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‘Tidy up the ship’: Calls for new inquiry into Buma

A coalition of musicians, songwriters, lawyers and accountants have called for further investigation into the accounts of embattled Dutch performance rights organisation (PRO) Buma/Stemra, in order to “heal the wounds” left by years of alleged financial mismanagement.

Buma/Stemra CEO Wim van Limpt in August announced a slate of reforms he said would transform the PRO into a more “market-oriented, viable and transparent organisation” after law firm NautaDutilh discovered €6m of irregularities in its 2015–16 books.

That, however, doesn’t go far enough, says KleanMusiK, a collective that assists songwriters in disputes with their publishers or PROs. Under the banner ‘Schoon schip maken’ – a Dutch idiom meaning to put one’s house in order (literally “tidy up the ship”) – the organisation has written a petition it intends to present to the Buma/Stemra board at the latter’s general meeting on 30 October, outlining nine motions it says, if adopted, would go some way towards regaining public trust in the PRO.

The motions include Buma sharing reports and financial data with members, appointing an external auditor to look into its accounts, answering members’ questions on the society’s financial status and providing data on royalty pay-outs.

More than 80 people have already signed the petition.


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