The failure to pass reform creates more problems for the struggling Spanish collection society, as pressure from Cisac and government bodies mounts
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Members of Spanish collection society SGAE will vote on statute reforms for a fourth time in the new year, as the society’s board delays its general assembly
By Anna Grace on 19 Sep 2019
Spanish collection society SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) has postponed its general assembly – due to take place in October – to January 2020, when a number of current members will have departed from the society.
Members of the controversial SGAE, which was expelled from international authors’ rights association Cisac in May, were due to vote on statute reforms at the assembly on 15 October.
The society has failed to obtain a member majority on changes to statutes on three separate occasions. The reforms are necessary in order for the society to comply with European Union intellectual property law and with demands made by Cisac and Spanish Minister of Culture, José Guirao.
The decision to postpone the vote comes after members including Julio Iglesias, José Luis Perales, Iván Ferreiro, Ramón Arcusa (Dúo Dinámico) and Jorge Ilegal asked to terminate their membership to the society. By moving the vote to January, the departing members will no longer be able to participate.
“SGAE is postponing its assembly to 2020 to guarantee legal certainty following the request from the Ministry of Culture,” reads a post on the society’s Facebook page.
“SGAE is postponing its assembly to 2020 to guarantee legal certainty following the request from the Ministry of Culture”
The Ministry of Culture had demanded that SGAE “respect” members that wanted to leave, after various members, including Southern Music Española SL, Peermusic and Lugar Music, complained that the society had attempted to limit their right to vote after they announced their intention to leave.
However, according to the society, the Ministry of Culture had also demanded it implement article 27 of it current statutes, “under which asking to leave SGAE constitutes the loss of the right to vote in the general assembly.”
According to the SGAE, the Ministry of Culture has created a “legal paradox”. By moving the assembly to 2020, reads the society’s statement, any doubts relating to legal rights, are dissipated.
SGAE is no stranger to controversy. The society recently received a €2.95 million fine for anti-competitive practices by the Spanish competition regulator and has been linked to a scandal known as ‘the wheel’ (la rueda).
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