SGAE v Fernandez

Background information

A Spanish collecting society, the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), sued a disco bar owner, alleging that he had failed to pay SGAE the license fee required for public performances of music managed by the collecting society during the period between November 2002 and August 2005. The bar owner claimed the music being played in his bar was not managed by the society.

Case summary

The collecting society relied on past precedent in Spain, which had ruled in their favor in similar contexts under the assumption that the collecting society effectively managed the rights of all musicians. In 2006, the court rejected SGAE's claims because the defendant had successfully shown that the music he had been playing in his bar was not managed by the collecting society, but was licensed by musicians under CC licenses.