Spain Copyright Executive Claims $50k Brothel Bill Was For Work-Related Activities

from the sexpensive dept

When you write about as many different people, groups and organizations as we do here at Techdirt, you occasionally forget to check in on some places and people occasionally. Take SGAE, for instance. It's the Spanish music collection group that has made a name for itself chiefly stealing money from artists, epitomizing corruption, and generally behaving like pain-in-the-butt asshats whenever given the opportunity. We haven't checked on SGAE in about three years or so, so I assume the group has completely turned itself around and are now a shining example of above-board behavior?

Pedro Farré, the former head of corporate relations at the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) was handed a 30-month sentence after the National Court found him guilty of embezzlement and faking work-related documents. The judge said Farré had withdrawn cash during his jaunts to brothels, and then created "completely false" receipts, supposedly for services such as "catering" for SGAE clients which he later handed in to his employer's accounting office to claim the money back. These were submitted alongside genuine receipts to avoid arousing suspicion, the court heard.
Look, let's give some credit where credit is due: it takes a supreme set of testicles to turn in $50k worth of receipts for money spent at whorehouses and try to write them off for reimbursement. On the other hand, I don't think it disqualifies Pedro from the corruption championships, either. And let's keep in mind that money fraudulently extracted as SGAE overhead for banging hookers is taking more money out of the hands of artists in a very real way. Why do these collection groups that represent artists always seem to have so much disdain for them at the same time?

Anyway, once caught, Pedro copped to what he'd done, came clean, and faced the music like a man. Nah, just kidding, he totally tried to make up another ridiculous, but hilarious, excuse.
[The judge] also slammed the copyright expert's claims he had visited the clubs to see if there were any rights issues in terms of the music being played there. During the trial, the former SGAE executive even argued he had been framed by a detective and journalist named Cervero who was unable to appear as a witness during the trial because of serious heart problems.

The presiding judge, however, dismissed those claims as well.
But, your honor, I was only visiting the brothel to make sure none of them were playing unlicensed music to their whores. Not the most convincing argument, sir. Keep it classy SGAE.


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  • icon
    Rabbit80 (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 7:44am

    it takes a supreme set of testicles to turn in $50k worth of receipts for money spent at whorehouses


    In more ways than one..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:07am

    all courts need to realise and act on the realisation that every time there is a 'copyright related' court case, those who are giving evidence on the side of the alleged copyright owners, are fucking liars, particularly in countries where the infringement punishments have rocketed. this is simply to try to stop the owners from having to pay out to keep going to court, and in the hope that those accused and ultimately convicted will receive sentences that put others off from infringing. everything else is totally ignored and as those passing sentence are sometimes members of the entertainment industries, they will always rule in favor of the industries!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:08am

    Well that is around how much it costs to get a politician to pass the laws you desire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scote, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:20am

    "But, your honor, I was only visiting the brothel to make sure none of them were playing unlicensed music to their whores. Not the most convincing argument, sir. "


    I dunno, given that collection societies really do send people around sneaking a listen to hair salons and truck drivers the claim isn't as outlandish as it ought to be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Juan, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:33am

    Because ... SEX!

    "But, your honor, I was only visiting the brothel to make sure none of them were playing unlicensed music to their whores."

    The only reason the judge rejected this argument was because it was sexually related. Otherwise it would have probably been fully accepted, if the case was even investigated at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:34am

    Why?

    Well, someone has to keep up with the Secret Service...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:36am

    the Lana Del Rey solution

    He should have saved his money. Let's not forget that this is an industry where aspiring female stars are known to do whatever it takes to get a leg up on the competition, and high-horned men in positions of influence (or even just pretending to be) have long taken advantage of their situation.

    Just ask Lana Del Rey how the system works.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/lana-del-rey-i-have-slept-with-a-lot-of-guys-in-the-i ndustry-9622672.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:53am

      Re: the Lana Del Rey solution

      That solution is difficult to sell when you collect the money that should be going to the artists, but somehow rarely does.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Leit, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:43am

    It's obviously a work-related expense... screwing that many people at once takes a lot of practise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:44am

    And let's keep in mind that money fraudulently extracted as SGAE overhead for banging hookers is taking more money out of the hands of artists in a very real way.

    It is entirely possible that many of the whores were musicians that had turned to prostitution because they could not make a living because of piracy.

    He was HELPING artists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Josh (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:55am

    it takes a supreme set of testicles to turn in $50k worth of receipts for money spent at whorehouses

    Can I get $50K so I can try?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 8:57am

    Well of course he needed to not only visit the brothel, but pay for all it's 'services'! You never know what kind of music they're playing in back rooms when they 'service' you.

    And we all know people don't go to the brothels for the 'services' they offer. No, they go for the music that's played while they get 'serviced'!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Thue (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:08am

    Grammar

    > Spain Copyright Executive Claims $50k Brothel Bill Was For Work-Related Activities

    When using "Spain" as an adjective, to give the meaning "A Copyright Executive from Spain" or "in Spain", then the inflection "Spanish" should be used.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scote, 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:44am

    I should point out that there was only one whore in those brothels, the rest were sex workers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 13 Nov 2014 @ 11:33am

    No harm

    listen the money would be going to the prostitutes anyways no matter who they bang so nobody was hurt the single mothers will become doctors and the children will be fed. Looks like a win-win situation for all, especially because musicians get laid for free...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 13 Nov 2014 @ 3:46pm

    Of course it was work related. More importantly it was on the job training. How else do you prefect being able to screw someone in the courts over copyright infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2014 @ 4:55pm

    They're not even bothering to be subtle about it anymore.

    For one, we're talking about people who will readily dedicate resources and time to fleecing a guy who plays music privately to his horses.

    For two, we're talking about people who will readily fuck over other people.

    For three, we're talking about people who will jack up the numbers to make it seem like they really need the ridiculous sums of money that they're demanding from other people.

    Bearing in mind the fact that copyright assholes rarely suffer any repercussions, this case feels more like the exception than the norm. They've grown so brash they could probably get away with murder for copyright if they could find the right judge to oversee their case.

    And the sad thing is that average_joe and LAB will still be fervently defending these practices no matter how toxic they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Arioch (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 9:33pm

    (Pedro Farré)
    But your Honour, this was a genuine business expense. I was there to both to check that unlicensed music was not being played and to entertain clients.

    (Judge)
    Not once do I remember you inviting me, so here's something to make you remember who I am.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:49pm

    Licensing payout

    Those were just licensing fees for composing and performing the song "Oh my, oh yes, oh God".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:38am

    Oh. So that's what they mean when they are talking about performance licenses? /derp

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:52am

    LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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