INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

FAQ on intellectual property: Right of distribution

The right of distribution is the right to make available to the public the original or copies of a work by selling, renting, lending or in any other way.

Only distribution is done if it is present, making copies available to the public on a specific physical medium (paper, compact disc, video, ...).

In addition to the works excluded from intellectual property (art. 13 LPI) or that are of public domain (art. 41 LPI), the Intellectual property law It contemplates some cases in which works can be distributed without the authorization of the author or holder of the rights. Some of these exceptions are:

Teaching illustration and research
  • 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 / parts of works and isolated works of a figurative plastic or photographic nature, without any commercial purpose and to the extent necessary, provided that the conditions detailed in sections 3-5 of theArt. 32.
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 works already disseminated when they are made for the benefit of people with disabilities, provided that these acts are non-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)
Library loans
  • Loans made by museums, archives, libraries, newspaper libraries, sound libraries or film libraries owned by the public or belonging to non-profit cultural, scientific or educational institutions of general interest, or to educational institutions integrated into the Spanish education system (art. 37.2).
  • Except for the obligation of remuneration for the loans made by publicly-owned establishments that provide services in municipalities of less than 5.000 inhabitants, as well as the libraries of the educational institutions included in the Spanish educational system are exempted from them.

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).

  • Conferences, speeches, reports before the Courts and other works of the same nature that have been pronounced in public may be reproduced, distributed and communicated, provided that these uses are made for the sole purpose of informing about 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
  • 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 set forth in theart. 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.

The legislation does not contemplate the full distribution of material protected for educational purposes, which is why teachers can not distribute copies of documents to the class without the authorization of the holder of the rights or the payment of a license to the entity of corresponding management

However, sections 3-5 of the32 article LPI details the cases in which teachers can take advantage of the right to 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, for no commercial purpose and to the extent necessary, as long as the requirements set forth in the "art. 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 textbooks, or similar publications, with a Compulsory economic compensation, as long as the requirements of theart. 32.4.

More information

  • Distribution is the act of making available to third parties the originals or copies of the work, in a tangible support (sale, rental, loan ...).
  • On the other hand, public communication is the act by which a plurality of people can access the work without prior distribution of physical copies to each one of them (speeches, recitals, audiovisual projection, broadcast by radio, public exhibition of works of art, inclusion of documents in web pages, sending of documents by electronic mail ...).

Last update: 28 / 04 / 2020