Creative Commons: 3, Collecting Agencies: 0

(Via Carolina Botero) Spanish courts have delivered the third ruling in favour of Creative Commons (more accurately, copyleft licences in general) and against collecting agencies. The Spanish music collecting agency, the SGAE, has just lost another case brought against a bar for not paying licence fees. The previous cases can be found in Spanish here and here.

The main point about the rulings is that the judges have been sceptical about the claim from the SGAE that they represent the musicians being played in the bars subject of the demands. In each of the cases, the respondents have provided evidence that they play music licensed through Creative Commons or other copyleft licences (I should point out that not all CC licences are copyleft).

It seems to me that the SGAE is in some problems, but in my opinion they are largely self-imposed. If you are going to sue entertainment locales in order to extract every drop of profit from royalties, you should at least make sure that they are playing music from bands that you represent.

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