The Spanish Congress approves the new Intellectual Property Act

“The amendment which modifies the existing Intellectual Property Act has been approved”

The amendment which modifies the existing Intellectual Property Act has been approved and currently  is underway to publication in the Spanish Official Bulletin (BOE) to come into force, once these amendments are approved by the Senate  procedure (with the exception of the modification to the first additional disposition, paragraph 1).

The new Intellectual Property Act incorporates Community regulations into Spanish law in order to harmonise the various national rules of the Member States governing management entities. The aim is to strengthen its transparency and governance as well as the management of intellectual property rights. Therefore, the amendment has been equipped with new instruments in order to improve control and accountability by the governing and representative bodies of such entities.

The new text also includes new measures in order to fight piracy. Specifically, it would be possible to close websites which constantly breach Intellectual Property laws without need of a court order.

Another change that has been performed is the limitation to management entities. In this regard, the management entities will not be able to distribute more than 20% of the money raised, per author, with regard to artwork material broadcasted into a timetable considered to be ‘without significant audience‘, which consists mainly in programs screened at night-time. The aim of this measure is to restrict what we know as the “television wheel”.

Furthermore, the statutes regarding the use of works and performances without the authorization of the rights holders in favour of people with visual impairment or other difficulties in accessing printed texts have been unified. What is more, the Senate added the digital and audio formats in order to improve the availability and exchange within the internal market of certain protected works and subject-matter in an accessible format.

Some other novelties with regard to right revenue recollection have been aintroduced: A mandatory annual transparency report concurrently with the annual statements; the penalty system has been amended in order to clarify the componence distribution; the maximum period to solve administrative sanction procedures for the commission of serious and very serious infringements has been specified as well as a mechanism for information exchange between European authorities.

During tCongress processing of this law amendment project, which originated from a Royal Decree-Law, an article including the rights of participation was added. This addition means that the authors of original creations “shall be entitled to receive from the seller a share in the price of all the works first sold from that first transmission made by the author,” provided that the selling price is equal to or greater than 500 euros excluding taxes. This right cannot be waived and it can only be extinguished ’70 years after the first January 1st of the following year in which author’s death or declaration of death occurred’.

The Amended Intellectual Property Law finally includes the regulation of collective management entities which can be defined as ‘property of their members and subjected to their control, non-profit-making and, with due authorization, be able to exercise the intellectual property rights entrusted to their management by their owners through a management contract’.