07/07/10Fraudulent Concerts Lead to Trouble in Germany
Fraudulent Concerts Lead to Trouble in Germany
It’s common knowledge that not everyone in the music biz is impeccably honest, but this news blurb from across the ocean really takes the cake! German performance rights organization GEMA is in hot water due to a phony concert series that brought in over $1 million for at least two of its employees.
The case embodies one of the biggest concerns for musicians seeking protection from such agencies. Without fair representation, musicians can’t hope to garner royalties when their works are sold or used commercially. However, when those societies take advantage of their position of authority to swindle audiences…well, the public doesn’t take too kindly to that.
In the words of online publication Royalty Week, “the case highlights the lack of transparency that plagues many collecting societies worldwide, where audits by members are all but impossible, leaving the societies to function as ‘black boxes’ where there is no way for members to tie their payments to any specific amounts collected by the society.”
GEMA chairman Dr. Harald Heker held a press conference shortly after the event announcing that the guilty employees had been immediately dismissed. He also speculated that the operation was a joint effort on the part of the employees and the authors and publishers who benefitted from the deal.