Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Music industry crashes the wedding

You really have to tip your hat to the music royalty business - the companies which exist to collect cash really don't have any boundaries at all. The Spanish General Society of Authors and Editors have just been caught sneaking a private detective into a wedding to film the party because they believed that the venue owners might have owed a few quid.

The video was used in a prosecution of the Salón de Bodas, with SGAE actually lying and claiming it had been shot by a guest, rather than a grubby gumshoe who had violated the party. It's not clear if the copyright industry body had come up with an elaborate explanation as to how the video would have come into their hands - perhaps a rogue uncle might have sent it in, angered at the unlicensed fun.

The result has been a large fine for privacy breaches to the SGAE. So, lesson learned, right?

Other wedding videos have been taken surreptitiously by SGAE investigators to pursue venues for not paying copyright fees. Pedro Farre, the director of the SGAE, said: “Using private detectives to investigate fraud is common. We will carry on doing it.”

Remember, these are guys who are quick to insist the law must be upheld. Although not, it seems, when it doesn't fit with their own interests.