Dutch Anti-Piracy Group Caught in Copyright Scandal

By Sam Gibbs on at

A Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group called BREIN has gone and messed up right-royally. It's managed to pinch a music track that a Dutch musician wrote specifically for a local film festival and has used it in tens of millions of Dutch DVDs, totalling to a sum of at least €1 million, about £860,000, in lost revenue.

The story goes that the musician, Melchior Rietveldt, was asked by BREIN to compose a suitable track for an advert to be shown at a local film festival. Rietveldt worked his magic, recorded the track, which was duly integrated into the ad for the film festival. That was fine, but the ad then got recycled and re-used in an anti-piracy campaign on an absolute truck-load of Dutch DVDs. Of course BREIN didn't tell Rietveldt it was going to use his track further than the film festival for which it was produced -- he discovered it when he bought a Harry Potter DVD in early 2007 and heard it on the advert.

Since then, Rietveldt has been attempting to recoup lost earnings from BREIN to no avail. Not even the Dutch music royalty collection service wanted to know. That was until a board member, one Jochem Gerrits, decided to get involved; but he wanted a 33 per cent cut of the royalties.

In a recorded conversation Gerrits clearly states that his fee was deserved because:

"... a lot of people in the industry know that they are in trouble when I get involved."

Once the news got out earlier this week in the Dutch press, Gerrits claimed that his words were "misinterpreted", but promptly took a temporary resignation from the music royalty board. How an anti-piracy group could get caught up in the very thing it's attempting to battle is mind boggling enough; but when you add in the activities of the corrupt music royalties board, it just goes to show that none of the money-grubbing media entities are worth the paper their logos are printed on. Here's hoping that Rietveldt gets his money in the end. [TorrentFreak]

Image credit: Pirate from Shutterstock