an overview of media and entertainment law in Spain

all the questions


In 2021, the health crisis caused by COVID-19 continues to have a major impact on new technologies and the media and entertainment industry in Spain. The epidemic, which first forced us to stay at home and then restricted our movements and our contacts, has strengthened communication in our country. As a result, this year continued the trend of increasing digital communications that began in 2020.

The pandemic has shown that Spain has one of the best telecommunications networks in Europe. This has also been recognized by the European Commission: in its 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index, Spain emerges as one of the best in the deployment of high-capacity networks, as well as in the adoption of ultra-fast broadband connections (at least 100 mbps).

New technologies in particular have played a very important role in the health sector throughout the pandemic. In this sense, Spain has launched several digital measures to deal with the coronavirus crisis, with the aim of guaranteeing the provision of connectivity and electronic communications services. Furthermore, there are many situations in which technologies are applied to fight the coronavirus and stop its spread, and the legal system has had to respond to relevant challenges on issues such as data protection and privacy. Cybersecurity is also essential to respond to attacks such as those devastating public health systems, and artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of big data help analyze and understand the behavior of the virus and the evolution of pandemic, as well as monitoring movements and tracking outbreaks using apps and global GPS (GPS) combined with data processing and predictive modeling. Needless to say, remote work and distance education for students has also been essential this year.

On the other hand, the suspension of sports competitions due to the Corona virus crisis has given rise to numerous disputes over the implementation of agreements related to the broadcasting, advertising and sponsorship of sports events between different parties. stakeholders in 2020 due to not being able to get the economy. The results and performance initially expected from these agreements, and are still ongoing. In turn, contractual disputes over the presence or absence of difficulties or force majeureor the need to modify the terms of these agreements in accordance with eve rebus Principle, currently underway in Spain.

In addition, it must also be recognized that the pandemic has caused a serious crisis in the audiovisual industry, since filming and productions have been canceled following the application of the measures adopted by the Government to deal with the health crisis. Despite this, there has been some upturn in activity in the audiovisual sector in recent months and we hope that normal levels of activity will soon be reached. In addition, it is very likely that the digitalization imposed in practice on all sectors of our economy will further reinforce the trend of explosive growth that the media and entertainment industry in Spain has already experienced in recent years, therefore This trend rising is expected to continue in the coming years.

Legal and regulatory framework

The Spanish legal system does not regulate media and entertainment in a single law, which could probably help in terms of regulation and efficiency. The industry is organized according to various sets of industry standards that deal with its various branches and activities. This regulatory framework is made up of a large body of laws, royal decrees and regulations of limited scope, all governed in general by the Spanish Constitution, and in particular by those provisions that refer to the exercise and guarantee of the essential . Rights (information, honour, privacy, etc.) and other freedoms (such as freedom of enterprise or the facilitation of the proper use of free time by public administration). This regulatory system complies with the international treaties signed by Spain and the relevant regulations of the European Union.

In this context, Article 20 of the Constitution recognizes the fundamental rights of all citizens to freedom of expression, freedom of literary, artistic, scientific and technical creation, the right to academic freedom and freedom of the press. The exercise of these rights cannot be restricted by any type of prior censorship and, in general, can only be restricted in very exceptional cases, such as states of alert, emergency and siege. Similarly, Article 5 of Article 20 establishes that the confiscation of publications, recordings and other materials can only be executed by a court order. However, the exercise of these rights must be consistent and respectful of other rights, such as the right to protection of honor, privacy and image of the person, and must respect the protection of young people. and childhood.

In addition to the Constitution, there are several laws of particular importance in the media and entertainment sector, among others:

  1. Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, of April 12, 1996, which approves the Intellectual Property Law (Intellectual Property Law);
  2. Law No. 34/2002 of July 11, 2002 on services of the information society and electronic commerce, which transmits European Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 2000;
  3. Law No. 7/1998 of April 13, 1998 on general procurement conditions;
  4. Public Law No. 7/2010 of March 31, 2010, on Audiovisual Communications (General Law on Audiovisual Communication);
  5. Law No. 9/2014 of 9 May 2014 on communications;
  6. Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, on the protection of personal data and the guarantee of digital rights, which incorporates and develops the provisions and principles of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union;
  7. Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of 16 November 2007, approving the consolidated text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users;
  8. Law No. 3/1991 of 10 January 1991 on Unfair Competition (Unfair Competition Law);
  9. Public Law No. 34/1988 of 11 November 1988 on Advertising (Law on Public Advertising);
  10. Law No. 14/1966 of March 18, 1966 on the press and printing press;
  11. Organic Law 1/1982, of May 5, 1982, on the Civil Protection of the Right to Honour, to Personal and Family Relations and to the Image of the Person; And the
  12. Organic Law No. 2/1984 of March 26, 1984 on the right of rectification.

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