I've worked for many years on a cruise ship performing my own songs, and I'd like to know how to claim the royalties. I'm a GEMA member and of course, I have reported to them. they said that sent the claim to SIAE in Italy as the ship's flag is Italian. It has been already 6 years and GEMA seems to know be able to solve it and they told me that they aren't sure how it works with the cruise ship industry. Someone here with the same experience? Thank you

  • 1
    Assuming you got paid for the performances by the cruise lines, what are the royalties for?
    – Moo
    Feb 12 '20 at 20:52
  • @Moo royalties to the songwriter for songs performed are separate and in addition to whatever is paid to the performer(s) for the performance; these are separate rights with separate (and quite different) remuneration process. There's little practical distinction between the cases where the performer(s) play songs by other songwriters (which is common) and when they play songs where the songwriter is one of the performers. Also, if a band is "playing their own songs", songwriting rights affect how the money is distributed between different members of the band.
    – Peteris
    Feb 13 '20 at 0:03
  • @Peteris given the performer is picking their own songs to perform, why isnt that covered under the original payment?
    – Moo
    Feb 13 '20 at 0:18
  • Hi, Yes, what I mean is that. I've been performing my own songs. And they are also in the playlist on my contracts. Feb 13 '20 at 23:16

The law on a ship is complicated

  • While you were in any inland waterway (i.e. in the harbor), local law applies.
  • Similarly, while you were in the territorial waters of a nation (usually 12 nautical miles from the coast but the Mediterranean is complicated), local law applies.
  • A nation has jurisdiction in its contiguous zone (12-24 nautical miles, again the Mediterranean is complicated).
  • On the high seas, the jurisdiction is the flag of the ship.

You would need to know where the ship was for each of your performances and claim from the copyright royalty organization (through the German one), for each relevant country.

However, your contract with the cruise line may spell out something different.

  • Hi, Dale thanks for your answer. As the flag of the ship is Italy, I claimed the royalties of my songs to the SIAE, and it seems that after 6 years they don't bother to solve or answer me. I keep calling and sending emails and they say that it's complicated but never solve anything. The cruise ships make everything possible to get rid of royalties payments and it seems that nobody is doing anything to change that scenario. Feb 13 '20 at 23:27
  • @SantiagoFerreira get your lawyer to send them a letter - getting the law involved can probably not action.
    – Dale M
    Feb 14 '20 at 1:18

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