It is quite interesting to compare this press release with the article exposing this. Technically GEMA is correct in their press release, but they do a lot of spin, and do not tell the entire story.
GEMA wrote to kindergartens, demanding:
- Payment for any sheet music copied. Price per sheet is similar to the price of a song on iTunes.
- Payment for any copying of lyrics. Same price per sheet.
- Reporting of any song performed in the kindergarten, complete with title, name of composer, name of publishing company currently publishing the song in Germany, and the time the song was performed. No payment was demanded for this in the letter.
In the press release GEMA is backtracking on the bad publicity this gave them when the press took up the story and adding their own spin by saying the reporting about payment for song performances was wrong (which it was) and not mentioning that they still require all kindergartens to report all song performances. Also they do not mention that a requirement of reporting performances to GEMA almost always is a precursor for a demand of payment.
VG Musikedition is not an entity completely separate from GEMA. In fact they are so tightly connected and what they do is so similar that it is hard to explain why they are not the same organization. Unless when you think of the extra administration having two entities cause. When the two organizations both funnel some of the money through the other organization, they can both take a piece of the cake before distributing the rest to the artists. And this is probably the real reason why VG Musikedition asked GEMA to collect the money for them instead of doing it themselves, as they were supposed to.