Quarantine in Colombia: Sayco, and entrepreneurs to discuss fees concerts virtual – Music and Books – Culture


As if it were a plot about a troubled relationship and eternal, Sayco and entrepreneurs of concerts argue from some days ago a new bid. Already in the past, the corruption of the society of authors and the charges for conducting mass public events have been the grounds of other discussions. Today, the fight focuses on new rates for concerts virtual.

Because of the ban on organizing mass events in the country by the pandemic of covid-19, the producers of the shows began to move into digital spaces, in an attempt to maintain an industry that was at first vetoed and that will be the last to be reactivated, along with the other entertainment (cinemas, bars, theatres, restaurants and nightclubs).

“A few weeks ago, we had the chance to speak with Sayco to ask you a few questions with the theme of the pandemic. We ask that with this emergency, which may be extended by further 18 months until we take up commercial activity, you should choose measures to diminish the rates (…) His answer was a new manual collection,” explains Allan Acosta, spokesman for Asocespro, the Colombian Association of Producers of Shows.

The document of the discord –dated the 19 of march of this year, but was released on the 20th of last may– is a rate that regulates the performances of artists through platforms that are not licensed in the internet: in practical terms, any event or presentation, be it with charge or free of charge to the public, will have to contribute a percentage of their collection to the society of authors, such as happens with the shows face-to-face.

(Also read: The new bid of Sayco and entrepreneurs: the concerts virtual)

It is important to clarify, however, that the rates do not include musicians who perform their own songs in their online sites, and also does not apply on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram or any of the ‘streaming’ music (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Clear Music), already covered by LatinAutor.

“The event is not licensed is that Páramo or Ocesa (that are behind the Stereo Picnic or the concert of Sting and Foo Fighters), for example, organize a festival on their website. For that is the new rate, that is legal, to regulate, under the standards of the copyright law and the prevailing international”, explains Catalina, Santa, a lawyer specializing in copyright.

The event is not licensed is that Páramo or Ocesa organize a festival on their website. For that is the new rate

What has fallen very ill to the producers of the concert is not the fact of paying for the use of the songs to their authors, something that already made since the organisation of events. “We are not the enemies of authors and composers (…) We are in total agreement on the payment of copyright. We want to respect the tribute they deserve for having written these musical works, of which we are beneficiaries,” says Acosta.

The trouble arises with the unexpected and high cost that would be applied to the exclusive shows to the web for this concept.

“The rates were set for the concerts and digital platforms in a 3 per cent. When that happens, the whole issue of the pandemic, when we had to reinvent ourselves in the digital divide, Sayco hiked the rates between 7.5 percent and 12.5 percent,” he adds.

Above all the turmoil caused by the document issued, Rafael Manjarrez, vice president of Sayco, said in a conciliatory tone: “There is that flexible rates responsibly, because Sayco has a financial burden of 9,000 members the benefits on a monthly basis with payments between 300,000 and 2’500.000 pesos. Otherwise, it puts at risk the existence of the society”.

He went to the minutia legal, I wonder how Sayco you will get the information of the works to be performed and which is necessary for the authors to pay them

To contextualize and better understand the discussion, when you perform a concert in person, a businessman should acquire various permissions and make multiple payments by advance: an advance to the artist, pay money to some providers and to cancel the rights of the author to Sayco, which issued a permit, among other things. The proposal of the entrepreneurs in this last section is for the society to collect your percentage will no longer about the value of the box office of the event attendees, but from what is paid to the artist.

“He is the one who is going to interpret the songs of composers (…) To the producers it would be more comfortable. Let’s say the singer copper 300 million pesos, we end up paying, based on that example, 21 million pesos to Sayco for the songs to interpret,” says Acosta. “(…) In contrast, if today I have an event that costs 4,000 million pesos and sold 3,000 million pesos in box office, I have to pay 210 million pesos, for the rights of the author”.

The receivables and the proceeds

The key question is: what And how you plan to Sayco to make this new collection? Although the rate is very specific and similar, in terms of categories, the one that already exists on concert face-to-face, it is very different from the way we perceive and control the receivables properly.

“The concerts virtual non-existent, and thanks to advertising, there will be how to find out”, says the vice-president of Sayco. “The events where there is a commercial purpose of use, on sites on the internet that are not licensed, are to be charged”.
Sounds to simple. Lawyer Catherine Santa does not seem so: “He went to the minutia legal, I wonder how they will get the information of the works to be performed and which is necessary for the authors to pay them”.

In their view, the large events are controllable, but how many concerts or presentations on the web can be the day all over the planet? “It is very difficult to speak of a jurisdiction if my website is not hosted in Colombia. What Sayco may be charged as well? One would have to analyze where is the server, where are the users, what is the territory of the event, where it is the employer… All that defines the jurisdiction”. There is much to clarify and Sayco does not have the answers.

I see it a bit like a shot in the air, because from there they can enforce those fees will be very complicated. At this time do not have the pretext of the permissions (that Sayco issues so that you can carry out a show in person),” says the entrepreneur, Camilo Parra, responsible for having brought the country to Lenny Kravitz, Primus, Offspring, Marco Antonio Solis and Matisyahu.

On the other hand is the issue of profits. How much can you raise at a gig virtual? “Not much,” says the representative of Asocespro. “More than 50 percent is going on the mount, because there is no full stage (with lights and screens), to pay the platform to transmit and advertising, common and ordinary. Charge for a concert, virtual more than 20,000 or 30,000 pesos per person is expensive. So it is not very profitable, but it helps to mitigate a little the economic crisis that is living in our industry.”

In the midst of the discussion, there is something of a relief: all the tariffs of collective management are negotiable and this consultation is covered by the law.

That means that costs can be agreed between Sayco and entrepreneurs, and that negotiation is endorsed by the National Directorate of Copyright, entity attached to the Ministry of the Interior.

What bothers entrepreneurs is that “it is a private entity that regulates the rates, in addition to never know the final destination of the resources,” says Acosta.

“That’s the biggest problem: people don’t know what you’re paying, don’t know if it is a law or what they charge. It is very unlikely the concept for the payment of copyright in this country,” says the composer and performer Juan Gabriel Turbay, a member of Polygamy and who is a member of Sayco. “The thing is that the entrepreneurs and the authors of the songs have a symbiotic relationship: if one does not live; the other, either,” she points out.

With the support in the newsgathering Valentina Sanchez
On Twitter: @CulturaET