On October 30, the Spanish Parliament approved  Law 21/2014 of November 4, which amends the Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, of April 12, approving the Copyright Law and the Law 1/2000 of January 7, of Civil Procedure, which has been published today in the Spanish Official State Gazette.


The legal text explains that the legislative reform reflects the needs in the Spanish society to provide effective mechanisms to achieve a better protection of the intellectual property rights, according to the increasing development of Internet, the new digital information technologies and the decentralized computer networks.


The legislative reform which will come into force on January 1, 2015, focuses on three main blocks: the revision of the system of private copying, the design of mechanisms to supervise the handling of the intellectual property rights management societies and the strengthening of the instruments against the infringements of intellectual property rights in the digital environment.


With regard to the system of private copying, it is confirmed that the fair compensation received by the rightful owners on virtue of this limit will be funded directly by the State Budget. The funding of this compensation would be carried out attending the principle of balance between the amount of it and the damage caused by the private copies made under such exception, which shall be evidenced by a set of criteria adequately provided.


The system of mechanisms to supervise the management of the collecting societies has been modified: a catalog of obligations has been established among these entities with respect to the Public Administrations and its partners; also it has been established a framework of infractions and penalties which requires to the collecting societies to respond by administrative liabilities for the breach of their legal obligations; and it is delimited the scope of the executive liability of the General Government Administration and the Autonomous Communities. The competences of the First Section of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights of the Ministry of Culture are extended to include the function of this Section to determine the rates, being reinforced the control on determining equitable and non-discriminatory nature of such rates.


Furthermore, the Second Section of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights of the Ministry of Culture is reinforced with stronger mechanisms to react against the infringements committed by information society services providers, those who do not voluntarily comply with the requirements of withdrawal required by this Section, among other issues.


The legislative reform is deep but partial, since it does not close many of the issues that are also purposes of the reform, and others simply are avoided. Example of this is the fact that the implementation of the one-stop-shop for the billing and payment of the collecting societies, will be at the expense of regulatory developments of the Ministry of Culture. Moreover, the reform does not transpose into the domestic legal order the European directive related to the multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for the online use.