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CISAC begins sanctions procedure over ongoing SGAE controversy

By | Published on Monday 10 December 2018


CISAC, the organisation that brings together the world’s song right collecting societies, has said it could kick out controversial Spanish society SGAE if it doesn’t finally deal with the ongoing grievances about its practices, especially among the global music publishers.

There have been various controversies involving SGAE over the years, though of late the big dispute has been over how the society distributes the TV royalties it collects. That dispute stems from an alleged scam in which certain SGAE members and certain Spanish broadcasters have conspired to skew the way telly money is shared out to their advantage.

After being locked out of SGAE’s board meetings, the big global publishers called on CISAC to suspend the Spanish society’s membership. The International Confederation Of Music Publishers then said that, unless the concerns were urgently addressed, its members would have to find alternative ways to license their repertoires in Spain. Universal, Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, BMG and Peermusic then reportedly put SGAE on notice that it was pulling rights related to their respective Anglo-American repertoires.

Having discussed the ongoing drama at a board meeting last week, CISAC said in a short statement that: “In view of SGAE’s failure to remedy these breaches, the board decided to launch a sanctions procedure under CISAC’s statutes. This procedure could result in various sanctions and measures, including the expulsion of SGAE from CISAC”.