Anti-piracy group fined for stealing music

Anti-Piracy Group Fined

Oh, the irony. A musicians’ rights group in the Netherlands was fined this week for stealing music from a client, using it without his permission and failing to pay royalties. Music royalty collection agency Buma/Stemra approached Dutch musician Melchior Rietveldt in 2006 and asked him to create a composition that would be used in an anti-piracy advertisement, which the group said would be shown exclusively at a local film festival. One year later, Rietveldt purchased a Harry Potter DVD only to find that his piece was being used on DVDs around the world without his permission.

The musician approached Buma/Stemra and after some back and forth, TorrentFreak reports that the group gave him an advance of €15,000 and a promise that it would furnish a list of all DVDs that used the man’s music. Rietveldt would never receive the list he was promised, but after a drawn-out court battle and a few more small payments from the agency, it looks like the musician will finally receive the money he is owed.

Buma/Stemra was slapped with a €20,000 fine by an Amsterdam District Court this week, and ordered to pay the remainder of any money owed to Rietveldt, which the musician calculated to total at least €164,974.

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