Music royalty collection agency fined for stealing music, which they used on an anti-piracy advert
IN weird turn of events, a music royalty collection agency in the Netherlands has been fined for using a client’s music without his knowledge and failing to pay royalties.
Buma/Stemra, a musician’s right group, commissioned Dutch musician Melchior Rietveldt in 2006 to create the music for, I kid you not, an anti-piracy advert.
The piece was supposed to be used just the once at a local film festival but to Rietveldt’s surprise he discovered his music on a Harry Potter DVD a year later. As it happens, the composition was used on at least 70 other DVDs according to TorrentFreak.
Understandably, Rietveldt went back to Buma/Stemra to ask for the money he was owed and the agency eventually sent Rietveldt an advance of 15,000 euros along with a promise to forward a list of all the other DVDs that the composer’s music had been used on.
That list never materialised and after years of wrangling the case was finally settled in June when an Amsterdam court fined Buma/Stemra 20,000 euros and ordered them to pay Rietveldt’s legal costs and all the money due to the composer.