FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
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
Andy Warhol Sued for Child Porn, Torture

Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey are accused of violating child pornography laws in a 1964 film directed by Morrissey called All Aboard The Dreamland Choo Choo. The suit was filed in 2009 against Warhol’s Estate and Morrissey by a lawyer representing the grown children of Richard Toelk. Toelk appeared in the film when he was 14, rolling and smoking what might or might not be a joint, giving himself electrical shocks and plunging a small knife into his leg. It is strong stuff, but how much of it was staged? Toelk died in 1990 so he’s not telling.

Morrissey has said that All Aboard The Dreamland Choo Choo was intended to send an anti-drug message and it was made a year before he met Warhol. The title of the film came from a Shirley Temple song that he would play during the silent film’s screening.

Emily Larish of The Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law doesn’t think Toelk’s children have much of a case and may actually be exploiting their father more than Warhol and Morrissey ever did:

Assuming the depiction of Toelk in All Aboard The Dreamland Choo Choo can be considered sexual exploitation, if the footage was filmed in 1964, then it could not have been in violation of federal child pornography laws; the first federal laws aimed at child pornography were not enacted until the late 1970s. As for the claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress for damaging the family’s image, it is hard to imagine that many people have even seen the film, certainly not in recent years. Moreover, even out of those who have seen the film, I doubt that many would be able to identify the young boy smoking pot as Richard Toelk, the father of the plaintiffs.

It seems that this family is attempting to do the very thing for which they are accusing the defendants: exploiting the images of a young Richard Toelk for financial gain.

You can read the complaint here

Watch the rarely seen All Aboard The Dreamland Choo Choo and make up your own mind…or don’t. In my opinion the self-torture looks no more real than what you’d see in a mainstream horror movie. The film seems to want to dramatize a young man’s desperate need to feel something, anything, some kind of kick. It’s certainly not porn. And the young actor doesn’t appear to be suffering the kind of pain you’d feel after plunging an Exacto knife in your leg. It looks like theater to me.

Posted by Marc Campbell
03:17 am