A number of leading Spanish broadcasters have been caught up in a scandal involving the fraudulent collection of copyright fees.
El Pais reports that the implicated parties include musical publishers, TV stations and the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE).
The scandal, referred to as ‘The Wheel’, involved creating “low quality” songs or “slightly touching up” existing ones that no longer generated copyright fees.
It took place between 2006-2011 and according to a court order generated €100 million for some broadcasters and members of the SGAE, with the former pocketing half of the total.
It is claimed the national public broadcaster RTVE was aware of ‘The Wheel’, while Mediaset and Atresmedia, the country’s two leading commercial networks, have defended it on the grounds that it allowed them to recoup some of the 3.75% of their gross annual income they pay to the SGAE.
Police have requested information from TVE,Telemadrid, Euskal Irrati Telebista, Castilla-La Mancha Television, Radiotelevision Canaria, Television from Aragón, TPA, Principality of Asturias, Murcia 7RM, Andalusian RTVA and Balearic IB3, along with Atresmedia and Mediaset.