The lawyer who has won the case, Miguel Ángel Ramos Jiménez estimates that the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) will have to redo the settlement of author and publisher royalties of more than €10 million for more than 40,000 professionals in order to re-establish the half-yearly distribution of December 2018.
The 71st Court of First Instance of Madrid has annulled the distribution made by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) on the author’s economic royalties for music broadcast on TV in the first half of 2018. This ruling upholds the lawsuit brought by the music publishers of Atresmedia and Mediaset against the agreements adopted by the SGAE Board of Directors on 7 May 2019 in relation to the distribution of the remuneration rights of the authors and publishers of the entity, whose music is used on TV.
The judgment declares the full nullity of these agreements and, with this, the distribution of the remuneration of the royalties of more than 40,000 authors and publishers of the collecting society that, by virtue of these agreements, had been carried out, is rendered null and void.
“As a result of this ruling, SGAE will have to redo the distributions of thousands of members of the entity in order to re-establish the situation that existed before May 2019, which could mean, in estimated figures, redoing a royalties settlement of more than €10 million,” explains Miguel Ángel Ramos Jiménez.
The SGAE, as indicated in the ruling, decided to retroactively apply Law 2/2019, amending the Law on Intellectual Property (in force in March of the same year), which had introduced a maximum ceiling of 20% in the distribution of revenue from the use of music in certain TV slots, which meant causing legal uncertainty for members and acting against the principle of non-retroactivity of the rules.
This retroactive application was applied to the remuneration rights of the night-time TV slot of hundreds of members of the entity, which had already been paid in December 2018 (TV broadcasts in the first half of 2018), being drastically reduced by the application of the 20% cap on their accrued rights. The judgment of the Madrid Court is not yet final and can be appealed before the Provincial Court of Madrid.