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Section Two of the Intellectual Property Commission is a professional association within the Ministry of Culture that was created in 2012 under the aegis of what is known as the Spanish Sinde-Wert Act (Spanish Act 2/2011, of March 4, on Sustainable Economy). It was created to safeguard against digital copyright infringement by acting against for-profit information society servicers that cause material damage to rights holders.

To make the section more effective and improve its performance following the reform of the Consolidated Text of the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (Spanish Intellectual Property Act 21/2014, of November 4), breaches of the prohibition regarding withdrawing content classified as prohibited were made into very serious administrative breaches, with fines of €150,001 to 600,000 (under article 195.6 of the Spanish Intellectual Property Act).

It is precisely based on these grounds that the state secretary has now imposed an exemplary fine on the website X-caleta.com (x-caleta2.com since 2015) and its owner, Raúl Villanueva, ordering him to (i) pay €375,000, and (ii) cease operations for having committed an administrative breach classified as very serious due to recidivism.

This clearly sets an important precedent in the ongoing quest to protect the rights of content creators: not just because of the amount of the fine ultimately imposed, but also given the scope of the breach committed by the fined platform, which had up to two million visitors a month.

However, on a negative note, it has been over three years since the Intellectual Property Rights Management Association (AGEDI) filed the claim that led to the disciplinary proceedings. This is still far too long to act effectively against online breaches, which shows that the procedure of appealing to the commission is not yet a reliable alternative for protecting copyrights in the civil jurisdiction.

This post is also available in: Español

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