What’s the difference between grand rights and small rights?

Grand rights and small rights are terms we use when determining whether BumaStemra can collect payment for a work. Grand rights include music that is part of a larger production, for example, a theatre performance, musical or ballet production. Small rights cover music that stands alone, such as a melody with lyrics. BumaStemra usually only collects for music covered by small rights, but there are exceptions. You can read more about this later.

What constitutes grand rights?
Grand rights cover music that is specially written for a production. These must be (musical) works that are part of a ‘narrative performance’. A narrative performance is a dramatical musical story involving several copyrights. For example, a combination of the lyrics, music, choreography, lighting and costumes in a ballet performance, musical, operetta or opera.

Is your music being used in a production even though it was not created especially for that production? Then this falls under small rights.

How do music creators get paid for grand rights?
BumaStemra does not licence the use of music in grand right productions. Producers of grand right productions must make their own agreements with music creators and music publishers (the rightsholders). All parties must mutually agree on music use and payments.

This also applies if your music is reused in another production, if that production is also an inseparable part of the show’s storyline. For example, a sequel in a series of performances. In this case, the producer of the show must again make arrangements with music creators and publishers directly.

When does BumaStemra collect for grand rights?
For BumaStemra to collect for the use of your music in grand right productions, you need to meet several conditions.

  1. You must inform us in advance that you want us to collect for the use of your music in the grand right production.
  2. You must let the producer know in advance that BumaStemra will collect.
  3. It must be ‘grand rights repertoire’, i.e. musical works written especially for the production.
  4. You must register the musical works with BumaStemra on time, preferably in the first month your music was used.
  5. You must not have already arranged payment for the performing rights in any other way.
  6. You must submit a new request to us for each production you want BumaStemra to collect for.

To submit a request, please email us at podia.theater@bumastemra.nl.