Industrialised Music Brokers as Competing Market Players: The Administration of Music Rights in Germany (ca. 1870-1930)

Louis S. Pahlow


Upon the recognition of a comprehensive copyright in Germany in 1870, the assignment and exploitation of copyrights and also the rights of music works were regulated uniformly. New playback and recording technologies around 1900 placed a considerable pressure to adapt not only on the trading processes that linked music creators and the music market, but also on the legislature. The establishment of so-called collecting societies led to new forms of “cultural brokers”. This paper analyses the legal causes of these processes of radical change and examines the exploitation regimes of these new companies, especially for example GEMA, which was able to prevail successfully on the market under competitive conditions due to an efficient corporate constitution.   Louis Pahlow is Professor and Chair of Intellectual Property Law, Modern Legal History and Civil Law at the Goethe University, Frankfurt.

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