GEMA and Creative Commons (Update 3)

kusBlog, Creative Commons


When you think GEMA, the german royalty collecting society, and Creative Commons, this never worked well. Once you were GEMA member, you couldn’t use Creative Commons licenses. Now this changed, GEMA allows it’s members to use Creative Commons licenses.

GEMA created the GEMA-NK license for his members and certain works. Once the GEMA-NK license is applied to a work, you are allowed to use an alternative non-commercial license like the Creative Commons by-nc, by-nc-sa, by-nc-nd.

GEMA members can request a GEMA-NK license online.

If you have any questions about the GEMA-NK license, here is the FAQ (German).

starfrosch demands over 10 years, that GEMA should allow his members Creative Commons licenses. This is a big step forward. We have written SUISA, the swiss royalty collecting society, if they have any future plans for Creative Commons licenses for their members and look forward for the answer.

Source: starfrosch’s Twitter conversation with GEMA.


The copyright nerds from have some valuable input about the compatibility of GEMA-NK rules and Creative Commons. We are waiting for GEMA to respond.

GEMA says: Yes
SUISA: No answer Maybe, it’s complicated
starfrosch: Fuck copyright laws and piracy

Update 2

Creative Commons, John Weitzmann: Yes, -nc- and GEMA is possible Well, that’s fine
SUISA: Still no answer
starfrosch: GEMA, could you please confirm? Our stuff yes, CC stuff is CC stuff.

Update 3

Juli 23, 2016
SUISA informs us, that they are internally discussing the possibility to exclude certain works for non-commercial usage and they will inform about the results by press release.


Creative Commons and GEMA think, it’s possible for GEMA members to license under the Creative Commons non-commercial licenses, but they must apply for a GEMA-NK license first.