May 16, 2021

Congress will limit the benefits of evening music collection | Culture

Congress will limit the benefits of evening music collection | Culture



The Congress of deputies will approve this Tuesday unanimously (and barring surprises of last minute) a report of the paper on the reform of the Intellectual Property Law that adapts the Spanish norm to the European guidelines. The Culture Commission will ratify the report, which will go to the Senate and possibly by the end of January the new law will come into force. Among the most important measures is the commitment of the four main groups (PSOE, PP, Podemos and Ciudadanos) to limit the benefits of the collection for night music broadcast on television.

As this newspaper advanced, the law will order for the first time the distribution of the call wheel and the total of the proceeds from this slot on television – defined as "testimonial" – may not exceed 20%. This amount is the maximum proposed by the award of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in July 2017. The opinions gathered among the spokespersons of each of the parties agree that it is a "decisive understanding" to clear up doubts about the collective management of copyright.

The SGAE it must be applied in cases in which "the commercial value for the use of the protected works and services is testimonial due to the absence of a significant audience". That is, during the early morning hours. Right now, in a time slot (from three to six in the morning) of a 1% audience, almost 70% of the proceeds of music on television are generated. The objective is to stop "the arbitrariness in the distribution and guarantee that the participation of the holders is proportional to the use of their works". A concert of Alejandro Sanz in prime time, for example, is outside of this regulation. Music accounts for 80% of SGAE's revenues (248 million euros, in 2017) and the majority of that percentage comes from the collection of songs that sound on television networks.

The National Court investigates the excesses of a system that is legal, but that for years was used without control. The plot of the wheel, investigated by the courts, would have defrauded between 2006 and 2011 about 100 million euros for the fraudulent registry of supposed modifications of original works.

The deputies want to clean up the SGAE, the entity that most collects in Spain, starting with the collection and distribution, the matters most demanded by the members themselves, who demand more transparency and equity. Hence, the guarantee of transparency and "traceability" of the process is provided in the standard.

Thanks to traceability rights holders will be able to identify and follow, for the first time, all the stages of the collection, from the origin to the distribution. It is a digital tracking method of repertoire localization so that it is not collected in bulk and in a generic way. With the approval of this point the invoice will be detailed and, as they say from Podemos, "bad practices will be avoided".

The last section that reinforces the democratic mechanisms of rights management societies is that which obliges entities that collect more than 100 million a year (in the case of SGAE alone) to create a control body, which audits from within the entity. This measure has an essential clause: it must have as many independent members as the entity itself. The objective is to guarantee the independence of the control and eliminate conflicts of interest that may take the entity away from its agreed objectives.

The new Board of Directors of the SGAE, with José Ángel Hevia in the lead, it will have to adapt the new statutes to this directive that will come into force in three months.

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