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.


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.