IAF welcomes Spanish Supreme Court decision on private copies of works

Luke AlcottCopyright law, News

Spanish Supreme Court decision quashes Royal Decree which adversely effected writers and translators being fairly paid for private copies of works

Recent news from the Supreme Court in Spain confirms that the Royal Decree which regulates the procedure for payment of fair compensation for private copying of works under the Spanish State Budget has been quashed in the EGEDA case.

The December 2011 model had led to a drastic reduction in revenue that was paid to writers as the Spanish law had placed the burden of compensation on all taxpayers and not on the natural persons making the copies. The social role that Spanish collecting societies could carry out to support authors and editors in the sector was also reduced.

The High Court concluded that regulating the procedure for payment of equitable compensation under the general State Budget (PGE) was not compatible with the “InfoSoc” Directive” 2001/29/EC established by the EU in June of 2001.

Magdalena Vinent, Director General of RRO, CEDRO, expressed her approval of the recent change. She said that she: “supports the rejection of the old system established five years ago, which has prevented writers, translators and publishers being fairly paid by private copies of their works.” 

Olav Stokkmo, the CEO of IFRRO, acknowledged that the decision was “not a
surprise to us; IFRRO has always argued that the Spanish system to compensate
the private copying exception was not compliant with the InfoSoc Directive

In response to the decision,  IAF Member Bel Odid, President of Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (The Association of Catalan Language Writers) said: “AELC, has worked together with other authors’ associations to prove the Spanish system implemented by Real Decreto 1657/2012 contradicted European Directives. We are very happy the Supreme Court has deemed it illegal and hope the Spanish government will listen to authors’ voices in the writing of the new law. Neighbouring countries such as France raise 200 times more than Spain to compensate authors for public lending. We hope the new law will help create a fair system for remuneration of authors for private copies of works that will help reduce this gap, while we continue to work for fair remuneration of authors in every aspect.”

The IAF also welcomes the decision made by the Spanish Supreme Court and looks forward to following with interest how the decision of the court will be effected to ensure writers benefit in the months ahead.  The full decision following the case can be found in Spanish here.