On November 1, German Collection Society GEMA and online video platform YouTube signed a licensing agreement for the exploitation of copyright protected GEMA repertoire. The agreement came somewhat as a surprise after seven years of legal disputes and lengthy negotiations, and was called a "milestone" and "landmark" agreement by GEMA and YouTube, respectively. It provides for the remuneration of 70,000 music authors, lyricists and publishers represented by GEMA for the use of their works in online videos on YouTube, and will apply retroactively to cover the contractual gap existing since 2009 (when the previous 17-month agreement between the parties had ended). In addition to the traditional ad-based service, the agreement also covers a new subscription service YouTube is already offering in the U.S., and is planning to launch in Europe. Further details of the agreement remain undisclosed, specifically in regards to the model used for calculation and the amount of the payments YouTube will make to GEMA.
Following the agreement, viewers will no longer see the infamous blocking messages YouTube used for music videos containing GEMA repertoire.