Anti-piracy group pirates their theme song

You know what anti-piracy groups are supposed to be all about? That's right, pirating stuff. Oh, oops, I mean not pirating stuff. Yeah, sorry about that, but it's an easy mistake to make, seeing as these guys keep doing the exact opposite of anti-piracy.

The company in question, a Netherlands-based (but Hollywood-funded) anti-piracy group called BREIN, commissioned a musician named Melchior Rietveldt to provide a soundtrack for an anti-piracy video that was going to be used at a local film festival back in 2006. The deal was essentially a single-use license just for that film festival, but in 2007, Rietveldt bought himself a Harry Potter DVD and noticed that BREIN had gone and stuck his music on a different anti-piracy trailer thing. And of course, it wasn't just this one DVD, it was tens of millions of them, representing upwards of a million euros of royalties that the anti-piracy company effectively stole directly from the artist.

Rietveldt called up a Dutch music royalty collection agency (the people who really care about going after music pirates), but didn't get anywhere. Then, out of the blue, Rietveldt was contacted by a member of the agency's board, who informed him that sure, he could take care of the problem. Just one little thing, though: Rietveldt would have to hand over all rights to his music and give the board member (personally) a kickback of 33% of whatever was recovered, amounting to over $300,000.

Since this story broke, the board member in question has temporarily resigned citing a "misinterpretation" of what he was saying, but since the entire conversation was recorded, that's just a load of tripe. BRIEN (the anti-piracy company) is desperately trying to distance itself from the whole thing, saying that it's a contractual issue which has nothing to do with BREIN, but as TorrentFreak points out, this is all some seriously disgusting behavior from an industry who tries to justify crackdowns and outrageous lawsuits on people they deem to be music pirates.

Via TorrentFreak

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