4. Law and legislation
Last update: February, 2019
The 1978 Constitution, which restored parliamentary democracy in Spain, gave considerable prominence to cultural affairs. The "constitutional culture" of the Magna Carta of 1978 is the result of a process lasting throughout the twentieth century in which cultural concerns gained wider and wider acceptance as matters susceptible to constitutional regulation. An obvious precedent was the Constitution introduced by the Second Republic (1931-1939), the first Spanish Constitution to include culture as one of the realms of government intervention and, as such, as a legitimate field in which to establish public and citizen rights.
In the 1978 Constitution, culture appears as one of the main spheres of government action. The importance attached to culture is made clear in the way various tasks are entrusted to the constituted authorities in guaranteeing cultural processes, i.e. the creation, transmission and protection of culture. The Constitution states that culture is a right of all citizens and is to form part of the presiding principles of social and economic policy. To that end, the Constitution entrusts the public authorities with specific tasks in the field of culture. In addition to access to culture (Articles 9 and 44), cultural democracy, that is, freedom of expression and creativity (Article 20), and protection of the historic, cultural and artistic heritage (Article 46) are other important mandates of the Constitution. Linguistic and cultural plurality is expressly protected by the Constitution, both in the preamble and in its articles (Article 3.2). It is equally guaranteed in the charters of the Autonomous Communities.
Last update: February, 2019
There is no legislation for the allocation of public funds for culture. This is a matter decided by the current Ministry of Culture and Sport.
The 817/2018 Royal Decree establishes that the Sub-Secretariat of Culture and Sport is responsible for producing and processing the annual draft report of the departmental budget, determining the structure of the programmes and sub-programmes that specify the department's activities, coordinating the preparation of the budgets of public institutions and their consolidation with those of the department, analysing and processing modifications, and monitoring the budget. 40/2015 Act lays down that the General Administration of the State, and therefore the current Ministry of Culture and Sport, is responsible for the effective allocation and use of public resources, and for the control of management and the results.
Last update: February, 2019
Initially, artists and creative workers were classified under a special category for the purposes of social security (2133/1975 Decree). Ten years later, by virtue of Decree 26/1985, they obtained the same rights and obligations as all other workers. Performing artists and bullfighters were then grouped together under a special heading within the general social security system. Another Royal Decree (2621/1986) made specific provisions for income averaging in view of the considerable monthly fluctuations in artists' income as well as a provision regarding the possibility of early retirement for performing artists (in an effort to compensate them when they can no longer perform due to ageing).
All these particular provisions were included in the 40/2007 Act on Social Security related measures, which stipulated that the government would update the regulations governing the special employment relationship of artists in public shows. The aim was to modify the Social Security system that is applicable to these artists, in order for them to make regular financial contributions to their insurance fund. Finally, some of these claims have been included in the 26/2018 Royal Decree-Law passed in December 2018, that implements partially the Statute of the Artist, giving artists maintained access to social protection in times of disability, pregnancy or inactivity. Another of the collective’s great demands is still pending: the compatibility of the retirement pension with the remuneration of artistic creation and the collection of royalties. The scheme for authors is different as they were considered self-employed workers (2621/1986 Royal Decree). Again, efforts were made to establish a fair level of disability insurance and a retirement plan, considering the fluctuations in the annual income of this group. The self-employed workers statute (20/2007 Act) indicates that competent public administrations can sign agreements with Social Security to reduce the contributions of individuals who are self-employed in craft or arts areas.
Last update: February, 2019
The severe economic crisis that affected the country led, in July 2012, to the increase of "general" and "reduced" VAT rates, from 18% (general) and 8% (reduced) to 21% and 10% respectively, together with new classifications of which goods were to be taxed at reduced rates.
Cultural goods got taxed at the "general" tax rate of 21%, VAT on admission tickets for the performing arts (cinema, theatres, music, circus, etc.) went from 8 to 21%, and tickets to libraries, archives, documentation centres, museums and art galleries stayed reduced with the new rate of 10%. Printed books, newspapers and magazines remained at 4%, while electronic books went to 21%. The services produced by individual artists, digital television services and the acquisition of works of art went from a 8% VAT rate to 21%.The services of writers, composers or visual artists, which are linked to copyright, continue to be exempt from VAT.
Measures that deter cultural consumption were met with strong opposition from the cultural sector, already heavily affected by public cuts. The first reduction took place in January 2014, with VAT rates for the acquisition of works of art reduced from 21% to 10%, following constant pressure from the representatives of art galleries in Spain. During the following years, the rest of the cultural industries claimed that the rise in taxation was leading to a big audience crisis. In response to this, the Culture Plan 2020, passed in 2017, introduced as one of its strategies the reduction of indirect taxes to increase cultural consumption. To this end, the government reduced the tickets to live performances (theatre, dance and music) and the cinema from 21% to 10% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The 26/2018 Royal Decree-Law, passed in December 2018, also reduced the VAT rate for the services provided by performers, artists, directors and technicians from 21% to 10%.
There are tax exemptions available for institutions from the "third sector", i.e. foundations and associations considered to be of public interest, international development and aid agencies, and non-profit making bodies falling within the terms of the 49/2002 Act on Tax Exemptions for Non-profit making Organisations and on Sponsorship, later on modified by the 62/2003 Act. This piece of legislation establishes detailed exemptions on national and local taxes, including rates, local duties levied on businesses, and the municipal tax charged on capital gains from the sale of urban property (the latter refers to non-profit making bodies). Individuals and companies can also claim an income tax exemption on the amount of money donated to or invested in certain organisations such as those mentioned above and public administrations.
One of the great challenges and normative projects of the last years is a new Sponsorship Act that promotes greater participation both from individuals and companies in the financing and promotion of culture. Beyond the social debate, governments of the Popular Party included this strategic change in their programmes and it was one of the main objectives of the General Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and the Culture Plan 2020. After several years of drafting a possible Act of Patronage and Sponsorship, during which the lack of coordination with the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration was remarkable, at the end of 2014 the government approved a fiscal reform that included some measures to foster patronage and other fiscal incentives to culture. Those measures were fully implemented in 2016.
More precisely, fiscal benefits for patronage and sponsorship were adopted in the Personal Income Tax (IRPF), and in the Corporation Tax (IS). In the IRPF, the percentages of general fiscal benefits increased from 25% to 30% in 2016. In the IS, the loyalty of private investors was acknowledged with an additional fiscal bonus of 5 points (up to 40% from the ordinary tax rate of 35%) if the contributions to the same beneficiaries increase or remain the same for at least 3 years (for 2016, the bonus was 2.5 points). All those fiscal benefits increased in 5 additional points if the expenditure is done in an activity that is a priority patronage activity, as defined each year in the Act of General State Budget.
For crowdfunding, the Spanish fiscal reform of 2014 established a special regime and defined two tiers for deductions in the Personal Income Tax (IRPF): the first EUR 150 are to receive a deduction of 75%, and the additional contribution a deduction of 30%. For contributors that fund the same beneficiary for three or more years with constant or increasing funding, there is an additional bonus of 5 points (reaching the 35% deduction to be applied to any quantity above EUR 150).
Apart from the fiscal benefits for patronage, the fiscal reform also established some additional benefits for performing arts, music and the audiovisual sector. Performing arts and music enjoyed a 20% deduction in expenditures on production and exhibition of life performances. For the audiovisual sector, there was an increase on deductions of 20% for the first invested million EUR, and 18% for quantities above that threshold (with a limit of three million EUR). In an attempt to attract shooting of films to Spain, there was a new deduction of 15% of the expenditure done in Spain by great foreign productions, with a minimum and a maximum expenditure of 1 and 2.5 million EUR respectively per production. The 26/2018 Royal Decree-Law, passed in December 2018, has improved these conditions: increasing the maximum expenditure from 2.5 to 3 million EUR per production, as well as the deduction from to 15% to 20%.
As a part of general strategy to promote the cinematographic sector, during 2017 deductions increased to 25% for the first invested million EUR and to 20% for the second and third million. Deductions to attract shooting of films to Spain also increased to 20% and the maximum expenditure to 3 million EUR.
During this period in which the central government appeared to be unable to design and pass the patronage and sponsorship national act, several Autonomous Communities took the challenge, and started debating or passing their own acts. Navarre (8/2014 Act) and Valencia (9/2014 Act recently modified by the 20/2018 Act) approved their respective Acts in 2014 and Balearics, in 2015 (3/2015 Act).
In the field of culture, the Historical Heritage Act (16/1985 Act) establishes some exemptions for the temporary importation of certain cultural products, in particular, movable assets that are included in inventories or recognised as being of cultural interest.
Last update: February, 2019
Spain has no specific general labour law covering artists or cultural workers. A new Statute for Artists is being developed by a Commission in the Spanish Parliament. The preliminary report was presented in June 2018.
There are, however, a number of regulations affecting artists as producers of culture. These include labour regulations covering people working in public entertainment. The consolidated text of the Workers Charter passed in 2015 (2/2015 Royal Legislative Decree) contains special provisions for performing artists (Article 2.e), expanded upon in greater detail in a Decree of 1985 (1435/1985 Royal Decree). This Decree establishes a non-exhaustive regulation of the content of labour relations, considering only those aspects that can be treated equally in all artistic sectors and leaving the development of the rights and obligations to collective negotiation between the parties involved in this special relation. At the state level, there are also collective agreements referring to actors and film producers (since 1990), graphic arts and publishing-houses (since 1997), film distributors (since 1997), and audiovisual production. At the level of the Autonomous Communities, collective agreements have been signed in Catalonia, Madrid, Galicia, the Balearics, La Rioja and Navarre.
The 56/2003 Act on Employment (updated in July 2018) is also applicable to artists and cultural creators.
There is also no specific labour legislation for self-employed artists in Spain. There are, however, a few tax provisions available for self-employed artists related to income tax deductions, income averaging, company tax benefits and reduced levels of value-added tax.
Irregular labour situations in the artistic sector are very common, even in the public sector, leading to labour conflicts that have gone to court. For instance, the temporary contracts for the artistic staff of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM) -- which cannot exceed three years (2/2015 Royal Legislative Decree) – don’t match the duration of the artistic projects. This resulted in judicial disputes that ended in April 2018 when a new regulation was passed (Fifth additional disposition of the 2/2018 Royal Decree-Law), adapting the temporary contracts’ duration to the specific artistic projects.
Last update: February, 2019
The social and
economic situation in Spain (especially the challenge of providing more
effective protection to creators, permitting the peaceful dissemination of
their creations by culture industries, and guaranteeing the whole of society's
access to a plural cultural offer) led to the approval of the 23/2006 Act that amends the text of the Intellectual Property Act of 1996 (1/1996 Legislative Decree).
The growing discomfort of artists, authors and publishers over the high rates of Internet piracy led the government, after a broad political and social debate, to the adoption of the 2/2011 Act on Sustainable Economy. It established the amendment of the Act on Services of the Information Society and the Intellectual Property Act. In the first Act, safeguarding intellectual property rights becomes a principle justifying the withdrawal of illegal content or the interruption of certain services provided online. The second Act refers to the Commission on Intellectual Property, under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, as the competent authority in mediation, arbitration and safeguarding intellectual property, whose functioning was regulated by the 1889/2011 Royal Decree. The text enhances negotiated, extrajudicial and voluntary solution for conflicts, as well as protects the rights of both creators and citizens to have a legal, diverse and affordable supply of cultural products.
In order to deal with the most urgent matters, in 2014, a new partial reform was approved by the 21/2014 Act that modifies the refunded text of the Intellectual Property Act, approved by the 1/1996 Legislative Decree Act, and the 1/2000 Act on Civil Procedure. The three main novelties were: new mechanisms for the supervision of copyright management societies; stronger instruments to react against intellectual property right infringements aimed at encouraging the legal supply of cultural contents in the digital environment; and a transitory revision of the concept of private copy.
Moreover, the Act introduces two European Directives into the Spanish legal system: the 2011/77/UE Directive, by which the period of protection of the rights of performers and sound recordings is extended with 20 years (thus, adopting the 70 years limit), and the 2012/28/UE Directive on orphan works that allow certain uses of cultural institutions and public service broadcasting organisations in the European Union. The Act also adapts the limit of citation or reference within the realm of content aggregators on the Internet, recognising the right of publishing companies and the authors of news to be economically compensated by the exploitation of their contents.
Another controversial aspect of the Intellectual Property Act has been, until recently, the establishment of a lump sum payment on analogue, first, and digital support, later, on behalf of rights holders. This fee was intended to compensate authors for private copying of work that had already been disclosed. The heated debate on the Spanish “digital canon” finished in December 2011, when it was abolished by the government (20/2011 Royal Decree Act). A year later, the government adopted the 1657/2012 Royal Decree, which regulates the payment procedure of fair compensation to the rights holders for private copying with a charge to the General State Budget. This system, contrary to the European law, was reformed by the 12/2017 Royal Decree Act that modifies the Intellectual Property Act of 1996 (1/1996 Legislative Decree) by which payment of private copying is the responsibility of the manufacturers and distributors of reproduction equipment. Natural and legal persons who justify the professional destiny of the equipment and media, in addition to public sector entities, are exempt from payment.
Also in matters of copyright and with the aim of introducing the 2001/84/CE Directive into the Spanish legal system, the 3/2008 Act on resale rights for the benefit of the author of an original artwork was passed in December 2008. This Act includes a series of measures that address specific problems: the fight against professional intrusion, the operation of the Internet trade in works of art and the obligation of the Fund for Fine Arts to deliver an annual report on the effectiveness of the Act. More recently, the 624/2014 Royal Decree has developed the right for authors to get paid for lending their works in certain public establishments.
The most recent reform, passed in April 2018 (2/2018 Royal Decree-Law), introduces into the Spanish legal system two European Directives: the 2014/26/UE Directive on collective management of copyright, related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market, and the 2017/1564 Directive that promotes access to culture for people with visual disabilities.
Although copyright legislation is the exclusive domain of the central government, the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia have some local administrative powers to run their own registries under the aegis of the state-run coordinating committee of the central copyright register (Intellectual Property Register).
Last update: February, 2019
Personal data protection is regulated by the 15/1999 Act on Personal Data Protection and the 1720/2007 Royal Decree which develops the Act. Both were partially amended by the 2/2011 Act on a Sustainable Economy and, more recently, by the 5/2018 Royal Decree Law of urgent measures for the adaptation of the Spanish law to the European Union's legislation on data protection (to abide by the decision of May 13th, 2014 by the European Union Court on the so-called "right to be forgotten").
The Spanish Data Protection Agency was created in 1993 to guarantee citizens the right to know who may have access to their personal data and for what purpose and to provide a platform for exercising the rights of access, alteration, cancellation and opposition.
The regional data protection agencies for Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country were created in 1997, 2002 and 2003 respectively, and institutional collaboration now takes place between the General Data Protection Register of the Agency and the regional registers. Regulations concerning data protection have a clear impact on the way cultural services (libraries, museums, theatres, etc.) market themselves to potential users / audiences through the type of data requested for membership or information about activities, etc.
In the opposite sense, in 2013 the Act of transparency, access to public information and good government recognised and guaranteed the access to public information. In 2014, the Spanish government launched a transparency website.
Last update: February, 2019
Attempts to regulate multilingualism in Spain have generated many rules and regulations in the regional government level and on occasion in central government. The cornerstone of the entire structure rests on the 1978 Constitutional dictum (Article 3.1) that Castilian is the official language of the state but that the "other Spanish languages" share the same official status in their respective communities, as stated in their Charters (Article 3.2). This legal construct was designed based on the idea that Spain's linguistic diversity is a manifestation of "wealth" and an item of "cultural heritage" as a value in its entirety. This means that the 1978 Constitution was designed to respect and protect the diversity of the system as a whole, not merely its constituent parts.
The language in the 1978 Constitution and the various regional charters has opened the door to a flood of regional legislation on language, including that of the Basque Country (10/1982 Act), Galicia (3/1983 Act), Valencia (4/1983 Act), Navarre (18/1996 Act), Catalonia (1/1998 Act), Asturias (1/1998 Act) and Aragon (3/2013 Act). However, this has not prevented the central government, in the exercise of its powers, from regulating how the co-official status of regional languages works in such practical spheres as education and schools, access to public services, local administration, the courts, the health authorities and road signs.
These legal provisions and their implementation have generated numerous disputes taken first to the ordinary courts and then to the Constitutional Court which, by its jurisprudence, has slowly established a framework for how two languages co-exist as official. The relevant Constitutional jurisprudence (more than 25 sentences) are the Sentences 82, 83 and 84 of 26 June 1986, passed in response to Bills submitted to the central government on the normalisation of the Basque, Catalan and Galician languages. According to these Sentences, Castilian, as the official language of the country as a whole, cannot be cast as a rival to the regional languages given that both the regional and central governments are equally obliged to respect and protect the multiple languages of Spain.
More recently and due to the Sentence 31/2010 of the Constitutional Court that considers Castilian, together with Catalan, the languages of teaching in Catalonia, a legal battle has initiated around the language model at Catalan schools. Thus, several sentences of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia require compliance with previous rulings of the Supreme Court, which state that Castilian cannot desist from also being a vehicular language in education. This statement opens, therefore, a question about what should be the rate at which Castilian has to be used in the Catalan education system.
In the specific case of the cultural sector, Catalan legislation (Act 1/1998 on Linguistic Policy), for example, establishes language quotas for licensed radio and television broadcasting. In order to promote the composition, performance and production of Catalan music, radio and television broadcasting, companies also have to guarantee that music programmes will provide adequate exposure to songs performed by Catalan artists (which must account for at least 25% of the broadcasted material).
Last update: February, 2019
The issue of gender equality is clearly a major challenge for Spanish society, addressed in the 3/2007 Act for effective equality between women and men. It establishes special recommendations for cultural policy making, in recognising the duty of the authorities to implement the right of equal treatment and opportunities for women and men in all aspects related to the creation, the artistic and intellectual production, and their dissemination. The Act also provides for the implementation of active policies, translated into economic incentives, and for the promotion of balanced participation of men and women in artistic and cultural public offering. In the same vein, the 7/2010 Act on Audiovisual Communication aims to prevent and eliminate gender discrimination in the context of the provisions on advertising and media included in the 1/2004 Act on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence and the 3/2007 Act.
Recently, the Act 14/2011 of Science has recognised the central role of institutions of the current Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in the dissemination of science. This consideration allows them to participate in research projects funded by state funds, which seek to promote scientific activity. The Act also attributes a main role to these agents in "public science communication" and, therefore, in the dissemination of scientific knowledge, a mission that fits with the social vocation of these cultural institutions.
Last update: February, 2019
The Spanish Constitution does not have a special chapter on culture. Articles 44.1, 45 and 46 establish the role of the State in the promotion and protection of the access to culture, in the protection of natural and cultural heritage. There are some other articles related to languages and media.
There is no overall legislation for culture in Spain. The only Act establishing the scope, operation and governing structure is the 817/2018 Royal Decree on the Basic Structure of the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
Table 2: International legal instruments implemented by Spain in the cultural field
|Title of the international legal instrument||Year of adoption|
|Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works||1887 (Spain became Member)|
|Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)||Signed in 1945|
|Universal Copyright Convention||Ratified in 1954|
|Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials||Acceded in 1955|
|European Cultural Convention||Ratified in 1957|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict||Ratified in 1960|
|Convention concerning the international exchange of publications||Ratified in 1963|
|European Agreement on the Protection of Television Broadcasts||Acceded and entry into force in 1971|
|Agreement concerning Programme Exchanges by means of Television Films||Acceded in 1973 and entry into force in 1974|
|Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorised Duplication of Their Phonograms||Ratified in 1974|
|Universal Copyright Convention as revised at Paris on 24 July 1971||Ratified in 1974|
|European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage||Acceded in 1975|
|Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage||Accepted in 1982|
|Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe||Signed in 1985. Ratified and entry into force in 1989.|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property||Ratified in 1986|
|Ibero-American Film Integration Agreement||Signed in 1989 and entry into force in 1991|
|Latin American Film Coproduction Agreement||Signed in 1989 and entry into force in 1992|
|European Convention on Transfrontier Television||Signed in 1989. Ratified and entry into force in 1998.|
|International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations||Acceded in 1991|
|European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages||Signed in 1992. Ratified and entry into force in 2001|
|European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production||Signed in 1994. Ratified in 1996 and entry into force in 1997|
|European Convention relating to Questions on Copyright Law and Neighbouring Rights in the Framework of Transfrontier Broadcasting by Satellite||Signed in 1994|
|WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty||Signed in 1996. Ratified in 2009 and entry into force in 2010|
|European Landscape Convention||Signed in 2000. Ratified in 2007 and entry into force in 2008|
|Convention on Cybercrime||Signed in 2001. Ratified and entry into force in 2010|
|Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage||Signed in 2011. Ratified in 2005 and entry into force in 2009|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage||Ratified in 2006|
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions||Ratified in 2006|
|WIPO Copyright Treaty||Ratified in 2009 and entry into force in 2010|
|Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances||Spain became a Member in 2012|
|Faro Convention||Spain ratified 2018|
Last update: February, 2019
Article 46 of the 1978 Constitution directs the authorities to "guarantee the preservation and to promote the enrichment of the historic, cultural and artistic heritage of the people of Spain and of the assets of which that heritage consists". The text goes beyond "conservation" to include the "enrichment" of cultural heritage. Acting upon this principle, the Parliament approved the Historical Heritage Act of 1985 and later on the 111/1986 Royal Decree of partial development of the Historical Heritage Act (modified by the 162/2002 Royal Decree).
The dual purpose of the 1985 Historical Heritage Act was to ensure compliance by the central government with the 1978 Constitutional mandate and enable the Autonomous Communities to pass their own regional laws on the same subject, as mandated by their own Charters. All Autonomous Communities introduced their own legislation: Basque Country (7/1990 Act and 2/2007 Legislative Decree); Castile-La Mancha (4/1990 Act); Catalonia (9/1993 Act); Galicia (8/1995 Act); Valencian Community (4/1998 Act); Madrid (3/2001 that modifies the 10/1998 Act); Cantabria (11/1998 Act); Balearic Islands (12/1998 Act); Canary Islands (11/2002 Act that modifies the 4/1999 Act); Extremadura (2/1999 Act); Aragon (3/1999 Act); Asturias (1/2011 Act that modifies the 1/2001 Act); Castile-Leon (12/2002 Act); La Rioja (7/2004 Act); Murcia (4/2007 Act); Navarre (14/2007 Act) and Andalusia (14/2007 Act). Currently, some communities have already modified their acts (Castile-La Mancha, 4/2013 Act; Madrid, 3/2013 Act; Galicia, 5/2016 Act, and Valencia, 9/2017 Act) or are in the process (Basque Country, Canarias) of reforming the existing ones in order to adapt them to new times.
These laws follow a more "anthropological" interpretation of cultural heritage, leaving the traditional architectural canons employed in the nineteenth and part of the twentieth centuries behind. The protective system employed by these laws is implemented via a series of administrative measures (listing, prohibitions, fines, conservation orders, bans on sale or export, etc.), combined with incentives, such as the so-called "cultural one per cent", a levy on the cost of all public works which is used to help defray the cost of conservation. Legislation of both the central government and the regional authorities establishes various ways of defining heritage, usually based on two categories. On the one hand, this includes the assets of cultural interest, and on the other hand, those properties included on a general inventory list of national interest. An important element of both the national and regional laws is the link made between cultural heritage Acts and legislation for urban development.
Cultural institutions such as museums and archives are regulated by the 1985 Historical Heritage Act, which gives a brief definition of such bodies and the terms under which they are set up, administered and coordinated, together with how people can use their services. The 1985 Historical Heritage Act is complemented by a series of nationwide enabling regulations governing such matters as specialist arm's length institutions. Only recently, and with the main objective of overcoming an eminently historical perspective in the treatment of public archives, the government has approved the 1708/2011 Royal Decree that establishes the Spanish Archives System and regulates the Archives System of the General Administration of the State and its public organisms, as well as its access regime. The new regulation also seeks to give local authorities management tools sufficiently flexible to permit archival communication within a dynamic framework of inter-administrative cooperation.
The radical changes in the field of cultural heritage in the last 20 years have highlighted the need to reform the 1985 Historical Heritage Act. Different commissions to work on a draft Act on Cultural Heritage have been established in different times in the last 10 years. To this end, in May 2015, the government approved the Act on Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage that aims to provide the central administration with tools to protect manifestations constituting the common intangible cultural heritage in different Autonomous Communities. The new Ministry of Culture and Sport, which took office in June 2018, has already announced his willingness to reform the 1985 Historical Heritage Act.
Also in the field of intangible cultural heritage, and as a result of a popular legislative initiative, the government approved the 18/2013 Act for the Regulation of Bullfighting as Cultural Heritage in 2013. Thus, public authorities must guarantee the preservation of bullfighting and promote its valorisation. The approval of this act, at the national level, took place after the Catalan government, also as a result of a popular legislative initiative, abolished bullfighting in Catalonia.
Regarding natural heritage, in December 2007, the 42/2007 Act on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity was passed with the aim of establishing the legal regime of conservation, sustainable use and improvement of Spanish natural heritage and biodiversity.
As far as regional legislation is concerned, the dominant trend is to approve individual laws for museums and archives independently of national heritage legislation. Regions which have their own museum legislation include: Andalusia (2/1984 Act repealed by the 8/2007 Act), Aragon (7/1986 Act), Catalonia (17/1990 Act), Castile-Leon (10/1994 Act), Murcia (5/1996 Act), Madrid (9/1999 Act), Cantabria (5/2001 Act), Balearic Islands (4/2003 Act); Basque Country (7/2006 Act) and Navarre (10/2009 Act). Regions with their own laws for public archives are: Andalusia (3/1984 Act repealed by the 7/2011 Act, later on modified by the 6/2013 Act), Aragon (6/1986 Act), Canary Islands (3/1990 Act), Murcia (6/1990 Act), Castile-Leon (6/1991 Act modified by the 7/2004 Act), Madrid (4/1993 Act), La Rioja (4/1994 Act), Catalonia (10/2001 Act), Cantabria (3/2002 Act), Castile-La Mancha (19/2002 Act), the Valencian Community (3/2005 Act), Balearic Islands (15/2006 Act), Extremadura (2/2007 Act) and Navarre (12/2007 Act).
Last update: February, 2019
Music and the performing arts comprise a cultural sector that has long been the subject of official sponsorship (funding and intervention) of one sort or another. Responsibility for this support is now held by a self-governing public body set up in 1984 on an arm's-length basis, the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM), whose activities are governed by a Decree issued in 1996. It is responsible for fostering the performing arts and the activities of the following institutions: the Zarzuela Theatre, the National Ballet, the National Dance Company, the National Music Dissemination Centre, the National Concert Hall in Madrid, the Spanish National Orchestra and Choir, the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, the Documentation Centre of Music and Dance, the National Classical Theatre Company, the Centre of Theatre Documentation, the National Drama Centre and the Technological Centre of Performing Arts.
In 2010, the 497/2010 Royal Decree regulated the new structure and functions of the State Council of the Performing Arts and Music and the Sectoral Councils of Music, Dance, Theatre and Circus. With this regulation, the INAEM sought to increase the involvement of the performing arts and music sectors in the analysis of artistic creation in Spain, through an active role in advising the management and production centres. Also with the aim of advising the INAEM, the Artistic Council of the National Music Auditorium (64/2008 Order) was established. This body also provides a major channel for civil society participation in the management of the Auditorium and proposes candidates for the post of Artistic Director of the Auditorium. To complete the package of measures to modernise the INAEM, the Ministry of Culture approved the Code of Good Practices for INAEM (3520/2008 Order). The measures provided for in the Code are based on a series of basic principles of performance, such as the protection, promotion and dissemination at national and international level of music, dance, theatre and circus, and the development and dissemination of culture as a tool for social cohesion and integration. After almost ten years of these reforms, the new Ministry (July 2018) has announced the reform of the INAEM as one of its priorities for the current term.
In the field of artistic creation, the INAEM has promoted the approval of the new statutes of the National Dance Company (CUL/1993/2010 Order), the National Ballet (CUL/3065/2010 Order), the National Classical Theatre Company (CUL/3355/2010 Order), the Zarzuela Theatre (CUL/451/2011 Order), the National Drama Centre (CUL/2039/2011 Order) and the National Music Dissemination Centre (CUL/3359/2011 Order). All represent a profound change in the performing arts and music sectors, as well as their adaptation to the 497/2010 Royal Decree.
The Autonomous Communities also pursue policies designed to foster music and theatre. They include the 2/1998 Valencian Act of Music aimed at the promotion, protection, coordination, and dissemination of music in Valencia, which led to the creation of the Valencian Institute, and the 4/2008 Act that created the Galician Agency of Cultural Industries, which replaced the former Galician Institute of Performing Arts and Music.
Last update: February, 2019
The Historical Heritage Act of 1985 (16/1985 Act) introduced two significant means of supporting the visual arts. One was handing over artworks to the Treasury in lieu of taxes, a form of taxpaying which has since gained some popularity. Although regional cultural institutions did not initially benefit from this measure, the same system of tax collection is being slowly introduced at the regional and municipal levels. The second measure is the so-called "cultural one per cent", a reference to the one per cent of all public works budgets to be paid to the state to finance the conservation and enhancement of the country's heritage or to "foster artistic creativity". So far, however, the bulk of this money has been spent on the heritage and very little on artistic creation. With the aim of giving further impetus to the preservation and enrichment of historical heritage, in October 2013, the Ministry of Development decided to expand the contribution to the scheme from 1% to 1.5%.
Last update: February, 2019
Libraries are regulated by the 1985 Historical Heritage Act, which gives a brief definition of these bodies and the terms under which they are set up, administered and coordinated, together with indications on how people can use their services. The 1985 Historical Heritage Act is complemented by a series of nationwide regulations governing such matters as specialist arm's length institutions, with specific details on, for example, state-owned libraries and how books are to be loaned. With the objective of providing the National Library of Spain with the financial autonomy and the capacity to generate revenues that other national institutions enjoyed, the 1/2015 Act which regulates its functioning was approved and later on, in December 2016, its new statute (640/2016 Royal Decree).
As far as regional legislation is concerned, the dominant trend is to approve individual laws for libraries independently of national heritage legislation. The Communities with their own library laws are: Andalusia (8/1983 Act repealed by the 16/2003 Act), the Valencian Community (10/1986 Act annulled by the 4/2011 Act), Aragon (8/1986 Act repealed by the 7/2015 Act), Castile-Leon (9/1989 Act), Castile-La Mancha (1/1989 Act repealed by the 3/2011 Act), Galicia (14/1989 Act repealed by the 5/2012 Act), Madrid (10/1989 Act), La Rioja (Act 4/1990 Act), Murcia (7/1990 Act), Catalonia (4/1993 Act), Extremadura (6/1997 Act), Cantabria (3/2001 Act), Navarre (32/2002), Balearic Islands (19/2006 Act) and Basque Country (11/2007 Act).
Book publishing had been the subject of a specific piece of legislation in 1975, the so-called Book Act. Among other things, it introduced the fixed book price. This was partly relaxed in 1998, when booksellers were entitled to offer a discount of as much as 12% on the official retail price of primary and secondary schoolbooks and related teaching aids. In 2000, all price controls on schoolbooks were lifted. This double system of fixing book prices and making schoolbooks free of charge was included in the Act for Reading, Books and Libraries, which passed in June 2007. Besides the establishment of this double system of prices, the Act, which replaced all previous regulations, created a Reading and Book Observatory and included royalties for library loans, following the rules of the European Union. The aims of the Act are threefold: to promote reading, to defend cultural diversity in order to provide mechanisms which guarantee a plural supply of publishing companies and bookshops, and to adapt the book concept to changes facilitated by new technological changes.
Subsequently, Royal Decree 2063/2008 adapted the ISBN rules to the new concept of books established in the 10/2007 Act. For the first time, this Decree enabled editors, through their associations and appropriate agreement with the Ministry of Culture, to make an ISBN allocation by adopting the management model used in almost all European countries. More recently, the government approved the 23/2011 Legal Deposit Act aimed to adapt the current legislation to the reality of the State of autonomies, the emergence of new media, as well as to the changes in the publishing sector.
Some Autonomous Communities also have their own laws for books and reading. This is the case in Madrid (5/1999 Act), Valencia (3/2002 Act), Galicia (17/2006 Act) and Castile-La Mancha (3/2011 Act).
Last update: February, 2019
A new Cinema Act was produced at the end of 2007 (Act 55/2007) with the aims of promoting and developing the production, distribution and exhibition of cinematographic and audiovisual works. This Act establishes the conditions that favour creation, dissemination and implementing measures for the preservation of film and audiovisual heritage - all within the context of the defence and promotion of cultural identity and diversity.
The Act also introduced the integration of cinematography in the audiovisual sector, considering cinematography as a whole with its specificities. Film and audiovisual production are devised as the core content of television and this is an important element for disseminating, promoting and financing the cinema industry.
The dynamic nature of the sector, its permanent adaptation to technological and social changes and the need to adapt its economic dimension to the market rules have led to recent legal changes in some of the fundamental aspects that were regulated in the original wording of the Act 55/2007. In particular, two modifications are noteworthy. The first, introduced by the 18/2014 Act, guarantees the unity of the market, following the exigencies of the 20/2013 Act. The second, most recent, represented by the 6/2015 Royal Decree-Law, adapts the system of subsidies for the film sector, included in the 2062/2008 Royal Decree, to the “Communication from the Commission on State aid for films and other audiovisual works”.
Subsequently, the 1084/2015 Royal Decree, that repealed the previous 2062/2008 Royal Decree, develops some of the legislative changes introduced and improves some technical and procedural aspects which required their modernization to increase their effectiveness. More recently, and with the participation of the sector, the Orderthat develops the system of subsidies for the film audiovisual sector (CUD/769/2018)has been passed.
At the organisational level, central government cultural policy on film is the responsibility of the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), a body set up in 1984 and governed by a Decree passed in 1997. Some of the regions have adopted legislation of their own designed to encourage the film industry. This is the case in Catalonia (20/2010 Act), which has a law governing the film and audiovisual industry in terms of production, distribution, marketing, promotion, international dissemination and exhibition of films and audiovisual material besides regulating aspects related to the preservation of film heritage. The Catalan Linguistic Policy Act of 1998, for its part, sets out measures designed to promote Catalan-language films, and provides the possibility for the regional government to introduce screen and distribution quotas to ensure such films are exhibited to the public. To the same end, the Galician Audiovisual Act was passed in 1999 (6/1999 Act) and the Galician Audiovisual Consortium was created. The Valencian community has also its own Audiovisual Act (1/2006 Act) and the "Ricardo Muñoz Suay" Valencian Audiovisual and Cinema Institute (58/1998 Act), today integrated in CulturArts Generalitat (5/2013 Decree modified by the 124/2016 Decree). In 2000, the Andalusian government adopted a programme to encourage and protect the audiovisual arts and created the Andalusian Audiovisual Council (52/2000 Decree). In 2011, as a result of the economic crisis and the need to rationalise public administration, the 15/2011 Act abolished the Navarre Audiovisual Council that was created by the 18/2001 Act on audiovisual activities in Navarre. More recently, the Balearic Islands have passed the 5/2013 Act aimed at promoting the audiovisual sector in its community.
With a broader spectrum, which includes the media, Catalonia and Andalusia have their Audiovisual Councils (the Catalan Audiovisual Council is regulated by the 2/2000 Act and the Andalusian Audiovisual Council by the 1/2004 Act), which seek to encourage and protect the audiovisual arts. More recently, the Balearic Islands have created the Balearic Audiovisual Council (2/2010 Act) and the 9/2011 Act on Public Media of Galicia foresees the creation of the Galician Audiovisual Council.
Regarding the mass media, in 1980, the Radio and Television Statute (4/1980 Act) was passed, which defined the fundamental role of the State Radio and Television networks and the presence of Spanish Television with its two channels. Legislation passed in 1983 (46/1983 Third Channel Act), allowed the Autonomous Communities to set up their own publicly funded radio and television broadcasting operations. Later on, in 1988, through the 10/1988 Private Television Act, the audiovisual spectrum was opened up to private initiatives with a basically commercial aim.
With respect to the organisation of state media, under the State Radio and Television Act (17/2006 Act), the RTVE public institution was replaced by the RTVE Corporation, a state corporation with special autonomy. The new Act aimed, on the one hand, to provide a legal framework for public radio and television that guarantees their independence, neutrality and objectivity, and establishes organisational structures and a model of funding that enables them to carry out their mission as a public service.
On the other hand, it aimed to reinforce the role of the Parliament and foresaw the supervision of the Corporation's activity by an independent audiovisual authority. The Corporation must promote territorial cohesion and Spain's linguistic and cultural diversity; broadcast international radio and TV channels that disseminate the languages and cultures of Spain in other countries; support the social integration of minorities and cater for social groups with specific needs; promote knowledge of the arts, science, history and culture; and produce audiovisual digital and multimedia material in the languages of Spain, as a contribution to the development of Spanish and European culture industries.
In order to ensure a more effective and efficient functioning of the Board of Directors of the RTVE Corporation, in April 2012, the Parliament approved a modification of the RTVE Corporation's Regime (15/2012 Royal Decree-Law), included in the 17/2006 Act. In addition to introducing some changes in the composition and the appointment of its members, the new regulation removed the fixed compensation of the members of the Board, with the exception of its President. In 2017, the 5/2017 Act amended the 17/2006 Act to regain the independence of the RTVE Corporation and the pluralism in the parliamentary election of its organ. The lack of regulatory development has led to the approval, urgently and with a temporary character, of a legal regime applicable to the appointment of the Board of Directors and its president (4/2018 Royal Decree-Law).
In March 2010, a General Act on Audiovisual Communication (7/2010 Act) was approved in order to satisfy a longstanding demand of the audiovisual sector and consumers. The Act regulates the state audiovisual media and establishes the basic rules in this field, summarising the current regulations still in force, updating those aspects which have changed and regulating new situations lacking legal framework. The main points of the Act are, on the one hand, the recognition and guarantee of the citizens' rights to receive audiovisual communication that reflects cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 5), which implies the protection of the European and Spanish works in their various languages.
To this end, television service providers shall reserve at least 51% of their annual broadcasting time for European works, and at least 50% of these works shall be in any of the Spanish languages. On the other hand, it obliges television service providers to allocate at least 5% (if the provider is private) or 6% (if the provider is public) of the total revenue obtained in the previous financial year to pre-financing the production of European feature films and shorts, television films, films by new producers, experimental films, documentaries, pilot programmes and animation series.
Finally, another relevant aspect of the Act was the creation of the State Commission of Audiovisual Media (CEMA), an independent authority, with regulatory and sanctioning powers over content in the audiovisual sector under state competence. In 2013, the CEMA was integrated in the National Commission of Markets and Competition, the regulatory affairs institution of the national government.
With the aim of making the management of media in the Autonomous Communities more flexible, the Popular government approved the 6/2012 Act that modifies the General Act on Audiovisual Communication (7/2010 Act). According to the crisis influenced austerity policies, the new act also introduced changes in the financing of autonomous media corporations, prohibiting public bodies from the possibility of going into debt, so that any deficit generated should be incorporated in next year's budget as a reduction of the available capital.
Last update: February, 2019
The Spanish legislation considers that property rights are to be protected by legislation and by other actions. These are not only exploitation rights, but also moral ones. The main bodies involved are the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Ministry of Culture.
The legal protection of design is included in the Spanish industrial property protection. There are four types of industrial property right, each of them protecting different content:
- Industrial designs (protecting the external appearance of products), which is regulated by Law 20/2003 (July 7th) on the Legal Protection of Industrial Design.
- Trademarks and trade names - distinctive signs (protecting graphic and/or denominative combinations), which is regulated by Law 21/2001 (December 7th) on Trademarks. The new Trademarks Act (in accordance with the Royal Decree Law 23/2018) came into force in January 2019. This legal reform wanted to adapt the Spanish regulations to the Directive of the European Union.
- Patents and utility model (protecting inventions consisting of products and procedures susceptible to reproduction and reiteration), which is regulated by Law 24/2015 (July 24th) on Invention Patents.
- Semiconductor topographies (protecting the pathways making up an integrated circuit), which is regulated by Law 11/1988 (May 3rd) on the Legal Protection of the Topographies of Semiconductor Products.
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office supervises the procedure and the protection granted by intellectual property rights across the country. The Strategic Plan 2017-2020 for Industrial Property recognises the importance of design and intellectual property within the knowledge economy and claims that intangible assets are to be a competitive factor for Spanish firms. The Plan proposes 27 measures to enhance the differentiation and economic return of the Spanish productive system based in the protection of intellectual property. The Plan was framed within the Strategy Europe 2020 for a new and sustainable economic model. The Plan involves the industry, commerce, education, promotion, training, research, justice and foreign affairs departments. The Office also promotes and collects educational and research initiatives for secondary and higher education students and for the industry.
There is an Intersectoral Commission in charge of acting against activities that violate intellectual property rights. The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Fiscal Affairs are responsible for prosecuting these cases. The Fiscal Agency (AT) reported that during 2017 the Department of Customs and Special Taxes intervened EU 3.1 million of counterfeits and fake products. If they would have reached the marked, the value would be around EU 60 million (an estimated 24 million in jewellery, 12 million in watches, 6 million in clothes and 4 million in sports shoes).
The European Union Intellectual Property Office is located in Alicante (Spain).