In May this year, the general assembly of collecting-societies body CISAC voted to expel Spanish society SGAE, temporarily, in the wake of the long-running controversy around ‘The Wheel’ (a system that saw some of the society’s members’ music played through the night on some Spanish TV channels, boosting their performance royalties).

Now CISAC’s director-general Gadi Oron has published a blog post addressing some of the questions around the expulsion, describing it as “a regrettable but essential step towards reform”. He also referred to recent steps taken by SGAE’s new president in response to a list of 17 recommendations made by CISAC for reform in Spain, while noting that “these were highly publicised, but they were, in reality, not enough” – with no guarantee that they will be supported by the next SGAE members’ assembly later this month.

“CISAC’s greatest wish today is for SGAE to quickly reform, to survive and to stay within the CISAC community. Hundreds of societies from other countries share that view too,” wrote Oron. “They all depend on their reciprocal deals with SGAE to ensure payment of foreign creators in Spain and enable Spanish authors to be paid in foreign markets. The collective management system is only as strong as its weakest link.”

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