The Congress approved on Tuesday the reform of the Intellectual Property Law that proposes measures against Internet piracy, consolidates the model to fix tariffs for using content subject to copyright and reinforces the transparency of the management entities. The text, unanimously endorsed by the Culture Committee, will now go to the Senate and may be approved by the end of the year.
The regulation, which adapts two EU directives to Spanish legislation, reinforces the protection of intellectual property rights in the digital domain and allows the closure of web pages without the need for judicial authorization. With the support of PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos, we return to the model established by the government of socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, since these powers will fall to the Second Section of the Intellectual Property Commission, baptized then as commission Sinde, by the Minister of Culture of that Executive Ángeles González-Sinde.
Combated by Google and other digital giants, the law aims to stop downloads on the Internet without permission of content protected by copyright. The closing of the websites will no longer require a judicial procedure, which was very guarded, but was not very operative. From now on, an organ whose members will be appointed by the Executive will assume this task.
Set the rates
The reform has addressed some of the demands of the users, among which are the radio and television channels -who contribute the most money to the management entities-, universities, hoteliers or telecommunications companies. Thus, the seven principles established to set the fees paid to the management entities for using their repertoire are maintained. Likewise, the transitory regime is regulated in case of conflict between a user and the management entities: until the discrepancy is resolved, the user will pay on account 100% of the last general tariff agreed before the conflict or 50% of the new. The amendment initially agreed by PSOE, PP, Unidos Podemos and Ciudadanos placed that percentage at 70%.
The televisions have only achieved that the economic return of the music that they emit in time with "absence of a significant audience" (at dawn) supposes a maximum of 20% of the total of their turnover, although the initial amendment set the limit at 15 %. This has been one of the most conflicting points. During the debate, the PP raised that the limit of 20% only will be applied to the collection of the musical publishers, without affecting the authors. This formula of return -known as the wheel- has been in the eye of the hurricane for a fraudulent scandal in the collection of copyright. According to the approved text, the management entities will adopt the necessary measures to prevent certain works from receiving disproportionate amounts with respect to commercial or audience performance during their exploitation.
The law revalidates the cessions of musical edition of the authors throughout their lives and up to 80 years after their death. United We could propose to reform this aspect, but its proposal to suppress what is considered "contracts of slavery" did not prosper. The law avoids the thorny issue of "material reciprocity", a claim by users to avoid the payment of rights not recognized in other countries.