Berlin’s iconic nightclub Berghain have announced they could be shutting down after New Years Eve 2012, in response to massive fee increases demanded by Germany copyright organization GEMA.
Steffen Hacks, chief of nearby landmark club Watergate, also said he’ll be forced to close under GEMA’s plans which will increase Watergate’s fees from €10,000 a year to €200,000.
"How is one supposed to operate as a free entrepreneur under these kinds of conditions?" he pointed out, in an interview with Die Tageszeitung newspaper. (Guardian; http://bit.ly/Nunaog )
Under GEMA’s new plan, which charges additional fees the longer clubs stay open, ‘average sized’ Berlin clubs currently paying €28,000 a year will have to pay €180,000, forcing the effective end of Berlin’s club scene, the Guardian suggested.
Speaking to Der Spiegel, however, GEMA regional manager Lorenz Schmid appeared unconcerned.
"The way I see it, they've been paying far too little in the past," said Schmid. "I see no problem for a club manager if he has to pay €1.20 out of €12." (http://bit.ly/N9hOCK )
5,000 Berliners protested against GEMA’s plan on the streets last week, while over 200,000 people have so far signed an anti-GEMA petition.
‘I think this might actually be a way of trying to put a stop to the unlimited party possibilities in Berlin. It’s very radical,” DJ Steffi told PulseRadio.net.
“This will ruin the whole music scene in Germany!” she predicted (PulseRadio.net: http://bit.ly/N1Rq9H ).
http://bit.ly/IA2lZC (Petition against GEMA [in German]) “We call on all parties of creative industries, tourism, catering, club owners, promoters and artists, as well as on all the cultural events to join our protest . . .|)
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