The General Assembly of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, has voted for the temporary expulsion of Spanish society SGAE, the organization announced today.
The move comes about after a sanction procedure brought against SGAE, which is essentially Spain’s performing rights organization, by CISAC late last year following claims by publishers of “discriminatory treatment of rightsholders and unfair practices relating to the distribution of royalties.” CISAC’s president is electronic musician Jean-Michel Jarre (pictured).
As detailed by Music Business Worldwide, that claim references an activity called “The Wheel,” in which music owned by certain SGAE members is played throughout the night on some Spanish TV channels, allowing the involved rights-holders to claim substantial performance royalty payouts. Those same SGAE members are often listed as the composers of the songs, with the involved TV stations listed as publishers; thus, both parties then share in the subsequent royalties.
According to the announcement, CISAC has been working with SGAE “for many months, following complaints which raised serious concerns about the society’s operations.” A CISAC report containing recommendations for changes to the society’s governance rules, statutes and royalty distribution practices was presented to SGAE in April of last year. “In December 2018, given the lack of progress by SGAE on CISAC’s requirements, the CISAC Board of Directors announced the opening of a sanction procedure,” the announcement reads.
Today’s vote to proceed with the sanction of a one-year expulsion follows an analysis of recent reforms set in motion by SGAE’s new president, Pilar Jurado. While a number of changes have been proposed, they have not yet been approved by the SGAE General Assembly.
CISAC notes that SGAE will be re-admitted once the reforms have been implemented to its satisfaction.
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