Faq copyrights music

How can you make money from your copyrights? If you write or perform music, you will have to deal with intellectual property rights. Copyright and neighbouring rights are part of that. These can earn you money if your music is played, performed or sold within the Netherlands or abroad. How much also depends of what your contribution was: are you the composer/lyricist, the musician and/or the producer?

Copyright: for composers and lyricists

Copyright arises as soon as you create work of an original nature. If you want to earn something, you must register these rights. Exploitation right is the right to make works public and reproduce them. This part of the copyright is often assigned to a copyright organisation (collective management organisation), such as Buma/Stemra.

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Neighbouring rights: for performing musicians and producers

According to Neighbouring Rights Act, the creators of music are entitled to reasonable compensation when their music is played in public. This concerns the performance of the music and is therefore important for performing musicians and producers. The producer is the party who possibly made the recordings. That could be a label and if you self-publish something, then you are that yourself. Master rights also fall under this Act: this concerns the rights of the specific recording of the music. The master ownership is also important with syncs: if your music is used, for example, in an advert, film or TV series.

Collective management organisations: copyright organisations

These organisations collect copyright money from the users and then distribute this to copyright owners. As a result of this, music users do not have to make agreements with all music makers separately. These organisations also act as representatives. You can only have the exploitation rights managed by Buma/Stemra in the Netherlands. You can let Sena manage the neighbouring rights and the master rights.

Agreements on distribution

Ensure that you make good agreements with people with whom you make the music before you register this with the copyright organisation. It is customary with the exploitation rights (Buma) for one third to go to the composer, one third to the lyricist and one third to the producer/label. If you write together with your band members, agree on who gets which percentage. In the case of neighbouring rights (Sena), half of the proceeds go to the artist /musician(s) and half go to the producer or label.

What does it earn?

  • Streaming
    Sena has no legal mandate to collect a fee for on-demand music. That right is exclusively for the music company. Buma/Stemra does, however, have license agreements with online services like Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and online radio stations.
  • Radio and television
    The fee for the exploitation rights and the neighbouring rights are calculated via the distribution point/value per second. You are paid a certain amount per second that your music is played. The amounts per second differ per broadcaster.

    Calculation examples 2017:  In the case of 3FM, a song lasting 3 minutes and 30 seconds earns € 27.93 from Buma/Stemra: 210 x € 0.133. In the case of Radio 538, that is € 40.53: 210 x € 0.193. The free for Sena is € 10 in the case of 3FM and € 14 in the case of Radio 538. the distribution point/value per second in the case of Nederland 1, 2 and 3 is € 0.320. This therefore earns € 19.20 every minute (60 seconds) on the television programme De Wereld Draait Door.

    A music video that is shown on television is also publication of music. If you wrote the song, you receive a fee from Buma, and you receive a fee from Norma for the ‘performance’ in the video. Norma only handles these fees for the large channels like NPO, RTL and SBS, so not, for example, for MTV.
  • Performing
    In the case of a performance, the Buma rate is dependent on the ticket price and the fee with a minimum of € 22. This goes to the composers/lyricists of the songs that you play.

    Example 1: ticket costs more than € 25. Then you receive 7% of the takings (ticket revenue) or the fee from Buma. Imagine that the fee is € 2,000 and the ticket is € 30. With 70 tickets sold, the takings are € 2,100, and you receive € 147 from copyright (7%).

    Example 2: ticket costs less than € 25, and the fee is more than € 1,000. Then you receive 7% on the performance fee. Example: the fee is € 2,000 and the ticket is € 15. Then you receive 7% of € 2,000 from Buma, which is € 140 in copyright.