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Hundreds of Musical Artists and Film Directors Announce Defection From SGAE: Reports

Joaquin Sabina, Pablo Alborán, Oreja de Van Gogh, Joan Manuel Serrat, Pedro Almodovar among those expected to abandon the embattled Spanish rights society in 2020.

MADRID — Joaquin Sabina, Pablo Alborán, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Love of Lesbian and Joan Manuel Serrat are among hundreds of musical artists who have reportedly notified Spain’s embattled Spanish rights society SGAE that they will no longer entrust their royalties management to the entity beginning in January 2020.

Directors and other film industry professionals including Pedro Almodóvar have also signalled their intention to leave SGAE, in their case to join DAMA, (Derechos de Autor de Medios Audiovisuales) a royalties society that caters specifically to the audiovisual industry, according to Spanish press reports.

The flight of many of Spain’s most successful musicians and filmmakers could mean the loss of a majority of the repertory that SGAE manages.

This past May, CISAC, the International Confederation of Authors’ Societies, expelled SGAE from the organization after a series of investigations and controversies over SGAE’S collection and management of royalties.


Both artists and publishers have for some time been threatening to leave SGAE for other existing societies and new private rights management companies that have begun to break SGAE’s music industry monopoly in Spain.

According to a report by the EFE news agency today (Oct. 3), a “regiment” of musicians and publishers have already requested to be released from SGAE starting on Jan. 1, ((Regulations require that current members of SGAE give six months’ notice before withdrawing their catalogues from the non-profit society). 


Spanish newspaper El Diario put the number at 200 musicians and 50 publishers. In some cases, the artists said they could stay if SGAE made overdue reforms to its statutes. That will not happen in the immediate future, however, since the organization’s board has postponed an assembly that was set for Oct. 15 to an unspecified date in early 2020.

In addition to the Barcelona-based rights management newcomer UNISON, some of the disgruntled artists and publishers are working on creating another entity as an alternative to SGAE, according to El Diario.