In what must be an embarrassing outcome for Warner Brothers, TorrentFreak are reporting that the Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that the Warner Brothers theme park failed to compensate artists for playing their music over a 6 year period. The ruling means that Warner’s theme park must now pay compensation of €321,450 (NZ$532,206.88).
Coming up with this sort of cash is never going to be a pleasant experience. This said, the staunchly anti-piracy advocates at Warner’s must be feeling more than a little sheepish.
The amusement park, “Parque Warner” opened outside of Madrid in 2002. It was managed by Six Flags. Time Warner took a 5% interest. When Six Flags sold in 2004, Time Warner took over the running of the park and renamed it Parque Warner.
You’ve got to wonder if Warner’s lawyers must’ve forgotten to send the “don't infringe copyright” memo to Parque Warner’s management team, who the Spanish commercial, provincial and supreme courts say haven't paid any royalties.
Instead of an “oops my bad” response, Warner’s, were so obstructive that the Association of Management of Intellectual Rights and the Association of Artists and Performers had to pool resources to file a lawsuit to force Parque Warner to pay for recordings played without permission.
The Spanish commercial Court of Madrid ruled in favour of Association of Management of Intellectual Rights and the Association of Artists and Performers, but Warner chose to fight the ruling and appealed the case. The legal teams moved to the Provincial Court of Madrid who also ruled in favour of the artists. Parque Warner again appealed to the Spanish Supreme Court. Considering their strong stance on piracy and copyright infringement, this isn't a good look good for Warner’s.
The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the decision of the Provincial Court, ordering Parque Warner to pay up €321,450 to the Association of Management of Intellectual Rights and the Association of Artists and Performers. Warner now has no further legal options but to pay up.