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Major anti-piracy campaign accused of pirating its soundtrack

The anti-piracy group BREIN has been accused by a soundtrack composer of not having permission to use his work in their well known “you wouldn’t steal a car” anti-downloading campaign. The image above is a still from the infamous advert, which has been satirised heavily (most famously by The IT Crowd). 

You couldn’t make this shit up. Well no you could - but no-one would believe you. Which is why Melchior Rietveldt, the Dutch musician whose work was used on the huge international ad campaign after it was commissioned for a only one-off screening, wore a wire to record the conversations he had with his national royalty collection agency Buma/Stemra. As if it wasn’t bad enough that his music was used without permission (in a bloody anti-piracy campaign, of all things) Mr Reitveldt was then told by a representative of Buma/Stemra, Jochem Gerrits, that the issue could be resolved if Gerrits was given a 33% share of the possible million-Euro-plus pay out that Rietveldt was due. In effect, a bribe.

Via Torrentfreak:

It all started back in 2006, when the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group BREIN reportedly asked musician Melchior Rietveldt to compose music for an anti-piracy video. The video in question was to be shown at a local film festival, and under these strict conditions the composer accepted the job.

However, according to a report from Pownews the anti-piracy ad was recycled for various other purposes without the composer’s permission. When Rietveldt bought a Harry Potter DVD early 2007, he noticed that the campaign video with his music was on it. And this was no isolated incident.

The composer now claims that his work has been used on tens of millions of Dutch DVDs, without him receiving any compensation for it. According to Rietveldt’s financial advisor, the total sum in missed revenue amounts to at least a million euros ($1,300,000).

The existence of excellent copyright laws and royalty collecting agencies in the Netherlands should mean that the composer received help and support with this problems, but this couldn’t be further from what actually happened.

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 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.

Unbelievable! I hope Mr Rietveldt rinses these bastards for everything they’ve got. Here’s the original BREIN anti-piracy advert:

Thanks to Paul Shetler.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
08:38 am
David Quantick: ‘The music industry hates you’
04:32 pm


Smarter than your average bear, the multi-talented writer David Quantick recently popped up on BBC’s Newsnight Review to rattle cutlass with the Music Industry. 

Quantick is best known as the co-writer of the award-winning The Day Today, with Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan, worked on Chris Morris’ Brass Eye, wrote and created the world’s first internet sitcom Junkies and most recently penned the rather excellent Miliband of Brothers for Channel 4.

In this short clip, pirate Quantick states:

The Music Industry is like the Mafia, but less efficient. And record industry executives are loud, nasty and bad for you like cocaine in human form. Remember the slogan ‘Home taping is killing music’? Well piracy isn’t the problem. What’s killing music is the Music Industry.

As Quantick points out, it’s about time these odious wastes of talent and their money grasping, hypocritical, fuckwit pop stars learned to live off a proper working wage. Just like most people do. It maybe a simplistic argument, but it cuts through the bull usually given out in defense of sheer naked greed.  And if the Muisc Biz and its popsters can’t live off what it makes, well, as Mr Q. says:

Let bands earn what they deserve to earn. Take pop music away from Simon Cowell and the 79p download sites, because if the Music Industry dies, then like child labor, corporal punishment, and James Blunt’s career, maybe it deserves to die.



Posted by Paul Gallagher
04:32 pm