Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons Netherlands launch a pilot

Press release by Dutch CC-team
Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons Netherlands launch a pilot

More opportunities for music authors to promote their own music

Amsterdam, 23 August 2007 - Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons Netherlands are launching a pilot that will give members of Buma/Stemra the opportunity to publish their music works under a non-commercial Creative Commons licence. Composers and lyricists, who to date have only been able to publish their work under a Creative Commons license, may now opt to join Buma/Stemra and have this organisation collect their royalties for commercial use of their work. With this pilot Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons Netherlands seek to provide Dutch musicians with more opportunities to promote their own repertoire.

The Netherlands is the first country to bring about this kind of collaboration between a music copyright organisation and Creative Commons. Lawrence Lessig, the founder and chairman of Creative Commons International, says "This unique and innovative collaboration between Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons is the first step towards more freedom of choice in the field of exploiting music works in the digital world."

Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science applauds the initiative: "The pilot is in line with the growing need of creative people to distribute their own works through digital networks. Music authors are now entirely free to place their works before a national as well as international public. At the same time they still have the benefits of collective management.

The collaboration between Buma/Stemra and Creative Commons is unique and without equal in the field. The collective rights organisation Buma/Stemra shows that it is open to innovation. With this collaboration the Netherlands confirm its leading position as a country for creative entrepreneurs to settle."

More individual solutions

Creative Commons Netherlands and Buma/Stemra are pleased about the pilot, which gives authors of works more freedom to choose between the commercial and non-commercial exploitation of their works. The emergence of internet requires more flexibility in managing copyrights. This is why Buma/Stemra launched the Flexco project in 2005* to examine the opportunities to provide their members with more individual solutions based on new technological developments, without harming the collective. Cees Vervoord, Buma/Stemra's Chairman, says, "This initiative reflects our intention to provide the best possible service to our members. We hope that this pilot makes it easier for music authors to promote their works."

End of all-or-nothing scenario

Until now authors have been unable to make available part of their repertoire for non-commercial use on the internet and at the same time have Buma/Stemra collect their royalties for commercial use of those works. Paul Keller, Public Project Lead of Creative Commons Netherlands, says, "We are pleased that this pilot brings to an end the all-or-nothing scenario. This way the Creative Commons Licenses can complement the existing collective management system."

The pilot was launched on 23 August 2007 and will continue for a period of one year, after which it will be evaluated. The pilot is open to all Dutch composers and lyricists. For more information on it, please visit www.bumastemra.nl and www.creativecommons.nl.



RWM note: I feel a bit jealous that the the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science is aware of and supportive of this initiative. Can you imagine a Canadian Minister of Industry and/or Heritage being informed enough about their portfolio to be involved? I've observed 4 different Heritage Ministers since I became involved in Copyright policy, and none of them understood that there was something bigger going on in culture than what the incumbent industry associations told them. We are now on a 5'th Heritage Minister, and it would be nice to believe she would be better, but I'm not holding my breath.