In the US they claim millions, but how do plagiarism cases work in the Netherlands? † Currently

In the US they claim millions, but how do plagiarism cases work in the Netherlands?  † Currently

Ed Sheerans Choirs shape for you And the lift From Dua Lipa anyone could hardly miss in recent years, but has it been stolen? Both artists are being sued for plagiarism and sometimes millions are demanded in the US and UK. How is this actually done in the Netherlands?

Sheeran is facing two composers in court who say those scripts and melody are among his most successful songs shape for you from their number. Two disco composers and a reggae band accuse Lipa of plagiarizing elements of their songs to achieve global success lift† Three songwriters sued Sam Smith and Normani for their hit song Dancing with a stranger To copy a song with the same title since 2015.

Similar charges and lawsuits are regularly in the news, but it is relatively rare for artists to actually be convicted of plagiarism. Katy Perry recently escaped having to pay €2.5 million on appeal for alleged plagiarism in her number. Dark HorseRobin Thicke and Pharrell Williams performed less well.

Relatives of the late artist Marvin Gaye filed a lawsuit against the artists because of their injuries blurred lines It would be very obvious that he was inspired by Jay’s song I got to give up† The judge also ruled in favor of Gay’s family after an appeal and Thicke and Williams had to pay $5.3 million (more than €4.8 million).

Less quantities are higher in the Netherlands

Really great amounts of this kind are not mentioned in the Netherlands and plagiarism in music is rarely the news. However, these kinds of things are actually happening in the Netherlands.

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If you, as a Dutch artist or songwriter, suspect that someone has illegally appropriated (part of) your work, you have two options. You can go to court or play via Buma / Stemra. The latter is the cheapest option.

“You can freely seize a short piece of music, limited by a number of tones or seconds. This is really a misunderstanding.”

Lillian Rosenberg, Puma/Stimra

According to Lilian Rozenberg of Buma/Stemra, there is an obvious misconception about plagiarism, which you remove. “There is a widespread misconception that a short piece of music, limited to a number of notes or seconds, should be freely reproduced. This is certainly not the case.”

Within Buma/Stemra there is a Special Permanent Committee on Plagiarism (VCP), which is made up of two copyright experts and five composers. Any Buma/Stemra musician or writer can file a complaint with VCP if they suspect that their original work has been copied without giving it credit.

Factory personalization

First, it checks whether the original configuration is protected by copyright. If not, it can be copied without consequences. To be eligible for copyright protection, a composition must have an “original, factory-personalized stamp”. Rosenberg emphasizes that this “authenticity key” is “very light,” so in general, authorship is protected by copyright.

A small part of the composition can also qualify for this. “Ultimately, a combination of that number of tones or that very short piece of music can be original and therefore have copyright protection,” Rosenberg says.

Once it is determined that the complainant’s composition is original and therefore copyrighted, similarities with the complained composition are considered.

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“VCP assesses on the basis of recordings and sheet music whether there really was an acquisition and whether the acquisition is so copyright-related that the alleged plagiarism must be in the name of the complainant,” Rosenberg says. The similarities are checked using a musical equation.

Cheaper than suit

If a sufficient number of matches are found, the complainant must be able to demonstrate that the creator being sued knows the original work. “If the original work is older than the plagiarism and/or the similarity is too great to be a coincidence, one can assume that the alleged plagiarism is based on the original work,” Rosenberg said.

If all of this is proven, copyright will be assigned to the author of the original work from the time the complaint is made.

For example, VCP treats a small number of cases each year, including the case surrounding Kenny B. Paris From 2016 is the best known modern example. Singer Quincy Cardinal filed a complaint with VCP, because Kenny B’s song would be too similar to his own Parlais Francais† The Committee found that the agreements were too limited and found that Paris It does not depend on this number.

In such a case, the losing party pays Buma/Stemra €1,362 to cover the costs of the case. This is probably cheaper than the costs of a full lawsuit, both in the Netherlands and the United States.

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