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Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) is the main collecting society for songwriters, composers and music publishers in Spain. It is similar to ASCAP. The composer and performer Teddy Bautista is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The SGAE was founded in 1941 as General Society of Authors of Spain. In 1995 its name changed to Society of Authors and Publishers, seeking to accommodate cultural editors.
The SGAE has been involved in several controversies, like charging a fine of 96€ to a middle school for trying to make a theatrical play whose rights belonged to Federico García Lorca's heirs. The SGAE denied access to any information or communication to the owners of the rights to the school. The school administrators by their own account finally found the copyright holders, the Centro Dramático Nacional, (whose responsibles weren't informed of the situation at all by their SGAE representatives) and they gladly agreed to the school petition without any charge. However, the SGAE replied that they only acted like intermediaries and had no authority to stop demanding the payment for the copyright of registered works, unless the author or the owners requested so.
Finally, Lorca’s nephew, Manuel Fernández Montesinos, contacted the Ramón Menéndez Pidal middle school to inform that they could play "Bodas de sangre" without any charges. A few days later, Montesinos wrote again to the School Principal refusing to lose the copyright's tax since the play was to be represented in a professional theatre and not at the school.
The SGAE has also claimed copyright for works of authors deceased more than 70 years ago at the time of the claim, a condition that, under European law, deems the works to be of public domain. According to the councils of Zalamea de la Serena (Badajoz) and Fuente Obejuna (Córdoba),the company claimed 24,000 and 30,000 euros respectively to represent the classic Spanish dramas "El alcalde de Zalamea" and "Fuenteovejuna", whose authors died centuries ago. The problem arises from the fact that many of the represented classic plays are adaptations to current Spanish from original work’s ancient language, so in these cases a collection of fees is required from the adapter. In both cases the SGAE rejected the accusations and stated that, in the case of Zalamea de la Serena, the requested quantity was 95 euros.
A common description of SGAE by independent songwriters in Spain is that the organization is made up of pirates who prefer to keep and spend royalty money owed to the writers.
 Embezzlement investigation
In 1 July 2011 eight members of the SGAE, including the president, Teddy Bautista, were arrested and charged with embezzlement. The Investigation Committee estimated that as much as 87 million Euros were embezzled directly or indirectly from 1997 to 2011.