The Lower House of the Spanish Parliament rubber stamps the reform of the Intellectual Property Law
On July 22, after much controversy, the Culture Committee of the Lower House of the Spanish Parliament green-lighted the partial reform of the Intellectual Property Law (LPI), with 22 votes cast in favor and 20 against. Of the 169 amendments put before the Lower House, only 9 of those submitted by the People’s Party (Partido Popular) made the cut. The bill, as described in a previous post, envisages sweeping changes to the legal framework governing the LPI, broken down into four major areas:
1. Private copying: The reform limits the cases considered as private copying.
2. Collecting societies: measures are included to improve transparency and control of collecting societies by the Ministry of Culture, setting in place a one-stop shop arrangement.
3. Better safeguards for intellectual property on the internet: The measures adopted seek to facilitate the pursuit of websites providing links to unlawful content in an active, non neutral way. Administrative penalties for infringements have also been increased.
4. Payment of mandatory, irrevocable compensation to media outlets for content aggregation: The so-called “Google Tax” or “AEDE Fee”.
Alongside the approval of the 9 amendments (put forward by the People’s Party), the extraordinary session of July 22 also agreed on a further 9 compromise amendments currently pending publication. The reform will be sent to the Upper House for approval in the near future. The legislation is likely to be approved towards the end of September or October.
The approved wording does not contain any major changes with respect to the text published a few months ago, which was the subject of our post entitled “An ambitious proposal for the Intellectual Property Law”. The key new development is the removal from the wording of “significant damage” and “on a major scale” in reference to purportedly infringing websites. The aim of these changes is to broaden the room for maneuver of Panel Two of the Intellectual Property Committee in the fight against digital piracy.
Be that as it may, this is a partial reform and, as noted in the Preamble and as stated by the José Ignacio Wert, the Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, a “more far-reaching” reform is expected in the coming year, following the approval of new EU legislation on the matter.
Garrigues Intellectual Property Department