Buma / Mechanical Rights
What are mechanical rights?
Mechanical Rights are the right to reproduce music onto a physical format (Vinyl, CD, DVD, Tapes). This right belongs to the original author of the work and is separate from any royalty or buyout deals.
The laws in this originate from the time when you had songwriters (the authors) and the performers (the bands). The bands would receive royalties from record labels, but the authors are still entitled to a share.
This share is what is being claimed by the collecting societies.
A big cause of confusion is that in our scene the author is very often also the performer. The only situation the current law would work correctly is when the performer is using a ghost writer (the ghost writer would be entitled to the mechanical rights officially).
What are collecting societies?
Every country has their own society. The societies are responsible for collecting every physical product in their country of residence. As we press in Holland, we have to request our pressing licenses at Buma / Stemra.
If we press a record by an artist registered in Germany (GEMA), Stemra will claim the record and we have to pay for the mechanical rights. They will pay this to GEMA and finally the artist will get paid.
Buma/Stemra has partners worldwide, so if the artist is registered, we will receive a claim.
For a full list of partners, please see: List of Partners
What does Triple Vision do?
Every record pressed needs to acquire a pressing license from Buma/Stemra. Triple Vision will handle the full procedure of applying for this and paying the upfront fees.
If you press a record yourself, you have to pay for mechanical rights in full to receive a license. If the artist ends up not being registered, you receive this money back, but this could take up to 6 months.
Why is my artist claimed and what can I do to avoid incorrect claims?
Buma/Stemra will check the birthname of the author versus their system. Some names are very common, thus it is very important to give us the artist’s birthname exactly as written in the passport (incl second and third names). Adding the second and third names will make the name more unique, thus reducing the chance for incorrect claims.
It is not possible for artists to “opt-out” for a single record. If they are registered, everything they are the author of will be claimed, whether they register it themselves or not.
What to do if the claim appears to be incorrect?
Please contact your contact from the production team and send them a copy of your artist’s passport. Via this we will be able to inverse the claim if the artist truly isn’t registered (Buma/Stemra will be able to check the passport number).
What amount can be claimed?
The price varies per product but for a standard 12” vinyl Buma/Stemra charges €0,48 per record. For represses the mechanical rights will have to be paid again.
If a record has multiple artists, the total time is divided by the length of each track to calculate the percentual share for each artists. We will give you the percentage of the claim when we inform you.
Buma/Stemra charges us twice per year, but we receive feedback from the license requests about 4 weeks after we apply. If your record is claimed, we will send you an informative email with the artist names, percentage claimed and expected amount of money.