The Court of Auditors curbs Spedidam, a company managing the rights of performers

The Court of Auditors curbs Spedidam, a company managing the rights of performers

The Court of Auditors, in Paris, on February 16, 2022.

Rarely has the Commission for the Control of Organizations for the Management of Authors’ Rights (OGC) and neighboring rights, attached to the Court of Auditors, drawn up such a damning observation. In its 2022 annual report, published on Tuesday June 7, it curbs the Society for the collection and distribution of performers’ rights (Spedidam), chaired by François Nowak, which collects and redistributes neighboring rights, linked to secondary uses of recorded performances. , sound or audiovisual (recordings broadcast in shows, film sound discs for example) of 38,691 musicians, singers, actors, DJs, lyrical artists, circus performers or dancers.

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So much so that the commission transmitted to the public prosecutor the facts likely to constitute criminal offenses within Spedidam. A new investigation by this commission will also be carried out in September, in order to verify that the 35 recommendations made have been implemented. If nothing has changed, although Spedidam claims to have already initiated many reforms, a sanction process will be implemented.

” Conflicts of interest “

First of all, ” the governance “ of the Spedidam is “marked by many shortcomings” affirms the report, and “does not ensure compliance with the principles of transparency and efficiency that shareholders are entitled to expect from their collective management organization”. According to the authors, the possibility given to the chairman and a few senior executives to benefit from an unlimited number of powers during general meetings allows them to control the majority of the votes cast and to limit, or even “to prevent the expression of any disagreement within the board of directors”. Moreover, the two presidents who succeeded each other “disregarded their own declarations of conflict of interest”, deplores the report.

In addition, the Spedidam is revealed “failing in the accomplishment of its two main missions” (distribute rights and grant aid). The report claims that “the many shortcomings of the process and tools used to distribute the 56 million euros it receives annually do not ensure that performers regularly receive the rights due to them”. The critical commission “the inability of Spedidam to carry out the necessary reforms” in this domain. The balance of accounts relating to beneficiaries without an address, far too high, is twice as high as in 2010. There has been a considerable delay in IT and the complexity of the distribution rules remains illegible for the beneficiaries, with 51 envelopes and different sub-envelopes.

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