FAQ music users

Music use for businesses

I am a member of a trade association. Do I need to contact BumaStemra for music use or is this arranged collectively?

This varies by trade association. In some cases, music use agreements are already in place, but this is not always the case. Please check first with your trade association to see if there is a collective music agreement. If you’re not sure, you can contact us.

What do I need to do if I move or stop my business?

If you move, we need your new address. Send us an email with your new address. We will update our system to make sure everything is correctly processed in our administration or in case we need to contact you.


Paying for music use

I have a licence through mijnlicentie.nl. How can I pay?

At mijnlicentie.nl, you can arrange the licence for your music use with both BumaStemra and Sena in one go. You receive one invoice from the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Service Centre (SCAN). This allows you to play music for a year.

Does your trade association have a collective agreement for music? Then you pay BumaStemra and/or Sena through them. Contact your trade association directly for more information.

What else do I need to consider when using music?

BumaStemra only manages the rights of music creators and publishers. But there are also others who derive rights from music. For example, performers such as singers and bands, and the record companies that recorded the music. And if you use a music video, the TV and film footage is copyrighted. In these cases, it is not enough to ask BumaStemra for permission. You also need to pay a fee to the performer(s) and record producers through Sena. For rights to TV and film footage, please contact Stichting VIDEMA.

What happens to the fee I pay?

The licence fees you and other music users pay goes directly to BumaStemra. We distribute this money fairly to music creators and publishers affiliated with us or our sister societies. That’s quite a task, considering how many people play music in public! To make things a little simpler, we sign agreements with umbrella organisations and individual users. We distribute the money we collect to the music creators and publishers based on the type of use.

What exactly does BumaStemra do?

We manage the rights of over 38,000 Dutch music creators. Maybe you want to play music in your shop or restaurant? Or you want to use an existing song on your website or put a playlist on a CD? We understand it’s quite a task to ask all the different music creators for permission. Thankfully, that’s why BumaStemra is here. We arrange everything for you, in one go.

And if you play international music, you’ve come to the right place because we have agreements with many international copyright organisations. We also represent the interests of our music creator members outside the Netherlands.

You play the record, we arrange the licence
BumaStemra also manages music use in the Netherlands for international music creators who are members of sister societies. So, thanks to BumaStemra, you can choose from millions of musical works by hundreds of thousands of composers and songwriters.

How does BumaStemra calculate the fee?

The amount you pay depends on your music use. Buma and Stemra each have their own calculation method for each group of music users. Buma charges a fee for playing music in public. Stemra charges for recording music.

When do I have to pay for music use in my business?

You only pay for music in your company if other people – like guests, customers or employees – can hear it too. If you play music but your workspace is not accessible to guests or customers, or you have fewer than three full-time employees, then you don’t need a music licence to play music. If you only have a sales space and no separate workspace, then you only pay for playing music for guests or customers.

What’s the difference between private use and public use?

But surely I’ve already paid for my CDs and my Spotify subscription?‘ you might think. That’s true. But the price you’ve paid for radio, CDs or music services is for private use only. If you play music to your employees or customers, then you are playing music in public. In this case, you have to pay a fee to BumaStemra and Sena (Foundation for the Exploitation of Neighbouring Rights).

How much do I need to pay for using music?

The amount you pay for music depends on the situation. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Our licence guide explains everything. You can quickly and easily calculate the amount to pay based on your situation. Fill in the form with the music you want to use. The licence guide does the rest.

Why do I pay BumaStemra for music use?

A room with music is more sociable than one without, don’t you agree? Music has a positive effect on your employees and customers, and it can increase your sales too. So it’s only fair to reward the creators of the music for this. You do that through BumaStemra. We represent the interests of music creators. That’s why you pay us a fee when you play music.


Music at weddings and birthdays

I’m not sure if I should pay for music at my party. What now?

Please contact us if you’re organising a party and unsure about whether you need a licence for the music. We will check whether you need permission from BumaStemra. Remember to arrange this in time because you need permission in advance to play music.

View the tariff or apply for a licence.

What about music at private parties?

Even at private parties, you need permission to play music. The only exception is a party attended by family and friends. Importantly, your guests must not be charged to attend the party.

Do I have to pay for music at my party?

Are you planning a wedding, birthday or company party? Then music is a must. But are you allowed to play music at these events? The general rule is that you can play music at a party if you have permission. To get permission, you need to pay a fee to BumaStemra.

An exception to the rule applies when your guests are family, friends or similar, and no entrance fee is charged for the party. If that’s the case, you don’t have to ask permission to play music. But keep in mind that this exception only applies if all guests have a mutual or family relationship with each other, for example, invited guests at a birthday or wedding. Please note: this does not include a company party. A licence is required for this.

If you have any questions about an upcoming event, please contact us on 023-7997801 or podia.evenementen@bumastemra.nl.


Copyright Disputes Committee

What if I disagree with an invoice or amount of money paid?

You may disagree with an invoice you have received from us because an incorrect rate was applied or the amount you received was incorrect. Please contact us at once. We will be happy to check and make sure that everything is correct.

We take questions or complaints seriously. But if we are unable to find a solution together, you can also contact the Copyright Disputes Committee. This is an independent party to help resolve disagreements between CMOs affiliated to BumaStemra and licence fee payers.

Please consider the following points:

  1. Before contacting the Copyright Disputes Committee, you must first file a complaint or a request for change through the internal complaints procedure. You have up to three months after the invoice is sent to do so
  2. The invoice amount involved must not exceed € 100.000,-
    For higher amounts, you have to go through the court
  3. For invoices between € 50.000,- and € 100.000,- you submit the unpaid amount to the Copyright Disputes Committee for safekeeping
  4. A fee is charged for filing a complaint. If the committee deem that your claim is successful, you will get the fee back. The higher the value of the invoice, the higher the fee for the complaint. This varies between € 50,- and € 750,-
  5. The committee’s assessment will focus on:
    A. the principle that similar cases should be treated alike
    B. the fair market value of the use of the work
    C. The nature and extent of the use
    D. Self-regulatory practice
  6. If you disagree with the decision of the Copyright Disputes Committee, then you can go to court with this ruling within three months of the ruling. If you wait longer than three months, the judge will assume that both parties have accepted the ruling

For more information about the Copyright Disputes Committee procedure, go to the Copyright Disputes Committee website.


Reporting a problem or complaint

What if I disagree with your decision about my complaint?

We hope you will be satisfied with our decision and the reasons behind it. However, you may still disagree. If your complaint is related to the invoice for a fee – for example because you think the amount you have to pay is too high, you can report it to the Copyright Disputes Committee.

If your complaint is about something else and you disagree with our decision, our Management Team may reassess the complaint. Please send this request by email or post within one month of receiving our decision.

In your request, clearly explain why you disagree with the decision. In most cases, you will receive a response within a few weeks, unless the Management Team needs more time. You will be notified of this.

You can trust us to treat any information you share with us carefully and confidentially.

Once the Management Team has made a decision, the case between you and BumaStemra is finished.

Management Team contact information:
attn. Management Team
Postbus 3080
2130 KB Hoofddorp
Email: directiesecretariaat@bumastemra.nl

Complaint procedure and dispute resolution – What happens to my complaint?

Do you disagree with the fee you have been charged? Or do you feel we have not helped you properly? Whatever your complaint, we’ll do our best to resolve it as quickly as possible. We address complaints as follows:

  1. To resolve the issue as soon as possible, we need a clear description of your complaint or problem. If this is difficult to provide, our legal department will be happy to discuss it with you
  2. When we receive your complaint, we’ll send you email confirmation within three working days. We assign a number to your report. Please give us this number if you have any questions, so we can help you more quickly
  3. If we discover a mistake or agree that we have not provided clear enough information, we’ll try to rectify it immediately. If this is not possible, then we’ll quickly look for another solution. We aim to contact you within a month, but at the latest within eight weeks
  4. You will receive our decision and a full explanation by email. Please let us know if you would also like to receive a copy by post

You can address the complaint to the BumaStemra legal affairs department, by post or email. In each case, please include the following information:

  1. Your name and address
  2. A phone number where we can contact you
  3. An email address we can send our decision to
  4. The name and address of the place where the music is used if possible
  5. Your BumaStemra customer number if you have one

Contact details:
attn. Legal Affairs
Postbus 3080
2130 KB Hoofddorp
Phone: 023-799 7511
Email: legal@bumastemra.nl

Where can I get help if I have questions about payments or if I want to submit a claim?

If you have a question about payments of if you want to submit a claim, please contact the relevant department directly. This allows us to help you quickly. Below is a list of our departments. Please don’t wait too long to get in touch because you only have three months from the invoice date to submit your claims.

While we will answer your query as soon as possible, we do expect you to pay the invoice on time. If it does turn out that something is wrong with the invoice, then we’ll amend it as soon as possible. If this is not possible, we’ll look for another solution. You’ll receive our response within eight weeks at the latest.

Contact information for our departments:
Live events


Radio and television

In-house productions

Audiovisual productions

Buma collective schemes

Stemra central schemes

Service Centre Copyright and Neighbouring Rights

How can I report a problem or complaint to BumaStemra?

Even though we always do our best to prevent it, sometimes things go wrong. We are happy to help solve any problems quickly and easily. If a problem arises, contact us as soon as possible.

For music users, here are the details you need about filing a report, where you can get help and what to expect from the process.

Please note: if you are a music creator and you want to file a complaint, you can find the details here: Complaints Procedure – BumaStemra.



Do the creators of the music I use have to be a member of BumaStemra or a sister organisation?

Yes. BumaStemra can only represent the interests of its members. If someone is not a member, BumaStemra is unable to act on their behalf. Imagine if a music creator who is not a member of BumaStemra demands money for the use of their work, we would be unable to pay them. Therefore, we are unable to licence music users to play music from creators who are not members. As BumaStemra, we can only give music users permission on behalf of affiliated music creators.

Can I play international music too?

Yes. BumaStemra has agreements with many international copyright organisations. And we represent the interests of our music creator members overseas. BumaStemra also licenses music use in the Netherlands for international music creators who are members of our sister organisations. Thanks to BumaStemra, you can choose from millions of musical works by hundreds of thousands of Dutch and international music creators.

Can I cancel my licences online in the portal?

Yes. All licences you have taken out online in the portal can also be cancelled that way. Please contact BumaStemra on 023-7997999 if you have applied for a licence in another way.

My licence says ‘details of exploitation’. What does this mean?

‘Details of exploitation’ means the official address of your business.


Private copying

Do I have to pay if I listen to music on my phone or other device?

The private copying fee concerns storing music on a device. When you store music for private use, you often pay private copying fees when you buy a phone or tablet. If you are the only one listening to the music or if you stream music, this is considered private use. A music licence is not necessary. But if you play the music in a public space, where more people can listen, then you do need a licence. This is not the covered by the private copying levy.

More about the private copying levy.

Who pays for private copying? And to who?

Anyone is allowed to copy copyrighted work for their own use, practice or study. If you save music on your phone, laptop, tablet, then you are making a copy. The same is true for music copied onto CD, DVD, video tape, USB and other data carriers.

This falls under the Copyright Act. Stichting de Thuiskopie ensures that music creators receive payment for these copies.



Registering musical pieces as a choir or musical society (HaFaBra)

What could be more fun than performing in front of an audience? Register the music you use during a performance to us at hafabra.bumastemra.nl.

All choirs and music groups receive a personal login code for this. Have you forgotten the code? Don’t worry, just email opgave.BumaStemra@bumastemra.nl.

Simply tell us which music you use during a performance, and we’ll make sure the fee you pay goes to the right creators. You won’t recieve an extra invoice.

If you’ve had lots of rehearsals but no performances, you can also register this information via hafabra.bumastemra.nl.


Public performance

Do I also have to pay for music at an event that does not make money?

Yes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing music with the aim of making a profit or not. We only look at the usage. And for music use, you simply have to pay a fee. This also applies to an event whose purpose is not to make a profit.

I already pay BumaStemra and/or Sena. Am I paying double?

No. It may seem like you are paying twice, but that’s because more than one creator may have rights to the music you have chosen. For example, the performer can be different to the person who wrote the song. BumaStemra handles copyright on behalf of composers, songwriters and music publishers. Sena handles the rights of performers and producers.

I want to play music in public. Can I just go ahead?

You need permission to play music in public, for example in a shop, café or office. The same applies if you want to use music for a radio or TV programme. Or during a concert or theatre performance. To play music in public, you always need to ask permission from the music creators. But instead of asking all creators individually for permission, you can do it through BumaStemra. You receive a licence so that you can play music legally. With the money from the licences we issue, we pay music creators fairly for their work.

Read more about licensing.


Frequently asked questions for music venues - Consent

Why do I have to pay for copyright if the artist plays their own songs?

The copyright for the song is separate to the performance of a musical work. The artist is paid for the performance. The licence fee paid to BumaStemra is for the use of the musical work, which is of course copyrighted. Even if the performer plays their own songs. In many cases, even on their own songs, there are more rightsholders, such as co-writers. They also receive fair payment for their work through BumaStemra.

I have already paid the artist, do I still have to pay BumaStemra?

Yes. Often, the artist is not the only one entitled to payment for the use of their music. BumaStemra represents the interests of other music creators who have contributed to the music, such as the composer, songwriter and music publisher.

The venue hosting my event already has an agreement with BumaStemra, do I still have to pay BumaStemra?

It depends on what kind of agreement the venue has. If you’re organising a performance in a restaurant or bar, the venue may already have a licence for background music. But a performance constitutes entertainment music, so this needs a different licence. There are a variety of licences available. Check the licence guide for all options.

Can I also use international music with my BumaStemra licence?

Yes, you can. BumaStemra has agreements for the use of music with sister organisations in almost every country in the world. Sister organisations are organisations such as BumaStemra that represent music creators in another country. Because we have reciprocal agreements with these organisations, you can also use music from their country. Likewise, BumaStemra collects on behalf of Dutch music creators whose music is played abroad. BumaStemra can collect and licence for music use globally.

Why do I need permission from BumaStemra?

Music creators are entitled to payment if their work is used. This is stipulated in the Copyright Act. If you organise an event where music is played, you need permission to use that music.

If the music creators are represented by BumaStemra, we can give you permission for music use. This is subject to certain conditions. The amount you pay is calculated per event.


Frequently asked questions for music venues - Licenses

Why is a percentage calculated on the highest amount (ticket receipts/buy-out fee)?

It doesn’t always make sense for the fee for music use to be based on income from ticket receipts or buy-out fees. For example, if an event is free to attend. Or when visitors have to pay for entrance, but the artist performs for free. To ensure that music creators do get the payment they are entitled to, a percentage of the highest amount is charged.

My invoice from SCAN also includes Sena. What does this mean?

SCAN is the Service Centre for Copyright and Neighbouring Rights. It handles licensing and invoicing for a number of sectors. It does this on behalf of BumaStemra and Sena. Although BumaStemra and Sena represent different groups of music creators, it’s more convenient for clients to handle all their music licensing in one go. On the invoice, you can see what your licence covers, and for which group of music creators. Sometimes your licence will cover multiple organisations, and sometimes only BumaStemra.

Who is responsible for payment when an event is organised?

In principle, whoever organises the event is responsible for arranging the licences. This includes arranging permission to use music.

Sometimes a licence is already in place, for example when an artist is booked through a booking agency that already works with BumaStemra. Or because the venue hosting the event already has an (ongoing) licence.