Performing rights organisation GEMA have launched an emergency aid fund for songwriters left in the dark by Coronavirus.

As performers, musicians and songwriters around the world face potential months out of pocket it is up to governments to secure freelance and self employed artists and creatives. Unfortunately many seem to have failed to be up to the task in assuring these people security in these difficult times.

Thankfully charities, unions, and other organisations around the world are stepping up around the world to fight for funds for musicians. GEMA, the German performing rights organisation, have secured up to €40 million in emergency aid funds for songwriters and composers who are members.

GEMA CEO, Dr. Harald Heker says: “It is already foreseeable that the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic will be devastating for the entire creative industry. GEMA will use all available means to support its existentially threatened members as best [we can] to cushion the economically catastrophic effects for our customers.”

It is fantastic news for many musicians in Germany however there are many in the country who won’t be covered by the GEMA if they are not members and then many more around the world who are still left in the dark about what will be the outcome of their loss of business that isn’t covered by any government protections for businesses and workers.

GEMA will be paying their aid funds out in two rounds, beginning with composers and lyricists who are performers and therefore devastatingly affected by a loss of work due to Coronavirus shutdowns. They will then look to support “individual hardship cases” on a case by case basis.

Chairman of GEMA’s Supervisory Board, Dr. Ralf Weigand added: “In this unprecedented crisis, these great principles are in demand and require immediate action. This shows once again what significant advantages our system of shared rights management has for every creative person, even in difficult times.”

That’s very true. We must hope that other organisations representing musicians elsewhere feel the same or that governments act to protect those who seem to lie in an uncertain position for wage compensation.