Publishers warn Spanish collection society
An international collective of music publishers have fired a warning shot in the direction of Spanish collection society SGAE.

SGAE has been reprimanded in recent months by a WIPO Arbitration Panel, following allegations that some of its domestic members hatched a dodgy plan with bosses of Spanish TV networks.

The Wheel sees music owned by certain SGAE members suspiciously played throughout the night on some Spanish TV channels – meaning the relevant rights-holders can lay claim to large chunks of performance royalty payouts.

The SGAE members are often listed as the composers of these songs, with the relevant TV stations listed as publishers; the two parties then share in the subsequent royalties.

Millions of Euros are believed to have been paid out as a result of The Wheel. SGAE’s offices were raided by Spanish police in June in relation to the plot.

According to global music publishing trade body ICMP, the scam is ‘detrimental to the vast majority of Spanish authors and to all foreign ones’.

ICMP adds that ‘music publishers who have had the courage to take a stand against [SGAE], have had to endure ongoing discrimination and intimidation’.

ICMP Chair Chris Butler, commented: “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. It’s time for the collective management community to work decisively towards a definitive solution.

“If they don’t, we will have no choice but to look at alternative licensing options.”