Anti-Piracy Song Pirated By Anti-Piracy Group; Collection Society Fined For Failing To Get Royalties
from the follow-that? dept
Well, this is confusing. A few months ago, we wrote about how a composer, Melchior Rietveldt, was in a weird situation in which the song he wrote for a Dutch anti-piracy effort was showing up on DVD anti-piracy ads — even though his contract quite specifically limited the use of the work to a local film festival. When he discovered that his song was all over some top selling DVDs (including Harry Potter) he sought compensation, going to local music collection society Buma/Stemra, asking them to get the $1.3 million he believed he was owed. Buma/Stemra initially ignored him, and then there was a weird situation in which a Buma/Stemra board member tried to offer to “help” Rietveldt, with some questionable conditions attached, including getting a cut of the money owed.
Apparently, the latest in the case is that Buma/Stemra has now been told to pay Rietveldt €20,000 and attorneys’ fees — and to continue its efforts to get him the royalties actually owed. And yes, this seems a bit confusing. Remember, it was the anti-piracy group and the movie studios who appeared to violate his copyright (yes, on his anti-piracy song). Buma/Strema’s job was supposed to be to collect the money. So how is it that they’re now the ones being fined? It appears some of it becomes a contractual issue in which Buma/Strema promised to try to collect the fees owed, but apparently didn’t do enough after it decided it would be too much work to actually track down those who used the song. The judge in the case noted that, at the very least, Buma/Strema had a duty to inform Rietveldt that it had given up after promising otherwise. Either way, the end result is that the collection society now owes Rietveldt more money and has to continue trying to collect even more. All over an anti-piracy song that was pirated by anti-piracy groups (mainly NVPI, who is apparently the parent group for the well-known anti-piracy organization BREIN).