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Transfer, assignment and licensing

Transfer and assignment

What rules, restrictions and procedures govern the transfer and assignment of copyright? Are any formalities required to secure the legal effect of the transfer or assignment?

A copyright assignment must be put in writing. If the assignment is made on an exclusive basis this must be expressly indicated in the agreement. If nothing is specified, copyright assignment will last five years, will be non-exclusive and limited to the Spanish territory. There is no need to register a copyright agreement to secure the legal effect of the transfer assignment.

Licensing

What rules, restrictions and procedures govern copyright licensing?

See above. In addition, assignment of copyright on an exclusive basis allows the assignee to grant non-exclusive licences to third parties (unless otherwise indicated in the agreement). Exclusive assignees of copyright can assign their rights on an exclusive basis to third parties with the assignor’s express consent. Non-exclusive assignees of copyright are not allowed to grant licences to third parties.

Are there any special provisions governing sub-licensing?

See above.

What collective licensing bodies operate in your jurisdiction and how are their activities regulated?

There are eight different collective management organisations:

  • Sociedad General de Autores y Editores for authors of music and compositions, music publishers and other literary authors;
  • Centro Español de Derechos Reprográficos for literary authors and publishers;
  • Visual Entidad de Gestión de Artistas Plásticos for authors of plastic and graphic works;
  • Derechos de Autor de Medios Audiovisuales for audiovisual and cinematographic works’ authors;
  • Artistas Intérpretes o Eejecutantes, Sociedad de Gestión de España for musical performers and musical artists;
  • Artistas Intérpretes, Sociedad de Gestión for actors, choreographers and dancers;
  • Asociación de Gestión de Derechos Intelectuales for the producers of musical works; and
  • Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales for audiovisual content producers.

The Ministry of Culture is responsible for ensuring that these entities comply with all of the obligations and requirements set by the Copyright Act. The ministry has the power to carry out inspections and audits and to appoint a representative to attend their general meetings, among other faculties.

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