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).

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Companies: brein, buma/strema, nvpi

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Comments on “Anti-Piracy Song Pirated By Anti-Piracy Group; Collection Society Fined For Failing To Get Royalties”

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47 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

please correct me if i am wrong, but i believe this involved BREIN, the collection company in the EU. now, had this case been one whereby BREIN was going after an individual that probably didn’t have 2 cents to scratch his arse with, they would have demanded a gazillion euros in fines and a prison sentence as a very minimum. so, how can they get away with just being told to cough up what they should have done all along and get a slap on the wrist for being naughty? the old double standards coming in or the ‘we own the courts as well’ syndrome?

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:

High court, low court for certain.

Big Media Corporation = instant action, attention and payment.

Lone Artist = Fuck you little people, it’s too much trouble to bother with you

Also, malfeasance on the part of Big Media is met with a shrug, a slap on the wrist, a minimal fine, and apologetic language like “Well, it was just an oversight/error” and MAYBE a push to actually correct the situation, WHEREAS sharing 12 songs with an unproved number of people is met with the Legal Hammer of Justice rammed up your ass to the tune of $2.5 million US dollars, incarceration, years of legal trials (and retrials and appeals for more punishment), Scarlet-Letter-Style public character assassination, and the financial ruin of the rest of your life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

please correct me if i am wrong, but i believe this involved BREIN, the collection company in the EU. now, had this case been one whereby BREIN was going after an individual that probably didn’t have 2 cents to scratch his arse with, they would have demanded a gazillion euros in fines and a prison sentence as a very minimum. so, how can they get away with just being told to cough up what they should have done all along and get a slap on the wrist for being naughty? the old double standards coming in or the ‘we own the courts as well’ syndrome?

The fine is on the company that was supposed to collect the royalties, not a fine on the infringer. Not that the infringers in this case wouldn’t get by with just a slap on the wrist, this is just a different case from your example.

TJR (user link) says:

Deep sigh

(Deep sigh)

Musicians tries to help educate that illeagally downloading music without paying for it is wrong and hurts the musician.

EU Publishing Rights Organization screws the musician by not doing their job and collecting the money that is owed them

People who think it’s ok to illegally download music without paying for it, read this article and use it as a justification to keep on illeagally downloading music without compensating the musician.

(Deep sigh)

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