Spain will strengthen its regulation of copyright and related rights with the creation of the Spanish Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Office

On 27 December 2022, the Council of Ministers approved the Bill for the creation of the Copyright and Related Rights Office. This office, created in the image and likeness of the institutional architecture of other neighbouring countries -such as France or Portugal- is one of the measures included in Spain’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan within the framework of the deployment of the European Next Generation EU recovery funds.

As has been discussed in other posts in this blog, in recent years the activity related to copyright and related rights is in constant evolution, with an increase in the use of digital platforms, the use of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence as a tool for the creation of new works, among others. This has led to greater complexity in terms of the regulatory approach to these rights and has also generated dysfunctionalities in the management of these rights. The creation of the office seeks to address these challenges by creating a specialised body with its own budget and the necessary tools to ensure effective protection and promotion of copyright and related rights in line with the constant evolution of such rights.

This office is expected to have a significant impact on the collective management of copyright and related rights. Along these lines, it will adopt the functions currently carried out by the Sub Directorate General for Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, such as granting and revoking authorisation for the constitution of collecting societies, issuing warnings and information injunctions and, in general, sectoral supervision of intellectual property operators, ensuring that they comply with their legal and contractual obligations and helping to resolve disputes between societies and right holders.

All in all, the creation of the Spanish Copyright and Related Rights Office is a necessary step to address the challenges and opportunities in the regulation of copyright and related rights in Spain and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the collective management of these rights. It is a strategic measure that will strengthen Spain’s position in this field, improve the economy and the labour market, as well as foster the development of cultural industries in the country.

Nicolás Matías Mansilla – Legal Counsel & Licensing

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