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SGAE ousts another president

By | Published on Friday 17 April 2020

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There has been yet more drama at Spanish song rights collecting society SGAE, with the organisation’s President Pilar Jurado being pushed out.

According to El Pais, Spain’s culture ministry was alerted earlier this week by the society’s board of directors that a motion for Jurado’s removal had been submitted and would now be voted on. That vote occurred on Wednesday afternoon, ending Jurado’s term leading the embattled rights organisation.

SGAE, of course, has been accused of corruption and flawed management for years now. After increasingly vocal criticism from various global music publishers – which relied on SGAE to represent their rights in the Spanish market – global collecting society grouping CISAC expelled its Spanish member last May.

Meanwhile, SGAE’s management has come under increased pressure from the Spanish government to instigate a series of reforms to ensure it is in line with Spanish and European Union rules on collective rights management.

As President, Jurado had been attempting to push through some of those reforms, although she didn’t get sufficient support at the society’s General Assembly last June, and some SGAE critics argued that what she had proposed was a good start but did not go far enough. Meanwhile, the board members who pushed her out of the top job earlier this week criticised her leadership approach and complained about a lack of transparency.

SGAE rules say that when a President is pushed out, the oldest person in the room (well, the oldest Vice-President) gets the gig for a month while a new person is formally appointed. Which means playwright Fermín Cabal will become interim President.

Confirming that Jurado was out and Cabal in, the society’s board said yesterday that it now wants to “unite and collaborate in this new stage with the Ministry Of Culture and CISAC to find solutions to all the issues affecting the organisation”. Yeah, good luck with that.

As the SGAE saga continues to unfold there is now another option for songwriters and publishers in Spain, with new society Unison busy establishing itself in the market.