Copyright Registration in Spain

In Spain, is there a centralized copyright agency, you might wonder? The answer is yes, there is. The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) is the public body responsible for the registration of intellectual property rights. The OEPM provides services related to intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, but does not directly oversee copyright registration.

What about a system for copyright registration? While Spain doesn't have a compulsory copyright registration system, it's possible to voluntarily register creative works with the Intellectual Property Registry. The application process is relatively simple and can be completed online. The fees for registration vary based on the specific work, but generally, they are affordable.

Even though copyright registration is not obligatory, it's highly recommended. So, you ask, what happens if you don't register? Essentially, nothing; copyright protection is automatic upon the creation of a work. However, having your work registered can be beneficial as it establishes a public record, which can be extremely useful in case of a copyright dispute.


In Spain, there is no legal requirement for a copyright notice. Nonetheless, the use of such notices is common as it informs the public of the copyright holder's assertion of rights. Failure to use a copyright notice does not forfeit copyright protection.

Spain also does not require copyright deposit. However, the absence of a deposit might make enforcing your copyright a tad trickier in the case of infringement. Remember, having proof of your work's existence and your ownership can be very helpful in a dispute.

Failure to register a copyrighted work does not lead to any legal consequence, but it might put you in a disadvantaged position if your rights are infringed.


The relevant legislation pertaining to copyright in Spain is the Intellectual Property Law (TRLPI). The Spanish Copyright Society (SGAE) is the primary body that enforces these laws, ensuring creators receive the royalties and recognition they are due.

Interestingly, Spanish copyright law does address the digital exploitation of works. With the advent of the digital age, it became necessary to add provisions protecting the rights of authors and artists in the online sphere.

Yes, Spanish copyright laws do have extraterritorial application to deal with foreign-owned or foreign-operated websites that infringe copyright. This means that Spain can take action against copyright infringement even if it occurs outside of its borders.


In Spain, the creator of a work is the original owner of the copyright. However, copyright ownership can be transferred in certain circumstances. If a work is made by an employee in the course of their employment, the employer may own the copyright, depending on the specific terms of the employment contract.

Copyright works made by independent contractors can be owned by the hiring party, provided it is stipulated in the contract. Co-ownership of a copyrighted work is also permissible under Spanish law.

Copyright rights can be transferred and licensed, but the procedures and rules for doing so are intricate and often require legal advice to navigate.

International Aspects

Spain is a member of various international copyright conventions, including the Berne Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These agreements obligate Spain to respect the copyrights of works from other member countries, and vice versa.

In Spain, one of the current copyright trends is the ongoing debate about "link tax" laws, which affect how online content aggregators use and pay for copyrighted content. Additionally, like many countries worldwide, Spain grapples with the complex issue of copyright enforcement in the digital age, as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

In conclusion, while copyright registration in Spain is not mandatory, it’s a highly recommended step for any creator to assert and protect their intellectual property rights. Spain's adherence to international conventions further bolsters copyright protection within the country, ensuring creators' works are protected both domestically and internationally.