Hevia reaches out to the Minister of Culture to rescue the SGAE | Culture

Hevia reaches out to the Minister of Culture to rescue the SGAE | Culture



The SGAE has sent to the Ministry of Culture the minutes of what happened last December 27, during the general assembly of the house, when the reform of the statutes was not approved to comply with European intellectual property regulations. The proposal did not achieve two thirds of the votes, necessary for modifications of some importance, although a majority (simple) said yes to the "patched" statute that the board of directors made upon reaching power, at the beginning of November, to comply with the demands of Culture, under direct threat of intervention. It was not enough that 58% was favorable to the reform.

Suspense, so the SGAE remained in the hands of the Ministry of Culture, whose plans to guide the new steps of the largest and controversial copyright management entity in Spain remain a mystery. The minister, José Guirao, and his team will first read the minutes of the assembly and the personal letter that accompanies them, signed by the president of the SGAE, José Ángel Hevia, in which he extends his hand to Guirao and puts himself at his disposal, as EL PAÍS has learned. The message seeks "spirit of collaboration" and asks for an appointment to meet. Alone, it would be the first time. The new directive leadership wants to avoid at all costs a judicial process that executes the regeneration of the society and Culture must decide if with 58% of the partners it is enough to limit itself to protect and withdraw its threat of intervention.

The relations between both houses -even with the new tenants, Hevia and Guirao- have not been as fluid as the critical moment in which the SGAE has been stranded, following excesses, confrontations and judicial investigations that keep it in the shifting sands for months. Mistrust reigns between both parties and communication is only done through emails and official documents. As this newspaper has been able to confirm, only once have the two leaders met in the same room to discuss the future, but it was not a face to face. It happened in the Ministry of Culture and for three quarters of an hour, the day after the elections in the SGAE. There the new board of directors appeared to pay their respects to Guirao and his experts. There was more tension than agreement, according to a source present at the meeting.

The new leadership of the SGAE wants to avoid at all costs a judicial process that executes the regeneration of society

Two months and many requests later, Hevia explains to this newspaper that she does not want Culture to see them as "rebels". They do not want to be treated with a 155. He claims that he seeks concord and negotiation. Although it is true that SGAE appealed the warning where Culture threatened to intervene and pending a trial before the National Court.

Unopposed

"We are going to accept everything that comes from the ministry and be legal," says Hevia. The government of the SGAE prefers an agreement to an intervention, with which it would be dethroned by a managing judge. They seek a reconciliation, a handshake and a decree that imposes statutes drawn up by the team of Carlos Guervós Maillo, deputy general director of intellectual property. This is the possibility best seen from the SGAE to get out of the quagmire in which it is located. Guirao will decide if he rescues them personally or leaves the dirty work to the judge.

While seeking peace with Culture, Hevia seems to enjoy it in its board of directors, thanks to a pact of non-belligerency among its members. The few opponents within the government, however, question the credibility of the president, due to their close relationship and their continued income thanks to the music broadcast at dawn on television, precisely the controversial issue that keeps the SGAE paralyzed and that investigates justice.

At the same time, the annulment in the courts of the distribution of December – the SGAE carries out them every six months – of the rights collected in the last section of 2018 complicates the panorama. The general assembly rejected this distribution, infected by a "wheel", as it is known to the alleged plot that raised millions thanks to night music, without limitation. For those favored in the profits, the approval of these accounts supposed "peace". They were "willing" to assume limitations, as long as this deal was made. But 53.23% voted against the last distribution before the application of Article 159 of the new Law on Intellectual Property (which limits the benefits of the night to 20% of total television revenues). This matter is pending internal resolution, although the payments have already been carried out. It is more: the last three distributions of the entity, from December of 2017, are under suspicion, sub judice or appealed.

If the board of directors emerges alive from this quagmire, they will have to face a more serious problem: disaffection and discredit among their partners. Some of the most important names have already shown their firm decision to leave the ship for another. "The biggest threat of the SGAE is not the intervention, but the brain drain. We can not stop listening to the partners. If the powerful repertoires are gone, the humblest will remain unprotected. Now we can not insist on being the only ones, but on being the best, "says Hevia before the liberalization of the rights management market and the emergence of competition.

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