The exceptions are limitations to the exclusive right of the creator to exploit his or her work in favour of social interest.
The Act allows the following non-authorised uses of copyrighted works, without excluding that, in some cases, the author must be remunerated for such exploitation acts:
1. Non-authorised copying: Published works may be copied without the author’s permission in the following events:
- Due to, or for the records of, a judicial, administrative or parliamentary procedure.
- Where an individual makes a copy for his or her own private use of a work he or she has accessed in a legal way, provided the copy is not used for profit or used collectively.
- Where a copy is made for the benefit of a disabled person, provided such copying is not for profit, bears direct relation to the disability in issue, is conducted by a process or in a medium appropriate to the disability and is limited to what the disability requires.
2. Quotation and illustration in teaching: The inclusion in one’s own work of fragments of the work of another person does not require the permission of the author of the quoted or reviewed work, if all the following conditions are met:
- the included fragment is taken from a published work;
- the fragment is included as a quotation or for the purpose of review, analysis, comment or critical judgment;
- the fragment is included for teaching or research purposes;
- the source and author of the work thus used are named.
Periodical compilations of fragments of works by others made in the form of press reviews or features are treated as quotations. However, where a compilation is made of journalistic articles chiefly consisting of mere reproduction and such activity is carried out for commercial purposes, any author not expressly opposing such activity shall be entitled to fair remuneration. If the author expressly opposes such use, the activity shall not be treated as being allowed by this exception.
Authorial permission shall not be required by teachers of government-regulated education to copy, circulate and publicly disclose small fragments of works or of single works of figurative imagery or photography, excluding textbooks and university handbooks, wherever such acts are done solely to illustrate their teaching activity in class, to the extent justified by the non-commercial purpose thus pursued, provided such works are published works and the author and the source are named, unless such naming is unfeasible.
The above paragraph does not cover copying, circulation or public disclosure of compilations or sets of fragments of works or of single works of figurative imagery or photography.
3. Works on current affairs: Works and articles on current affairs released by the mass media may be copied, circulated and publicly disclosed by other mass media without authorial permission, provided the source and author are named, wherever the original work appeared under an author byline. Such copying may not be conducted if the original article includes a statement of reserved rights.
4. Use of databases: A lawful user of a disclosed database or of a copy thereof may, without the database author’s permission, perform all acts necessary to access the database content in the following events:
- Copying for private purposes of a non-electronic database.
- Use for illustrative purposes in education or academic research, provided there is no commercial aim and the source is named.
- Use for the purposes of public safety or for an administrative or judicial procedure.
5. Use of works for news items and use of works sited in public thoroughfares: The permission of the author of a copyrighted work is not required to copy, circulate or publicly disclose such work if it can be seen or heard in a news item.
Such use must be justified by the informational purpose at issue. Authorial permission is not required to copy, circulate or freely disclose works permanently sited in any public thoroughfare by means of paintings, drawings, photographs and audiovisual processes.
6. Cable, satellite and technical recordings: The copyright holder’s permission is not required to:
- Broadcast a copyrighted work by cable if the broadcaster is authorised for wireless broadcast of the work and cable broadcast is conducted fully and simultaneously without exceeding the permitted territorial scope.
- Send a work to a satellite, provided the broadcaster and the receiver are authorised to broadcast the work in their respective territories.
- Record a work, if done by a radio broadcaster authorised to broadcast the work and the purpose of such copying (recording) is later broadcast in a single act.
7. Copying and borrowing of and reference to works using specialised terminals in certain establishments: The copyright holder’s permission is not required to copy a work if the copy is made without economical profit at a museum, library or sound, newspaper or other archive under public ownership or that forms part of a cultural or academic body, provided such reproduction is made for research or conservation purposes only.
The copyright holder’s permission is not required and no remuneration is payable for loans of works at a museum, archive, library, sound, newspaper or film archive under public ownership or that forms part of a cultural, scientific or educational public-interest non-profit body, or of a teaching institution within the Spanish educational system.
Authorial permission is not required for disclosure of works or the making available of works to specific members of the public for research purposes when conducted using a closed, internal network over specialised terminals installed for the purpose in the premises of the establishments mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, provided such works are in the collections of the establishment itself and are not subject to conditions of purchase and licence. The foregoing is without prejudice to the author’s right to fair remuneration.
8. Official and religious ceremonies: The performance of musical works at official events of government bodies and at religious ceremonies does not require prior authority from the copyright holders, provided the following conditions are met:
- the audience may attend the event freely;
- the executants are not paid specific remuneration for that performance or execution of the work.
9. Parody: The permission of the author of a published work is not required for a parody of the work if that parody:
- involves no risk of it being confused with the original work;
- does not cause harm to the original work; and
- does not cause harm to the author of the original work.