Police investigate a possible scam that collects royalties for music played on late night television.
Police raided the Madrid offices of Spain’s Authors and Publishers Society (SGAE) on Tuesday, an operation that heralds another chapter in the continuing corruption saga of the beleaguered yet powerful copyright collection organization. Eighteen people have reportedly been detained.
Officers from the Specialized and Violent Delinquency Unit of the national police searched the SGAE headquarters as part of an investigation aimed at various members of SGAE and employees of several television stations. According to a written communication from Spain’s national police force quoted in El Pais and other newspapers in Spain, the agents were searching for documentation related to "the creation of low quality music and the registration of false arrangements of musical works which are in the public domain." According to the police, after the music goes through that laundering process, it is registered in the name of "front men" and publishing companies.
"The purpose is to broadcast it on late night programs on various television stations in the early hours of the morning, generating intellectual property royalties," the police statement said. No one answered the phone at the SGAE offices on Tuesday when Billboard attempted to contact representatives of the organization.