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SGAE suffers third statute reform failure

The failure to pass reform creates more problems for the struggling Spanish collection society, as pressure from Cisac and government bodies mounts

By Anna Grace on 25 Jun 2019

SGAE reform failure

SGAE headquarters in Madrid


image © David G. Folgueiras

Spanish collection society, Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), is facing increased pressure from the government and international author’s rights association Cisac, after failing to make reforms to its statutes.

The beleaguered collection society lacked member votes to implement reform at its General Assembly in Madrid on Monday (24 June). 62.8% of members voted in favour of the changes proposed by SGAE president Pilar Jurado, 4% short of the two-thirds majority required.

Of the 18,000 eligible members, only 1,356 participated in the vote.

Changes to the society’s statutes are necessary in order to comply with current European Union intellectual property law. In the run up to the vote, Jurado stressed that the society was facing its “last opportunity” and that failure to comply with the changes would be “terrible for creators”.

In failing to reform the collection society has also failed to meet the demands of Spanish Minister of Culture José Guirao and the International Confederation of Authors’ Societies

In failing to reform – for the third time – the collection society has also failed to meet the demands of Spanish Minister of Culture José Guirao and the International Confederation of Authors’ Societies (Cisac).

Last week, the National Assembly rejected Guirao’s call for governmental intervention in light of SGAE’s upcoming General Assembly. Following the decision, Guirao stated that failure to pass the reforms would leave “no other option other than to strip SGAE of its authority.”

In May, Cisac temporarily expelled SGAE as a member, due to the society’s failure to convince the body of its commitment to reform. The sanction, which “can be lifted or adjusted at any time” provided positive change is made, remains in place.

Earlier this month, the society received two fines from the Spanish competition regulator, one of €3.1m in relation to “abusive” 10% concert tariffs, and the other of €2.95 for anti-competitive conduct.

SGAE has been embroiled in controversy surrounding a scandal known as ‘the wheel’ (la rueda) since 2017.

 


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