The process could ultimately lead to the expulsion of SGAE, if it does not remedy the breaches of rules identified by a CISAC investigation. Other possible sanctions include temporary expulsion, a warning and fines. In the past, CISAC has expelled organisations from India and Kenya.
CISAC oversees professional standards for the author collection societies it represents in 121 countries. It launched an investigation into SGAE following complaints about its conduct towards members.
In a statement, CISAC said: “CISAC’s Board of Directors, at its meeting of 4th December 2018, discussed the serious situation at SGAE and the society’s breaches of CISAC rules. In view of SGAE’s failure to remedy these breaches, the Board decided to launch a sanctions procedure under CISAC’s Statutes. This procedure could result in various sanctions and measures, including the expulsion of SGAE from CISAC.”
Earlier this year, the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) issued an angry statement and called for CISAC to take action.
A 65-page report by CISAC, published in May, found “serious concerns” relating to “distorted and inequitable distribution of royalties”, as well as conflicts of interest.
Following urgent recommendations made by CISAC, it has now decided that SGAE has failed to implement the required measures.
In recent years, the Spanish collection society has faced police raids and legal cases over misappropriation of funds.
A final ruling against SGAE is set to be made at CISAC’s General Assembly in May.