Melchior Rietveldt’s Music Was Used ‘Illegally’ On Anti-Piracy DVDs In Holland
He’s crying foul. He’s done the maths. If his music has been used illegally on tens of millions of Dutch DVDs, he’s due lots of royalty money. He wants at least a million euros in compensation.
His case seems tight.
Rietveldt alerted the local music royalty collecting agency Buma/Stemra. They describe themselves thus:
There are people who make music although you’ll never hear them make a sound: they are called music authors. Their efforts precede the successes of the artists who perform their works. The music that we enjoy is their intellectual property. Just like other authors, they have the right to remuneration when their works are played, sung or recorded. Buma/Stemra takes care of these matters.
Buma/Stemra board member Jochem Gerrits got in touch. He’d help. All Rietveldt needed to do was to sign the track over to Gerrits, who owns High Fashion Music. Also, Gerrits would get 33% of all the money recouped.
The Buma/Stemra website boasts:
Maximum service, minimum costs
Buma/Stemra is not about making profits. That is because of our organisational setup: Buma is an association and Stemra is a foundation. But Buma/Stemra does work efficiently and like a business. We have one of the lowest cost percentages of all the copyright organisations in Europe.
Rietveldt’s advisor Rob Storm got in touch with Gerrits, who allegedly was abusing his power. Pownews recorded the exchange, and it was broadcast on Dutch telly.
Torrent Freak transcribes:
Why do you have to earn money?” he asks, as usually all of the money goes directly to the artists.
“It could be because a lot of people in the industry know that they are in trouble when I get involved,” Gerrits responds, adding that he can bring up the topic immediately in a board meeting next week.
Once again trying to find confirmation for the proposal, the composer’s advisor later asks if the music boss indeed wants one-third of the money.
“Yes, that’s the case, but then [the composer] would make 660,000 euros and now he has nothing,” Gerrits responds calmly.
Gerrits temporarily resigned as Buma/Stemra board member to focus on his defence.
Meanwhile, the musician is still waiting for his cash…