What was the origin of Buma/Stemra?

In the seventeenth century, people began to recognize that intangible assets (intellectual property) should be protected just as tangible assets. In the Netherlands, this idea finally resulted in the Copyright Act of 1912. Article 1 of the Act defines copyright:

“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.”

On the initiative of GeNeCo (Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten = Society of Dutch Contemporary Composers) and the VMN, the Bureau voor Muziekauteursrecht, in short Buma, was founded in 1913.

Two decades after the establishment of Buma, the advocacy of the right to publish no longer seemed sufficient. With the rise of recording equipment, the provision of permission for the recording of works and the use of these copies needed to be regulated. The Vereniging Buma therefore founded Stemra in 1936.