Legislation and rules

Music authors and music publishers established Vereniging Buma in 1913. This was one year after the arrival of the Dutch Copyright Act, which was introduced in the Netherlands in 1912. Article 1 of the Dutch Copyright Act states:

Copyright is the exclusive right of the author of a literary, scientific or artistic work or his successors in title to communicate that work to the public and to reproduce it, subject to the limitations laid down by law.

The Dutch Copyright Act provides protection for the entire ‘creative industry’. Without this form of protection, there would be no point in releasing original work, as this would leave these creations open to copying or plagiarism by anyone. The protection embodied in the Dutch Copyright Act gives authors, for example composers, lyricists and scientists, the sole right to decide about the exploitation of their works and earn money from it. The Dutch Copyright Act was amended in 2015. The rights to make works available to the public and reproduce them are also referred to as exploitation rights. Many music authors choose to have their exploitation rights transferred. They hand over the exploitation of their music copyright and the handling of the remunerations for use of their works to another person or organisation. Over 28,000 composers and lyricists have transferred the exploitation of their music copyright to Buma/Stemra.

The Dutch Copyright Contract Act came into force on 1 July 2015 and aims to fortify the contractual position of authors and performing artists with reference to their operators (among others, publishers, film producers and record companies).