Dutch copyright group accused of pirating its anti-piracy anthem, music collecting society boss seeks 33% finders' fee for getting musician paid

A musician called Melchior Rietveldt was commissioned by the Dutch copyright-lobbying group BREIN to compose an anthem for an "anti-piracy" video. According to Rietveldt, BREIN licensed his work for a single use. However, the film industry has gone on to use the music in those crappy anti-piracy ads they run at the start of DVDs telling you off for being a pirate when you've just bought the DVD you're watching. Rietveldt's representatives claim that tens of millions of Dutch DVDs contain his composition, and that he's owed more than EUR1M.

Soon after he discovered the unauthorized distribution of his music Rietveldt alerted the local music royalty collecting agency Buma/Stemra. The composer demanded compensation, but to his frustration he heard very little from Buma/Stemra and he certainly didn’t receive any royalties.

Earlier this year, however, a breakthrough seemed to loom on the horizon when Buma/Stemra board member Jochem Gerrits contacted the composer with an interesting proposal. Gerrits offered to help out the composer in his efforts to get paid for his hard work, but the music boss had a few demands of his own.

In order for the deal to work out the composer had to assign the track in question to the music publishing catalogue of the Buma/Stemra board member. In addition to this, the music boss demanded 33% of all the money set to be recouped as a result of his efforts.

It gets worse. Click through to read how Gerrits was recorded making this demand, and what happened next.

Copyright Corruption Scandal Surrounds Anti-Piracy Campaign


  1. The last word of the article is “sickening.” Sickening, perhaps, but quite commonplace.  Whenever you get artists and businessmen in the same room, you can guess who’ll be left holding the money. After all, the job of a businessman is to be left holding the money.

    1. “Mr.  Rietveldt should at least acknowledge that his is a muzak ripoff of Prodidy/Tom Morello on their Spawn soundtrack contribution.”

      LOL.  Nice. 

  2. //chuckle// in the USA the cadre of lawyers that works to find the money owed to artists is busy at work collecting the money. But they have a long list of people they can’t locate. Some years ago a reporter looking at their list of ‘lost’ artists found Ted Nugent’s name. Yep, same guy with TV hunting shows and one time with a reality show. Seemed they were holding onto a couple hundred grand of his money for a good decade.

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