Q & A with Anton Reixa, new President of SGAE

Anton REIXA is, since the May 8, the new President of the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SGAE). He has also taken on the functions of President of the Board of Directors and of the Administration Board, by majority decision of the new Board of Directors.

Born in Vigo in 1957,  he holds a degree in philology and is a poet, composer, scriptwriter, film and television director and producer. He has been the president of the audiovisual production company Filmanova since 1999 and was the president of Cluster Audiovisual of Galicia.  He currently collaborates on the programme of Onda Cero Julia en la Onda. As a multimedia artist, Anton REIXA started his career writing poetry within the Grupo de Communicación Rompente (1975).  He was a lyricist and singer of the group Os Resentidos (1982-94).  He has been also prolific in the area of video creation, producing numerous video clips; his last work in this area, Leccions de Cousas, was shown at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea (CGAC, Galician Centre for Contemporary Arts) of Santiago de Compostela until October 2011.  His last published poetry book is Látego de Algas (August 2008).  As an executive movie and television producer, he has been director, scriptwriter and producer of the movies El Lápiz del Carpintero and Hotel Tívoli.

How do you view your role as SGAE's President? 

We are currently experiencing a crucial moment at SGAE.  In fact, we are going through the complete renovation of the organisation.  We rely on a good deal of support, as the massive participation of authors during the last election process and the backing we receive from our employees demonstrates.  These are our best assets.  In this new period, it is our responsibility to embody and shape our new organisation.  We have a duty to offer a service to Spanish society.

What will your work entail?

First of all, we want to work hard to foster the participation of our members.  Within our priority objectives is the homogenization of our commercial network, the rigorous management of the organisation's finances, and the strengthening of the Fundación Autor – our best "showcase" for the Society. We want to be especially proactive in the digital environment – the unique way, in our view, to increase the collection of royalties at this time.

Which objectives do you set out for SGAE?

SGAE is a centenarian organisation, though it went through a renovation at the turn of this century.  Our objective will be to be more popular among our clients, and that the businesses that use our repertoire may do so with pride, displaying our logo.  It is fundamental to generate a civil culture for the defence of author's rights and that society understands that our work is beneficial to the collective cultural heritage.

You've been in your new role as head of SGAE for a month.  What were your first impressions and how are things going?

First of all, I found a great level of responsibility and hope among employees and of the new managers of the organisation.  There is, at present, a climate of collaboration, as much internally as with the Ministry of Culture, which is our regulatory authority in Spain.

What do you consider the biggest challenge for SGAE in the months and years to come? How will you help to overcome this?

The first challenge is to work towards a civil culture of authors' rights.  In Spain, authorship does not have any prestige at the moment.  The collection of royalties must not be understood as an unpleasant activity for citizenship.  We ought to overcome this challenge.  At present, authors individually enjoy great social esteem and are respected by the public.  This is not the case for collective management organisations.

How important are authors' societies like SGAE for Spain today?

Collective management societies guarantee the independence and freedom of creators.  The present context of the economic crisis obliges us to make cuts as far as cultural investment is concerned.  We have to surmount the deficit of cultural consumption that exists today and guarantee the economic independence of authors, without having to rely on public aids.

What is the role of SGAE in Europe?

SGAE will be very proactive on this going forward.  We will make every effort to make intellectual property understandable to European citizenship.  To create synergies, adapt Spanish law to European regulation; to value the European law on authors' rights as opposed to the Anglo-Saxon culture of copyright, which put author's rights at the same level as goods.  All regulation of authors' right shall have a marked European character.

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What is SGAE?     

The Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers), is a collective management society representing the rights of more than 100 000 authors from the music, audiovisual and dramatic sectors. Created in 1899, its main mission is the protection of its members' rights for the use of their works throughout the world. These uses include mechanical reproduction, public performance, synchronization and many other forms of musical distribution. This process culminates in the collection and subsequent royalty distribution to its members.

With over 450 employees, more than 200 representatives and 13 delegations in Spain, plus offices in the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Japan and China (Shangai), SGAE protects the rights of more than 2 million members from all over the world. It does so through reciprocal representation agreements entered into with more than 150 foreign societies which, in turn, administer and protect our member's rights in their respective territories.

What does SGAE do?

Administer the rights of all musical, stage, dramatic-musical, choreographic, audiovisual, cinematographic and multimedia works. Using information technologies, it is the only Authors' Society in the world that holds an ECMS - Electronic Copyright Management System, which enables the control of works in digital networks. SGAE's database stores information over 5 million of its members' works.

Published on 06 June 2012

  • Hélène Jacubowitz