Spanish collective society fined for making clandestine wedding video

By EDRi · December 17, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The Spanish General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) has been fined for
having placed a private detective in a restaurant in Seville, in 2005, to
film a wedding in order to prove that the restaurant was using music for
which it had paid no royalties.

The court in Seville where the action was heard found that the video
presented by SGAE as proof against the restaurant was inadmissible because
it was “a clear violation of the constitutional rights to a person’s own
image” and it was in breach of the privacy of the couple because it had been
taken clandestinely. The law requires the “unequivocal consent of the
affected person” in the treatment of his (her) personal data.

The society was given a 60 101 euro fine, imposed by the Spanish Data
Protection Agency.

The case has brought up the fact that using private detectives to
clandestinely check weddings in search of copyright infringements is a
common practice for SGAE. “Using private detectives to investigate fraud is
common. We will carry on doing it” said Pedro Farre, SGAE Director.
Concerning the fact that its detectives acted clandestinely he stated:
“There are times when in order to protect the legal good such type of proofs
are necessary”.

The court also decided that the detective had breached the law of private
safety which forbids this type of professionals to use in their
investigations “technical means that may infringe the right to honour,
intimacy and the right to one’s own image”. Although SGAE argued that it did
not specify to the detective what means to use in his investigation and that
filming does not imply the generation of a personal data file, the court
decision considered the video as belonging to the personal data category.
According to the law, personal data is “all numerical, alphabetical,
graphic, photographic, acoustic or any other type of information susceptible
of being collected, processed or transmitted referring to an identified or
identifiable natural person” as was the case of the wedded couple.

The restaurant was however fined 43 179 euro for having used music without
paying copyright fees on the basis of other proofs.

Farré declared that the Society was going to consider whether to appeal the

Secret wedding video ruling is music to ears of privacy groups (15.12.2008)

SGAE will have to pay 60.101 for recording a wedding without
authorization(only in Spanish, 8.12.2008)

SGAE will have to pay a 60.000 euros fine for recording a wedding without
permission (only in Spanish, 7.12.2008)