Hengeler Mueller advises Federal Association of Organisers of Musical Performances on legal dispute with GVL concerning the increase of tariffs for public performance of music

02. November 2015

Following a long dispute, the Munich Higher Regional Court OLG (Oberlandesgericht München) fully rejected the claim of the Copyright Society GVL (Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten), the German collecting society for performing artists and record labels, to increase the tariffs for the public performance of music by a factor of five. After the board of arbitration at the German Patent and Trademark Office had considered a slight increase of the existing surcharge on the Gema tariffs appropriate, the German Federal Court of Justice BGH (Bundesgerichtshof) annulled this decision in its judgment regarding dancing school classes (Tanzschulkurse). OLG Munich now decided that the surcharge which has been paid up to now is appropriate. The defendant, the Federal Association of Musical Performances (BVMV) stated that a success of the claim brought by GVL would have resulted in additional payments to be borne by users of approximately EUR 150 m per year.

Hengeler Mueller represented the defendant Federal Association of Organisers of Musical Performances (BVMV) which represents the interests of 150.000 companies in Germany using music. The Hengeler Mueller team included partner Albrecht Conrad, counsel Fabian Seip as well as associate Matthias Berberich (all Data Protection, Berlin).