Playwright Fermín Cabal named acting President of Spanish rights society SGAE after Pilar Jurado is voted out by Board of Directors

The Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), which was kicked out of global PRO body CISAC last year, has named playwright Fermín Cabal (pictured) as its new acting President.

Cabal’s appointment follows the removal of former President Pilar Jurado from the post yesterday (April 15) by the Board of Directors who passed a “motion of censure” against her by 22 votes to 13.

Jurado had occupied the position since February 2019 and Cabal becomes the body’s 43rd President.

Billboard reports that the motion of no confidence against Jurado, a soprano, orchestra composer and conductor, accused the former President of a “lack of transparency”.

According to a press release announcing the change in leadership, SGAE bylaws stipulate that the longest serving Vice President becomes an interim President for a maximum period of one month until the Board of Directors appoints a new one from amongst the organization’s members.

The SGAE Board of Directors is currently comprised of 35 members representing Major Rights, Minor Rights, Audiovisual and Publishers, of which each sub section of the society also employs a Vice President. Cabal was previously the Vice President of Major Rights.

Cabal has written and directed numerous plays, worked as a scriptwriter and director in several films and has been a member of the current SGAE Board of Directors since it was elected on 26 October 2018.

The press release adds that, “at the meeting held on Wednesday, the Board of Directors expressed its will to unite and collaborate in this new stage with the Ministry of Culture and CISAC to find solutions to all the issues affecting the organization and successfully address all the challenges facing intellectual property in the current situation”.

SGAE’s “will to unite and collaborate in this new stage with the Ministry of Culture and CISAC” comes as the Spanish Society approaches a full year of expulsion from CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers).

The expulsion, announced last May, came as a result of a sanction procedure brought against the Spanish society by CISAC at the end of 2018, following complaints from publishers of ‘discriminatory treatment of rightsholders and unfair practices relating to the distribution of royalties’.

As reported by MBW in 2018, those ‘unfair practices’ referred to a so-called ‘scam’ which has been dubbed ‘The Wheel’ and saw music owned by certain SGAE members suspiciously played throughout the night on some Spanish TV channels – meaning the relevant rights-holders can lay claim to large chunks of performance royalty payouts.

In 2017,  in protest against ‘The Wheel’, the three major publishers, in addition to peermusic, requested to pull their catalogs from SGAE.

CISAC presented a report containing recommendations for changes to SGAE’s ‘governance rules, statutes and royalty distribution practices’ in April 2018.

In December 2018, due to lack of progress by SGAE on CISAC’s requirements, the CISAC Board of Directors announced the opening of its sanction procedure.

CISAC then announced SGAE’s expulsion after an ‘in-depth analysis of reforms set in motion by SGAE’s new President’, who at the time was the now-ousted Jurado.Music Business Worldwide

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