May 18, 2021

Congress will limit the benefits of the televisions wheel

Congress will limit the benefits of the televisions wheel



The Congress will put today a stick in the call 'wheel of televisions'. This Tuesday will be approved in the Congress a report of the presentation of the Commission of Culture on the project of reform of the Law of Intellectual Property in which they limit the benefits of what the authors collect for the emission of their work at night .

Until now, the SGAE collected most of its authorial benefits – around 70% – in the early morning fringe. A strip with hardly any audience, but which generated huge profits for the authors with compositions that were often variations of works free of rights.

According to the report that EFE has had access to, now management entities such as the SGAE will not be able to distribute more than 20% of the amount collected by each author for the broadcast of their work in a schedule with "absence of a significant audience".

The "wheel" was denounced in 2013 before the Anticorruption Prosecutor by the ex-president of the SGAE Antón Reixa and three years later it was object of a police operation against fraud in the collection of copyright of pieces musicals that were broadcast on television networks at night and that could amount to 100 million euros.

The document that translates the directives 2014/26 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council into Spanish legislation, and Directive (EU) 2017/1564 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

According to article 159 of the report, the management entities will have to adopt the "necessary measures, including the setting of distribution ceilings when appropriate, to avoid that works or benefits receive disproportionate amounts in relation to the commercial or audience returns that are they produce during their exploitation. "

When the scandal of the wheel jumped, the SGAE went to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to make an arbitration. In its award, WIPO decided to limit the distribution of what was collected in the night slot to between 10 and 20%.

The Board of Directors of the entity finally agreed that this limit was 20% but both Mediaset and Atresmedia, groups with publishers that collect these practices, reported these measures to the courts. The TSJM finally annulled the application of the award.

Now, Congress will be the one that limits the practices of the wheel. In particular, the text specifies, in those cases of dissemination in which the commercial value for the use of the protected works and services "is testimonial due to the absence of a significant audience" will apply a "lump sum" that will in no case exceed twenty percent of the total collected from each user for a maximum intensive or quantitative use of the works ".

The report also establishes greater control over the management entities that collect more than 100 million euros, that is, the SGAE, since it is the only one that annually reaches these figures in Spain.

Electronic voting and "equitable representation"

Among the reforms agreed to adapt to the European standard, management entities must also "communicate electronically with the entity, including for the purposes of exercising their rights", that is, they will have to enable electronic voting in elections such as those They were convened last October in the SGAE. This was one of the reasons that divided the members of the SGAE in the last elections in which precisely He left as president the piper Hevia, one of the defenders of the practices of the wheel.

As revealed in the document, it will also be required that the voting regime of the members of the general assembly of the entities that collect more than 100 million euros guarantee "an equitable and proportionate representation of all the members".

"The determination of the system of weighting in the vote will not allow a majority of votes to be held by a small number of members that constrain internal democracy or alter, in some way, the freedom of action of the general assembly," adds the document.

In addition, it is also included in the report that the holders of rights belonging to companies or users "do not occupy positions in the governing bodies and do not participate in decision-making in which a conflict of interest may exist".

"In any case," the management entity will adopt measures to avoid unfair preferential use of protected works and services, in particular by those who hold them, and may even establish restrictions on the distribution. "

As a measure that adds extra control to what is required by the European directive, it is also the case that the management entities that annually collect a figure equal to or greater than 100 million euros in the previous year have the obligation to "appoint as members of the of internal control to a number of independent third parties equal to the number of members of the management entity that make up said body ".

The requirement of "traceability" has also been introduced, that is, that the copyright management entities "maintain due separation" between the rights collected by reason of the origin or origin of the collection, "not being able to allocate amounts for distribution for rights to works different from those from which the rights to be distributed ".

Thus, the qualification of the so-called copyright charges as "pending identification" is avoided.

After the intervention of the Commission, and once included in the order of the day of the Plenary Session of the Congress, a discussion will be opened on the project or proposed law and the amendments maintained, and the resulting text will be sent to the Senate.

In addition, the report states that only judicial authorization will be required for the closing of a web page in the case of a strict recidivism in the crime or if there has already been a judicial resolution.

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