One piece of news that is currently rocking Spain and is fodder for all kinds of blogs and pirate music sites is that the offices of the Spain’s Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) have been raided by the police who are investigating the organization for misappropriation of funds.
Teddy Bautista detained
Nine people including Teddy Bautista or Eduardo Bautista Garcia, the powerful president of SGAE’s board of directors were detained by the national police between Friday July 1st and Saturday July 2nd in what the Spanish authorities are calling “Operation Saga”.
The raid led by Spanish Civil Guard Officers of SGAE’s offices in Madrid and 16 other locations, including private homes, took place just hours after the Society elected its new board of directors. According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the investigation against SGAE was triggered by a complaint filed by several Internet, computer and restaurant business associations against the organization in 2007.
At the core of the complaint are actions by Spain’s Digital Society of Authors (SDAE)-which is fully controlled by SGAE and its general director, José Luis Neri.
SDAE was created in 2000 to protect authors’ digital rights, but many of its actions including a special tax on any devices that can store music have been seen as very controversial.
According to published reports, José Luis Neri is accused of diverting funds through a company called Microgénesis and in a statement published on its website, SGAE said it was collaborating with authorities and fully trusted the innocence of its executives.
Teddy Bautista to be interrogated today
According to published reports, Teddy Bautista, along with general director Enrique Loras, and finance director, Ricardo Azcoaga, will be interrogated by a judge today, Sunday July 3rd.
SGAE is Spain’s leading collection society and widely considered the most influential and powerful cultural entities in the country. The organization has over 100,000 members and last year alone it distributed around 365 million Euros to its members, according to reports. Although most of its membership is linked to music, it also represents members from the areas of film, theatre and audiovisual arts.
At the moment Twitter is full of scathing messages for Teddy Bautista who is not a hot topic in Spain because of his handling author’s rights especially the campaign for compensatory remuneration by private copying.
According to Spanish daily newspaper La Razon Teddy Bautista will be paid the princely sum of 24.500 Euros a month when he retires. This is just another reason why this character is, shall we say, “unsavoury”.