WIPO ruling stops Spanish system of manipulating television revenues

Brussels, 21 July - WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, yesterday issued a binding decision on the arbitration procedure initiated by Spanish music publishers associations (Organización Profesional de Editores de Música – OPEM, and Asociación Espanola de Editores de Música – AEDEM) on the issue of collective management organisation SGAE’s distribution rules for income received from television.

The ruling brings an end to the practice known as ‘the wheel’, which allowed for a manipulation of TV revenue, permitting music played during the night and inaudible music played during the day, to receive royalties that were disproportionally higher than the content's market value.

As the global organisation representing the interest of music publishers worldwide, ICMP has been continually raising its concerns about this system, which has proved detrimental to the vast majority of Spanish and all foreign authors’ livelihoods.

“This decision from the body whose mandate is to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world is particularly pertinent. We welcome WIPO’s decision, which puts a stop to the so-called “wheel” – a system contrary to SGAE’s obligation of fairly distributing royalties among its many rightsholders,” said ICMP Chair Chris Butler.

ICMP Director General Coco Carmona added, “We are delighted that SGAE’s distribution rules are to be changed once and for all for the benefit of the global community of creators and their creative and business partners.”

ENDS