If there’s a TV in the property, then there should be a broadcast rights fee. | MDB

We had a report earlier this week about higher costs for owners of holiday rental properties in Mallorca. These costs relate to demands that have apparently been received from SGAE, which is the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers, the main society in Spain for the collection and distribution of royalties.

As such, therefore, SGAE gets involved with all manner of places where, as examples, there is the transmission of music, television or films. In the past, it has been known for SGAE to require payments from hairdressers, where radios are played. A principle of this being for commercial purposes has tended to come unstuck somewhat when applied, for instance, to schools. In general, though, there are agreements with public sector bodies for payments.Transmission in hotels has been an issue of argument and negotiation, and it would seem that the same approach is being taken by SGAE with holiday rentals. If there’s a TV in the property, then there should be a broadcast rights fee; this sort of thing.

Without going into the whys and wherefores of the procedure, there has been a misunderstanding about SGAE, as it is not a government body, be this Spanish, Balearic or any other government. SGAE represents members, some two million of them across the world. The problem it seems to me is that as soon as there is the suggestion of some charge being made, there is an automatic assumption that this has to do with governments. Where SGAE is concerned, this is most definitely not the case.