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Another Spanish Decision Involving CC licenses


As Andres from our CC Scotland team has already blogged, there has been another court case in Spain involving the use of CC licensed music. For those keeping track, there has already been a similar case decided earlier this year.

In the earlier case, the main Spanish collecting society — Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (“SGAE”) — sued Ricardo Andrés Utrera Fernández, the owner of Metropol, a disco bar located in Badajoz alleging that he had failed to pay SGAE’s license fee for the public performance of music managed by the collecting society. On February 17th, 2006, the Lower Court number six of Badajoz, a city in Extremadura, Spain, rejected the collecting society’s claims because the owner of the bar questioned the validity of the assertion by the SGAE that it represented the music played in his bar. The decision (in Spanish) is available here. An English translation of this earlier decision is available here.
In this latest case, a similar argument by a different bar owner was not successful. The case was brought in Poentevedra, Galicia. The judge ruled that the SGAE proved that music from its repertoire was performed in the bar. A copy of the decision (in Spanish) is available here. For those whose Spanish is not up to the task, we will post an English translation shortly.
One comment by the judge in this latest case is intriguing and warrants further investigation; the judge said (loosely translated) of the defendant’s attempt to prove he was playing CC-licensed music:

“…it is worth noting that the document alleged by the defendant-appellant in concept of free-music end user license represent only an informative piece of paper without any kind of signature, thus not representing any legally valuable act.”

We are working to determine what kind of documentation the defendant introduced, whether it was just a Commons Deed or the actual Legal Code, in order to properly assess the implications of this decision.

Posted 13 December 2006