Standing committee for plagiarism
Buma/Stemra has set up a permanent committee to look into disputes relating to plagiarism (Vaste Commissie Plagiaat). The committee consists of music experts and individual lawyers and assesses disputes between composers, lyricists and music publishers who are affiliated to Buma/Stemra.
The committee does not act on its own initiative, but examines cases brought by the complainant, for example the creator of the original work or another interested party. A decision by the committee has the status of a non-binding recommendation to parties, unless agreed otherwise. If the parties are not happy with the decision of the VCP, it is always open to them to bring the matter before the courts. When distributing payments to authors, Buma/Stemra will abide by the decision of the VCP, unless a court decides otherwise.
To avoid complaints being brought ill-advisedly and to help offset the costs of the case, the complainant is required by the VCP to put down a deposit. If the committee decides in favour of the complainant, the deposit will be returned to him and the VCP may adjudge that the defendant must pay the costs of the case to Buma/Stemra. If the complaint is found to be groundless, the committee may decide that the complainant is liable to pay the costs of the case or the deposit may be declared forfeit.