For once, the SGAE strictly followed the planned script. At 120 years old, the entity’s fragile health has already suffered too many shocks. Hence, he surely appreciated an unprecedented afternoon of serenity: the members, called in an Extraordinary Assembly, finally approved, with 85.19% of the votes in favor, the reform of the statutes. In other words, they fulfilled a legal obligation, in addition to a requirement from the Ministry of Culture, and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (Cisac), which expelled the SGAE in May 2019. Four calls and more have been required of a year and a half to achieve it: in the three previous attempts, led by as many presidents —José Miguel Fernández Sastrón, José Ángel Hevia and the current one, Pilar Jurado—, the two-thirds of necessary support were never reached. “It is shown that the partners are clear that this entity must continue to live. This is a start. And it is only the end of an era that has brought too many things that are not pretty, “said Jurado.
The president boasted of success. Immediately, he received a message of congratulations from the Cisac general secretary, Gadi Oron, and called the Ministry of Culture to communicate the results. Jury wins where its predecessors lost. The controversial point five on the agenda also came out ahead, with 71.42% support: “Approval, where appropriate, of the incorporation in the entity’s income of the difference existing in the rights pending distribution.” Sastrón accused the president of seeking to add to the income of the entity 10 million that correspond to the authors. But the partners again agreed with Jury.
The vote gave him, above all, confidence and time. Because the solution to the statutes crosses out a problem, but the list of pending tasks in the SGAE is still long. Only four days ago, Culture filed an appeal in cassation before the Supreme Court to leave the way open for an intervention by the entity that the National Court stopped in 2019, declaring itself not competent to authorize it.
Of course, the SGAE of the Jury solves one of the most thorny issues: the entity had “been breaking the law since 2018”, as stated by Culture, in charge of its control and supervision, on the eve of the assembly. Over the next month, the new statutes must reach the ministry, which in turn will have three months to study them. “If there are modifications that break the law, they will be denied”, they warn from Culture. In any case, after approval, the ministry recalled the other two emergencies, which already led to the first warning to the entity, back in September 2018: “Call elections of the government bodies as soon as possible with all the guarantees of the law [y, por tanto, con la inclusión del voto electrónico]; and remake the distribution of rights in 2018 according to the principles of equity and proportionality. ”
That year (and several previous ones) the so-called wheel, an alleged fraud between partners and television managers, managed to earn millions in income thanks to the music broadcast at dawn. Justice investigates if the plot committed crimes and harmed the 120,000 authors of the entity; Meanwhile, the reform of the Intellectual Property Law already limited, last year, these large collections. But Culture wants the 2018 deals to be corrected, too. “From then until now, the entity has evolved so much that I think you have to sit down and talk about reality and not about fictions from the past that have nothing to do with the present. Now is the time to tell the truth, “Jurado insisted.
Among the certainties of the president is broad support. But reality also tells that so much impasse has cost the SGAE dearly: partners like Almodóvar, Bayona or Perales have abandoned it; night music publishers, who have supported the reform, claim their piece of the pie; and the multinational record companies, which also voted in favor, ask for guarantees not to leave. Precisely, the new statutes make it easier for authors to withdraw their repertoire totally or partially from one entity to transfer it to another; they also extend the right to vote to all partners and introduce a supervisory body, with several external members. Thus, the SGAE hopes to be able to better defend the authors. After all, it is their mission.