Copyright protection and intellectual property: A battle to be won?


Thousands of artists in Spain share the same objective: to defend their work. Copyright and intellectual property infringements in the artistic world are as common as they are discouraging.

Are the creators of these materials unprotected by law? Not really, but the general lack of knowledge about copyright and intellectual property protection means that in many cases, the artist does not know how to defend himself. Don’t worry if you are confused about the subject here are a few FAQS.


What is intellectual property and copyright about?


The simplest way to understand intellectual property is to see it as those creations that belong to a person because he or she created them. For the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), there are two categories for the protection of these creations: copyright (for literary and artistic works); and industrial property rights (for trademarks, patents and industrial designs).

These rights are legal principles and rules that give the creator or owners the power over the use of their artistic works. Such protected works include the creation of books, music, films, paintings and even computer programs, among many other expressions.

Copyrights, in short, are your rights as an artist over your creations. As their holder, you have the power to decide how they should be used by others. And although in an ideal system you would not have to take any steps to defend what belongs to you, the truth is that, nowadays, creators need to protect their creations more than ever.


About copyright in Spain


In Spain, copyrights are legislated under the Intellectual Property Law which, as far as it is of interest today, highlights the following points:

  • Approves that this kind of content corresponds to the authors only for having created it.
  • It distinguishes between economic rights (allows the author to be financially rewarded when others use his works) and moral rights (allows the recognition, or not, of his authorship).
  • Regularizes the cessation of copyrights to third parties.
  • It establishes that copyright lasts for the life of the author and 70 years after his death.
  • Informs that in Spain it is not necessary to register copyrights in order to be recognized.

How can I protect my copyrights?


There are two ways to protect your creations.

  1. Before the
    Spanish Intellectual Property Registry
    (you can do it online). The process will depend on the type of work and instructions and fees granted by the Provincial Offices under the Central Registry.
  1. The second option is more complicated because it tries to protect the creations not only within the Spanish territory, but throughout the Internet. For many artists the diffusion they have had thanks to the Internet has been priceless, but, due to its infinite possibilities, it has also meant more than a headache for them.

Demonstrating and defending your copyright on the Internet is more complicated. As a preventive measure, you need to register the intellectual property of your works. This process is voluntary and will help you prove that you are the author in case your content is stolen.

You can resort to
Safe Creative,
(online intellectual property registration platform), which allows you to register and protect your work in an efficient way. Or, you can also make use of the licenses of
Creative Commons
licenses, which allow others to use your creations under your own conditions. This last option is to disseminate your works and allow their reuse under your control.

Both options are compatible, although they are not the same. Safe Creative is a registration system, and Creative Commons licensing.

Who can help me in this process?


The protection of copyrights is a complex and delicate issue that, on more than one occasion, has caused serious problems for both artists and creators.

At La Santa Pepa, we offer you the necessary advice so that your work is protected against inappropriate use by third parties. Contact us and explain how we can help you.

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