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State business associations calling copyright payment proposal ‘conflict of interest’

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Hotels, bars and restaurants across the state are being faced with a proposal to pay copyright fees in order to have their business licenses renewed. Since the announcement of the proposed reform to a current bill, which would have to be passed by state congress, local business owners are calling it a conflict of interest.

The proposal was put forward by Deputy Hugo Alday last week, a proposal that has caused a stir across the state. During a recent press conference, the various hosting associations requested congress “throw this initiative into the trash, which is where it came from.”

On Monday, various associations from Quintana Roo held a press conference saying the proposal is contrary to law, it lacerates the economy of Quintana Roo without any benefit to the state and also implies a conflict of interest on the part of the promoting deputy, Hugo Alday Nieto, who has litigated for this particular group.

The proposal is to reform municipal finance laws which would force companies to sign a payment agreement with an Authors’ Association as a condition for obtaining their state operating license.

Toni Chaves, President of the Hotel Council of the Mexican Caribbean, pointed out that the bill, in which various sectors are required to cover an additional charge for the use of music in their establishments, has no benefit for the municipalities or the state, so it is “out of all logic and context.”

“It seems unheard of to us that legislation is being legislated in favor of private parties and not of the state,” he added.

David Ortiz Mena, Vice President of the Council and President of the Tulum Hotel Association, explained that there is an invasion of powers because this collective management society can claim the rights it believes it has through administrative channels.

Instead, the government is being used to force an agreement, making bargaining impossible and imposing a monopoly on the state. “The legislature has nothing to do with promoting the right of individuals, in addition to promoting monopolistic practices,” he said.

Jesús Almaguer, President of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association, recalled that for years, Congressman Hugo Alday has declared himself an expert in trademark and was even the litigant that lost the brands of the state’s destinations, an issue that should be reviewed with the Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council.

The group is urging State Congress to “throw this initiative into the trash, which is where it came from,” noting that they have already had meetings with Renán Sánchez Tajonar, Deputy President of the Finance Commission, and Julián Ricalde, of the Tourism Commission, among other authorities.

Deputy Huog Alday says his proposal has opened debate on this issue, adding that there is still a long way to go so that copyrights are fully protected. Any person who makes use of music, videos or any other work for profit is obliged to pay.

However, all the business chambers already have agreements with the collective management societies to pay these rights.