Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Soria, Carlos. ""El monopolio de información extranjera"". Persona y Derecho, 5 (1978) : 309-359.
1. The present paper draws attention to an important question concerning
Information Law: the granting of an adequate juridical regime -through the
application of just criteria relating to information- in the case of the diffusing
activity of foreign agencies operating on national soil. More precisely, the
author examines the monopoly with regard to foreign information which is
contemplated in Article 49 of the Spanish Ley de Prensa e Imprenta of 1966,
still in force today. The study of the antecedents in relation to the elaboration
of the legal precept praves, without a shadow of a doubt, that the configuration
of the monopoly was, aboye all, a political decision and not so much a
2. The most important problem related to the monopoly is to be found
in the determination of its object. The author undertakes this task in agreement
with two separate criteria: with regard to the source and with reqard to the
subject matter. In this manner, the conclusion is reached that the object of
the monopoly is limited by boundaries from the starting point of the technical
notion of news in its most restricted meaning whenever the news bears a
strong measure of foreign creation.
3. The monopoly, according to the author, is conceived within the Ley de
Prensa as a power that genuinely pertains to the State. This fact situates the
Public Administration in the position of holding titular rights over the distribution
on national soil of any news stemming from foreign sources; this power
as exercised by the Public Administration can either be reserved or delegated
to others. According to the manner in which the monopoly presents itself, the
Public Administration disposes of the faculty to choose either formula; in
any case, if the delegation of exercise ceases for any reason, the right
reverts wholly to the Administration.
4. In order to justify the monopoly, two types of reasons have usually
been put forth. Some derive from the concept of the so-called -informative
sovereignty», others from the principie of nationality which in relation with
the previous concepts informs the entire Spanish law regulating the press. The
author examines the scope and consistency of these fundaments from the
critical perspective offered by either the supranational freedom of information
or the doctrine of the right to information. He then arrives at the conclusion
-among other points- that informative sovereignty does not correspond to
the State as organizatiun but rather to the State as community. Nor can it be
understood as a feudal power over information, nor as a constituent source
of the rights which correspond to individuals within the field of information.
Neither can it be understood as the title holding of an exclusive and excluding
right with the maximum faculties of disposal.
of the State to set up guidelines and to ordain the matter within an adequate