FAQ on intellectual property: Right of reproduction

It is understood by reproduction (art. 18 of the LPI) the fixation of a work in any medium (paper, electronic, microfit, ...) that allows the communication and the obtaining of copies of all or of a part.

Reproduction is a right excluding authors and, therefore, it can not be done without your authorization or in the cases provided for by law.

In addition to works excluded from intellectual property (art. 13 LPI ) or that are of public domain (art. 41 LPI ), The LPI It contemplates some cases in which reproductions can be made without the authorization of the author or holder of the rights.

Provisional reproduction
  • Acts of provisional reproduction, without independent economic significance, which are transitory or ancillary and which form an integral and essential part of a technological process, and the sole purpose of which is to facilitate network transmission between third parties by an intermediary, or a lawful use (that is, authorized by the author or by law) (art. 31.1)
Private copy
  • Private copies carried out by a natural person exclusively for private, non-professional or business use, and without direct or indirect commercial purposes.
  • Reproduction must be made from a licensed source, without violating the conditions of access to the work or the provision, and the copy obtained must not be subject to collective or lucrative use , nor of distribution by price.
  • Publicly communicated works whose conditions of use are included in a contract [license of use], electronic databases and computer programs are excluded from the private copy (art. 31.2)
Security and official procedures
  • Acts of reproduction, distribution or public communication of the works for public security purposes or for the correct development of administrative, judicial or parliamentary procedures (art. 31 bis)
People with disabilities
  • Acts of reproduction, distribution and public communication of the works already disseminated when they are made for the benefit of people with disabilities, provided that these acts are not for profit, have a direct relationship with the disability in question, and are carried out through a procedure or means adapted to the disability and are limited to what it requires (art. 31 Ter)
Right of summons
  • Elaboration of citations only for teaching or research purposes, to the extent justified by the purpose of this incorporation and with the source indication and the name of the author of the work used.
  • The periodical compilations made in the form of reviews o press magazines they are considered citations. However, when collections of journalistic articles are made that basically consist of their mere reproduction and the said activity is carried out for commercial purposes, the author who has not expressly objected to it is entitled to receive equitable remuneration. In case of express opposition of the author, this activity is not considered covered by this limit.
  • In any case, the reproduction, distribution or public communication, in whole or in part, of isolated journalistic articles in a press dossier that takes place within any organization will require the authorization of the rights holders (art. 32.1)

Teaching illustration and research
  • El teachers in regulated education (university and non-university) taught in centers of the Spanish education system and the staff of universities and public bodies of scientific research may copy, distribute and publicly communicate small fragments / parts of works and isolated works of a figurative plastic or photographic nature, without any commercial purpose and in the necessary measure, provided that the conditions of art, 32.3-4
Library reproductions
  • Reproductions of works made by Museums, libraries, sound recordings, film libraries, newspaper archives or archives, publicly owned or integrated into cultural or scientific institutions, exclusively for non-profit research or conservation purposes (art. 37.1)
Works Orphans
  • The educational centers, museums, libraries, publicly accessible hypermarkets, as well as public broadcasting organizations, archives, sound recordings and film libraries can play Orphan works available in its holdings for the purposes of digitization, making available to the public, indexing, cataloging, conservation or restoration and public communication (provided that the requirements of theart. 37bis LPI).
Information on current events
  • Papers and articles on current issues disseminated by social media may be reproduced, distributed and communicated publicly by any others of the same class, if the source is cited and the author if the work appeared with a signature and provided that the reservation of rights has not been stated at source. All this without prejudice to the author's right to receive the agreed remuneration or, if there is no agreement, that which is considered equitable. In the case of literary collaborations, the appropriate authorization of the author is required in any case (art. 33.1).
  • They can be reproduced, distributed and communicated Conferences, allegations, reports before the Courts and other works of the same nature that have been pronounced in public, provided that these uses are made for the sole purpose of reporting on current events. This last condition does not apply to speeches delivered in parliamentary sessions or public corporations. In any case, the author reserves the right to publish these works in a collection (art. 33.2)
Works located on public roads
  • The Works permanently located in parks, streets, squares or other public roads may be freely reproduced, distributed and communicated through paintings, drawings, photographs and audiovisual procedures (art. 35.2)

As established byart. 40bis LPI , none of them exceptions  contemplated in the law can be interpreted so that their application causes unjustified damage to the legitimate interests of the author or that go to the detriment of the normal exploitation of the works to which they refer.

As established byarticle 32.1 LPI , in certain circumstances fragments of disclosed works (or isolated works of a figurative plastic or photographic nature) may be reproduced if these are used as a citation or review, ie:

  • Only works already published can be used
  • The inclusion of the fragment or image must be done by way of citation or for analysis, comment or critical judgment
  • The citation can only be made for teaching or research purposes
  • The amount of original work used must be sufficiently measured
  • The source and name of the author of the original work must be indicated

In relation to the documents obtained from a database contracted by means of a license of use, it is necessary to keep in mind that they can only be used respecting the conditions established in the contract signed with the supplier.

For example, in the case of images, a photograph obtained from a photo database can not be reproduced if the corresponding license does not allow it.

The sections 3-5 of the article 32 LPI They detail the cases in which the teaching staff can take refuge in the right of illustration for teaching and research purposes:

  • The teaching staffregulated education (university and non-university) taught in centers of the Spanish educational system and the staff ofUniversities and public bodies of scientific research they can copy, distribute and publicly communicate small fragments of works and isolated works of a plastic or photographic figurative nature, without any commercial purpose and to the extent necessary, provided that the requirements set out inart. 32.3.
  • In the specific case ofUniversities and public research centers, parts of works (printed or likely to be printed) may also be reproduced, distributed and publicly communicated, including  textbooks, university manuals or assimilated publications, with a Compulsory economic compensation, provided that the requirements ofart. 32.4.

More information

The reproduction of photographs or drawings is an exclusive right of the respective authors, which can not be done without their authorization or in the cases provided for by the LPI:


Right of summons
  • "It is lawful to include in a work of fragments of other people of a written, sound or audiovisual nature, as well as that of isolated works of a figurative plastic or photographic nature, as long as they are already disclosed works and their inclusion be made by way of citation or for analysis, comment or critical judgment. This use can only be made for teaching or research purposes, to the extent justified by the purpose of this incorporation and with the source indication and the name of the author of the work used ... "[art. 32.1].
  • Therefore, entire visual works may be reproduced in teaching or research documents, as long as they are related to the content of the study being done and the source and authorship indicated.
  • However, if the work that you want to use has been acquired through a contract or license of use, you must read the clauses to verify if the provider allows you to make the desired use.
Works of public domain
  • Works that are public domain can also be used without requesting authorization.
  • The works whose exploitation rights have been extinguished and which, therefore, can be used freely by any person as long as their authorship and integrity are respected (art. 26, 41, 128 LPI).
  • In the case of the author's photographs (works by artists who use photography as a means of expression), the exploitation rights go to the public domain after 80 years after the death of the artist, if it goes away Produce before 7 December 1987, or up to 70 years in the case of deaths after this date. If this is a non-artistic photo, this period is reduced to 25 years.
  • Because it is not possible to reproduce the documents without the permission of the authors, except for the cases allowed by the legislation (legal texts, reproductions made by the libraries, copies of private use, etc.), authors should be asked for authorization to reproduce documents of our interest.
  • Making the requests individually would be very slow and costly, and sometimes impossible; that is why you collective intellectual property management entities (e.g. CEDRO) provide reproduction licenses, authorizations that through a payment allow the reproduction of works with the limitations decided by these entities.
  • Copies of the protected material made to copisteries or other centers that they have devices at the disposal of the public are not considered private copies, since they are only those made by means of devices whose owner is the copyist person, and as long as no collective or commercial use is made.
  • The collective management entities of intellectual property rights grant licenses or authorizations for reproduction of works with a series of limitations. Copisteries or other centers with devices available to the public must contract these licenses, the amount of which is negotiated based on the percentage of copies of the protected material that they do with respect to the total.
  • Licenses only allow a partial reproduction of the documents. For example, there are licenses that allow copy companies the maximum reproduction of an 10% of the work. The articles can be photocopied whole even if they exceed a specific percentage of the magazine, but if you want to photocopy more than one article of the same number, the percentages established by the license are maintained.
  • Photocopiers of offices or offices need one reprogrammed license only in case copies of material protected with the same (articles, books, etc.) are made.
  • Keep in mind that these copies of protected material can not be considered as private use, since the ownership of the machine is from the company, not from the contracted personnel that can use it, which is why it would be necessary to have one license
  • On the other hand, if staff only uses photocopiers of the company to reproduce administrative documents (or others that are not subject to copyright), it is not necessary to hire a reprographic license.

El right of remuneration for private copying It is the right of remuneration for authors to compensate for the private copies that users can make of their works, that is, copies made in a home environment, without using collective or commercial uses.

As stated the article 25.6 LPI , the obligation to pay the compensation provided in section 1 of this article is created in the following cases:

a) For the Manufacturers when they act as distributors and for the acquirers of equipment, equipment and material supports outside the Spanish territory for commercial distribution in this, at the moment in which the transferor produces the transfer of the property or, where appropriate, the transfer of the property, use or enjoyment of any of those.

b) For the acquirers Equipment, equipment and material supports outside the Spanish territory for use within the aforementioned territory, from the moment of acquisition.

According to thearticle 25.10 LPI, it is foreseen the constitution by part of the entities of management of intellectual property rights of a legal entity that must exercise, on behalf of all, the following functions:

a) The management of the exceptions of the payment and of the reimbursements.

b) The reception and subsequent referral to the management entities of the Periodic relationships of equipment, devices and reproduction media with respect to which the obligation to pay compensation has been created, drawn up by the debtors and, where applicable, by the joint and several responsible, in the framework of the procedure to effect the compensation determined by means of a royal decree.

c) The unified communication of the billing.

Last update: 01 / 06 / 2023