Dutch copyright collecting society Buma/Stemra will offer composers and songwriters more options in the management of their music copyrights. This has been laid down in a commitment Buma/Stemra made to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This commitment was made following an ACM investigation into possible abuse of dominance by Buma/Stemra in music copyright management.
Composers and songwriters need Buma/Stemra for the collection of royalties from performances of their work on television and radio, but, for example, not always on the Internet. Buma/Stemra currently works with copyright transfers in some sort of all-in-one package. A relatively simple procedure not to transfer part of the copyrights to Buma/Stemra does not exist. In practice, this means that composers and songwriters have little choice and basically no opportunity to sell their lyrics or compositions online.
On the initiative of ACM, Buma/Stemra will make the copyright management system simpler, more flexible, and more accessible for composers and songwriters. Composers and songwriters will have more choice about what rights they wish to transfer to Buma/Stemra. With this new structure, it is likely that more ways to stream and download music are introduced. Composers and songwriters will thus benefit, as will listeners.
Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: ‘Buma/Stemra’s commitment immediately takes away any anticompetitive concerns, and it increases the opportunities and options of composers, songwriters and consumers.’
In the next few months, Buma/Stemra will bring these new music copyright management options to the attention of composers and songwriters through various means such as information on its website, and at a conference at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2015, an annual music festival in the Dutch city of Groningen. In addition, an online calculation tool will be released that will help composers and songwriters decide whether or not to transfer all of their copyrights or parts thereof to Buma/Stemra. This new structure will be introduced as soon as this year.