Anti-Piracy Group Caught Pirating Song For Anti-Piracy Ad… Corruption Scandal Erupts In Response
from the wow dept
The Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is one of the most aggressive of the anti-piracy groups out there. So there’s some amusement in watching as it gets caught up in a scandal that started when it pirated music for an anti-piracy campaign. BREIN had asked musician Melchoir Rietveldt to compose a song for a video that was only to be used at a local film festival. The terms of the deal were strict: the song was only for that one anti-piracy video at that one film festival. However, Rietveldt later discovered that the anti-piracy ad was being used all over the place — a fact he discovered when he bought a Harry Potter DVD and noticed the video… with his music.
After determining that the music had been used tens of millions of times in such an unauthorized manner, he contacted the local music collection agency, Buma/Stemra, asking them to seek somewhere around $1.3 million owed from BREIN. Buma/Stemra ignored him. Eventually, however, apparently a Buma/Stemra board member, Jochem Gerrits, reached out, and said he could help Rietveldt get paid… but with some questionable conditions. According to TorrentFreak:
In order for the deal to work out the composer had to assign the track in question to the music publishing catalogue of the Gerrits, who owns High Fashion Music. In addition to this, the music boss demanded 33% of all the money set to be recouped as a result of his efforts.
The conversation between Gerrits and the composer’s financial advisor was recorded by Pownews, and during the conversation the financial advisor confronts Gerrits with his unconventional proposal.
“Why do you have to earn money?” he asks, as usually all of the money goes directly to the artists.
“It could be because a lot of people in the industry know that they are in trouble when I get involved,” Gerrits responds, adding that he can bring up the topic immediately in a board meeting next week.
Once again trying to find confirmation for the proposal, the composer’s advisor later asks if the music boss indeed wants one-third of the money.
“Yes, that’s the case, but then [the composer] would make 660,000 euros and now he has nothing,” Gerrits responds calmly.
This is apparently making news across the Netherlands, and Gerrits has resigned. As for BREIN, it’s insisting that the whole thing is “a contractual issue” and that it is “not involved.”