News. Legal Notice

Figueres, 27 June 2016

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling of 20 June 2016 and the news appearing in the press, which has led to some confusion, the Dalí Foundation wishes to clarify the following:

  • This ruling has been issued as part of legal proceedings brought by the Dalí Foundation comprising claims of various types regarding the infringement of copyright, trademark rights, image rights and unfair competition perpetrated by the company Faber Gótic and its administrator, Javier Bofill, in a permanent exhibition of works by Salvador Dalí located in Barcelona. All such claims were admitted and resolved in favour of the Dalí Foundation except for the claim against infringement of image rights of Salvador Dalí, which is the only one which was subject to an appeal in cassation and which has now been ruled on by the Supreme Court.
  • The ruling of the Supreme Court merely addresses the legitimacy of the Foundation in regard to image rights regulated by Organic Law 1/1982 on protection of the right to honour, privacy and personal image, which only refers to the constitutional aspect of this right and - therefore - only affects those uses of the image of a person which are denigrating thereto. The ruling does not consider the economic aspect of this right - its commercial or advertising exploitation - as this falls beyond the purview of the Organic Law.
  • The Dalí Foundation, therefore, has not been deprived of any legitimacy with regard to the commercial and advertising exploitation of the image rights of Salvador Dalí. The Supreme Court ruling only points out that, when faced with an action which undermines or harms the image of the artist (denigrating him in a manner which is not in line with his conduct when alive), and provided it does not involve the commercial or advertising exploitation thereof, the Dalí Foundation shall not be able to act in its own defence.  
  • The Supreme Court ruling implies that, when faced with an action of this type which harms or denigrates the image of the artist, the Foundation may not act in its own defence, legal action in this case pertaining instead to the public prosecution.

The Dalí Foundation wishes to reiterate the following:

  • The Dalí Foundation has neither been deprived of legitimacy with regard to the commercial and advertising exploitation of the image rights of Salvador Dalí nor has its management thereof been limited in any way; it continues to be the only entity that is authorised to grant licences for commercial or publicity use of the work and image of the Master, a task which has been entrusted to the Dalí Foundation by delegation of the Ministry of Culture. 
  • The Supreme Court ruling does not affect in any way the final and firm court rulings declaring that Mr. Javier Bofill and his company Faber Gótic, S.L. do not hold exhibition rights regarding the works in the so-called "Clot Collection" (the source of most of the pieces displayed until recently in the Reial Cercle Artístic of Barcelona) and may not use the name or the image of Salvador Dalí for commercial purposes (for instance: when naming an exhibition or a museum).
  • The Dalí Foundation was created by Salvador Dalí in 1983 to promote, foster, explain, give prestige, protect and defend the artistic, cultural and intellectual oeuvre of the painter. It is the exclusive assignor of the rights of intellectual property, industrial property and image of Salvador Dalí as assigned thereto by the Spanish State, the artist's universal heir. This assignment was carried out pursuant to the Ministerial Order CUL/2911/2011 of 10 October, which renewed the previous orders of 19 January 2004, 25 July 1995 and January 2001, as well as to the rights assignment agreement of 14 November 2011, whereby the Ministry of Culture exclusively granted to the Dalí Foundation the power over the administration and exploitation of the image rights, intellectual and industrial property rights, trademarks, patents and other intangible rights arising from the artistic work and the figure of Salvador Dalí.

For more information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Department of the Dalí Foundation: Isabella Kleinjung