An interesting story on the BBC website under the headline Spanish hairdressers rebel against radio tax. It’s all to do with the fact that here in Spain the SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) is determined to protect the intellectual property rights of its members.
The SGAE are the people responsible for the Canon por copia privada, a tax imposed on recording devices (both storage media, such as cds, and reproduction devices) in Spain.
There have been plenty of horror stories about private detectives gate crashing weddings and parties to get evidence that music is being used and therefore tax is due, and now, apparently, any shop that puts the radio on in the background is expected to pay a monthly fee.
The Catalán hairdressers’ association, FedCat, is leading a boycott, and members are encouraging their customers to take their own music devices to listen to. Much as I’d prefer to choose what I listen to while I’m having my hair done, I’m not sure that the customers having headphones on is going to make it easy for the hairdressers.
Still, what caught my eye about the BBC story, was the ‘related links’ section to the right of the story:
I read Spanish, and was interested to know more about FedCat, so clicked through. And this is a detail of what I found:
Most people with some knowledge of Spain would have guessed that the Federació Catalana de Perruqueries i Bellesa was unlikely to have a website in Spanish. What surprises me is that no one at the BBC should have noticed that it’s actually in Catalán.