General Law of Libraries (LGB) and the legal interpretations of the resolution by the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), related to the “amparos” under review file numbers 132/2022 and 164/2022.
July 11, 2022
On June 23, 2022, two reports were released to the general public, detailed below:
The first report comment states that the Supreme Court of Justice set limits to the General Law of Libraries with the purpose that public libraries will not be able to put works and productions for public consultation, without the prior authorization of the copyright holders.
The SCJ studied the merits of the first two cases concerning the “amparos” promoted by more than 80 producers and authors of content regarding the LGB, after which two sentences by district judges were confirmed, in which it was said that the depository libraries must always respect the Federal Copyright Law (LFDA).
The SCJ in the two sentences established that the LGB is not unconstitutional because it establishes that its articles must be applied in accordance with the applicable legal provisions within which the LFDA is found. When the SCJ establishes the above, there is no unconstitutionality since the law itself indicates that the LFDA is applicable.
The SCJ determined that there is no conflict because the articles of the LGB must be applied following what is established by the LFDA, which is in harmony with various international treaties that Mexico has signed so that in the case of an antinomy between the LGB with the LFDA, the second will prevail.
We consider that the language that must be used in the reform of the LGB is: “it must be applied in accordance with the applicable legal provisions”, this includes the LFDA, which is the reasoning of the SCJ to conclude that there is no unconstitutionality in the law.
In the second report, it is commented that the Court determined that the General Law of Libraries does not violate copyright.
The SCJ determined that the requirement by the LGB of publishers to deliver copies of all their editions and productions for consultation and preservation does not violate copyright, because its purpose is to preserve cultural heritage as an objective of public interest.
Unanimously, the SCJ refused to protect the book companies called “Para Imaginar” and “Alternativa Representa”, who challenged the statute that came into force in June 2021 and ordered newspapers, magazines, and book publishers, phonograms, and audiovisuals, to deliver free copies of their publications.
We consider that the content of the second report is unrelated to the legal truth of the interpretation of what resulted in the two sentences of the SCJ about the two “amparos”.
We conclude that an “amparo” was not necessary in the terms that were proposed since everything was redundant and obvious, that is, that the LGB already recognized the application of other laws, about deposits, which included the LFDA. The LGB is constitutional because it does not go against copyright.
It is important to mention that our firm filed and won an “amparo” for a client, establishing in the respective sentence, among other things, that the delivery obligation for the legal deposit should NOT be fulfilled since the LGB did not expressly establish that the LFDA was applicable and until the LGB was reformed expressly establishing the respect for the LFDA by the LGB, it would be unconstitutional. In fact, the proposal to reform the LGB establishes the express application of the LFDA.
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Luis Schmidt joined OLIVARES in 1991, became a partner in 1995, and has almost 40 years of legal experience, with a specialization in copyright in the business of entertainment and culture. He has represented the world’s leading companies in the music, film, television, book publishing, fine art, design, folklore, and software.