordings. This will ensure that the organisers don’t only receive a limited fee for the secondary use (e.g. private downloads) but also receive their share for the initial use of their events.

The GWVR is currently at the founding stage. The granting of state permission, the drawing up of tariffs and the conclusion of collecting agreements with the event organisers will take some time. The Federal Association of Event Organisers assumes that the effective safeguard of rights will take place from 2012.

The organisers‘ ancillary copyright

The ancillary copyright –known in the copyright law as neighbouring right – protects artistic, scientific and entrepreneurial achievements, which are not individual creations and therefore not protected by copyright, in a comparable way to copyright-protected works. Protected are, among other things, the activities of phonogram producers, performing artists, broadcasting organisations, film producers and also those of event organisers.




According to the German copyright law, the event organiser who organises the artist’s performance is entitled to a similar ancillary copyright. It gives him the exclusive right to record his performance on picture or sound carriers or to duplicate and distribute picture or sound carriers on which his performance is recorded. Furthermore, the event organiser has the right to make the recording of his performance publicly accessible and broadcast it.

As a result the event organiser’s right is not weaker in contents and scope than the ancillary copyright of the phonogram producer but it is even stronger. While the phonogram producer has no right to injunctive relief but only a right to compensation, the concert organiser has also the right to injunctive relief against the unauthorised use of his rights.

Safeguard of ancillary copyright

The respective ancillary copyright for performing artists and phonogram producers issafeguarded by the Society for the Application of Ancillary Copyrights (Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten - GVL).

To be sure, the GVL safeguards some of the event organisers’ rights. This safeguard of rights is limited, however, to the compensation for the (hardly quantifiable) private reproduction of live recordings of events. A safeguard of rights for the reproduction of recorded events on sound carrier or picture-sound-carrier or a safeguard of event organisers’ rights for the broadcasting of live recordings on radio or television is not ensured by the GVL.



The reason for this is that one of the shareholders of the GVL, besides the German Orchestra Association, is the Federal Association of the Music Industry – that is the association of the phonographic industry. The safeguard of the event organisers’ rights in the reproduction and broadcasting of their events would therefore lead to an unbridgeable conflict of interests for the GVL.

Can foreign event organisers have their rights safeguarded by the GWVR as well?

Yes, everybody whose event organiser’s rights are being utilised in Germany – i.e. broadcast or reproduced on sound carriers or picture-sound-carriers – can become a member of the German GWVR. These recordings do not even have to be of an event that took place in Germany. Organisers whose events were recorded abroad and the recordings of which are being utilised in Germany (among other places) are entitled to an appropriate compensation for the use of their rights.

How can I become a member of the GWVR?

The requirement for the membership with the GWVR is a one-off payment of a joining fee which is currently 3 000 euros.

The application form and all further information can be obtained from the office of the GWVR under +49 40 41305278 or via mail under info@gwvr.de.
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