The General Society of Authors went to bed yesterday with an official requirement of the Ministry of Culture on the table that, according to the entity, has temporarily paralyzed the collection of advances from more than 250 authors and 12 publishers. According to the statement sent yesterday "blocked advances, which affect members of all professional associations, exceed 2.5 million euros. As usual for years, they were to be delivered on account of future collections, once proven that they meet the strict technical requirements contemplated by the SGAE regulations and verified by the senior management of the management entity. All the advances are granted monthly, once approved by the Board of Directors ".
Is it the first step for the ministerial intervention that José Guirao talks about, which could be ready in a couple of weeks? From the Sgae they say they do not know but they are "Surprised and worried. What we want is that this order can be lifted as soon as possible ". They claim not to understand that this situation has been reached, "because this system enjoys great acceptance among the partners and has never distorted future distributions, precisely because of the limits and rigorous economic controls established. It is a form of advanced collection of rights that Sgae offers to authors and publishers, charged to their future collections for copyright generated by their work. "
The Ministry, meanwhile, and through a statement said that "the requirement on the granting of advances and loans do not paralyze any payment" and that is motivated by the critical situation that passes the first rights management entity. "The subject is subject to send the information that has been requested. It is a measure of control over what type of loans are going to be granted, under what conditions, to whom they are granted and if it will affect the allocation of rights. It is only a control and control measure that paralyzes the charge as long as the Sgae is delayed in sending the information requested, "they say from the house of the Seven Chimneys. They also stress that "these amounts can not be committed without having been previously approved by the Assembly".
"This unusual and extraordinary ministerial order – says the statement sent by the management body – affects authors of all professional associations belonging to the management entity. SGAE regrets the damage it may cause to authors and publishers, and undertakes to provide all the information required to the Ministry to unblock payments as soon as possible.
Has there been communication between Culture and the society of authors? From the entity comment that "the president has asked for an interview more than a month ago, but we have not received an answer, so we have not been able to talk about this issue or any other." The amount to be received is fixed according to the claimant's collection history and is limited. SGAE recovers these amounts in the following income from the rights of the author or publisher who received them. In 2018 SGAE granted 1,707 loans / advances to its members for a value of 31,731,000 euros.