Buma/Stemra imposes levy for embedding audio and video

By EDRi · October 21, 2009

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Deutsch: [Buma/Stemra führt Steuern für die Einbindung von Audio und Video ein | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1555]

Dutch collecting society Buma/Stemra announced that it will impose a
levy on Internet users for embedding audio- and videomaterial on
their website, starting 1 January 2010. The levy starts at EUR 130 for
the first six embedded links per website per year. The rules could
affect small bloggers and users of social network-sites such as

As the rules were legally questionable and did not sufficiently
take into account the interests of internet users and Dutch musicians,
Buma’s announcement immediately led to protests in the blogosphere and
on Twitter. Dutch digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom drafted a
letter to Buma/Stemra, assisted by numerous concerned internet users
through text annotation website co-ment.net, calling for a revision
of the rules. Bits of Freedom then handed its letter over to the CEO of
Buma/Stemra. Meanwhile, Dutch politicians further questioned the rules
in Parliament.

Three days later, on 9 october 2009, Buma/Stemra responded to the
criticism by stating that it would for now not apply its rules to
non-commercial use. Bits of Freedom responded the same day, questioning
the definition of non-commercial use by Buma/Stemra. Indeed, on 14
october Buma/Stemra revealed that even one advertisement on a website
would be considered ‘commercial use’. Bits of Freedom continues its
efforts to defend communication freedom in relation to these
controversial measures by Buma/Stemra.

Brochure Buma/Stemra Digital Music Licences (only in Dutch

Letter Bits of Freedom to Buma/Stemra (only in Dutch, 6.10.2009)

NOS eight o’clock news report (only in Dutch, 7.10.2009)

(Contribution by Ot van Daalen – EDRi-member Bits of Freedom – Netherlands)