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International author's rights association Cisac votes for a one-year expulsion of SGAE, as the Spanish society falls short of implementing sufficient change
By Anna Grace on 30 May 2019
The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (Cisac) has voted to expel Spanish society SGAE for a one-year period, following the society’s failure to convince the body of its “commitment to reform”.
The decision to expel SGAE, known as the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, was made at Cisac’s annual assembly in Tokyo. The expulsion follows Cisac’s resolution to undertake a sanctions process against SGAE in December, “in view of the society’s breaches of Cisac rules”.
The expulsion is set to last for one year but “can be adjusted or lifted at any time”, provided that the Cisac board of directors concludes that SGAE has made sufficient progress towards implementing its requirements. Cisac recommended a series of changes to its rogue Spanish member following an in-depth investigation which concluded in May last year.
“Today’s vote to proceed with the sanction of a one-year expulsion follows an in-depth analysis of recent reforms set in motion by SGAE’s new President, Ms Pilar Jurado,” reads a Cisac statement.
“Further important technical work and changes are needed and expected by CISAC to ensure SGAE’s compliance with the Confederation’s professional rules”
“While a number of welcome changes have been proposed, they have not yet been approved by the SGAE General Assembly. Further important technical work and changes are needed and expected by CISAC to ensure SGAE’s compliance with the Confederation’s professional rules for member societies.”
SGAE appointed Spanish soprano singer Pilar Jurado as president in February following a vote of no confidence against former chief José Ángel Hevia, who held the position for just three months.
Jurado states that “Cisac is giving SGAE the opportunity to decide its own future”, and called on members to support her proposed reforms in the General Assembly in order for the society “to leave this situation behind us”.
Earlier this week, minister of culture José Guirao demanded SGAE produce a detailed outline of the steps it would take to comply with regulations. Failure to do so would result in intervention from the court.
SGAE has been at the centre of a scandal known as the wheel, or ‘la rueda’, for a number of years. The scam, which saw SGAE members and TV execs create “low-quality music” to broadcast on late-night TV, allegedly brought in several millions in performance royalties over the years.
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