Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism

Highly-acclaimed Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte has coughed up more than €200,000 in damages after he was found guilty of copying a movie script.

Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism
Pérez-Reverte labelled the court’s ruling as an “ambush” and a means of “extortion to get money out of me after ten years.” Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

The writer and academic, hugely popular in the Spanish-speaking world for his Alatriste novels, was first accused back in 2003 of stealing scriptwriter Antonio González-Vigil’s screenplay “Gitano”, Gypsy in English.

Pérez-Reverte, a native of the south-eastern Spanish province of Murcia, has put an end to a decade-long court saga by paying up to the tune of €212,529 for his alleged plagiarism.

“The Provincial High Court of Madrid has ignored two mercantile court sentences and five on the part of Spain’s Society of Authors and Publishers, SGAE, which found me not guilty,” he told national daily El Mundo on Tuesday.

Pérez-Reverte labelled the court’s ruling as an “ambush” and a means of “extortion to get money out of me after ten years.”

The former war correspondent told national daily ABC that scriptwriter González-Vigil has been “threatening and harassing me since 2010.”

The initial fine agreed upon in 2011 was €80,000, but according to Pérez-Reverte, “given the current state of affairs” González-Vigil put pressure on the Provincial High Court to raise the sum for economic and moral damages.

Gitano was shot in 2000, starring flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés and French model Laetitia Casta.

The film, which deals with the confrontation between two gypsy clans, is given a 3.8 by movie site IMDB. 

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What’s on in Spain: July 2015

From bull running to beach festivals, The Local rounds up some of the best events in Spain this July.

What's on in Spain: July 2015
Benicassim takes place from July 16th - 19th. Photo: Jose Jordan/AFP


Merida International Festival of Classical Theatre (Teatro Romano, Merida) July 1st-August 27th

For a whole two months, classical theatre performances will run at Merida’s stunningly preserved Ancient Roman theatre, the Teatro Romano. 


Veranos de la Villa (summer in the city) (Madrid) From July 3rd

Film, theatre, music and dance share equal prominence in Madrid’s festival of culture that spans some of the city’s best venues, including the Teatro Circo Price and Matadero Madrid. The festival runs from July 3rd until the end of August and will see performances from the likes of Ara Malikian and Silvia Perez Cruz.

Cordoba Guitar Festival (Cordoba) July 1st-12th

This international festival celebrates every aspect of the instrument, running classes on historical playing styles such as flamenco and medieval, and even guitar making. An extensive programme of concerts incorporates blues, jazz and folk performances by talented musicians from around the world. 

FIB – Festival Internacional de Benicassim (Benicassim, Valencia) July 16th-19th

An ever-popular fixture on the international festival circuit dubbed 'Glastonbury in the sun', FIB takes place in the Valenciano seaside resort of Benicassim. This year’s headliners include The Prodigy, Blur, Portishead and Crystal Fighters. 

Photo: Ignacio Brotons/Flickr

Low Festival, Benidorm (Benidorm) July 24th-26th

The “low” of this festival’s name refers to low cost, with a standard three day ticket setting music fans back a mere €49. Top of the bill this year are Kasabian, The Libertines and Foals.

San Fermin (Pamplona) July 6th-14th

As much a Spanish institution as tapas, flamenco and paella is bull running, and the San Fermin running of the bulls in Pamplona is by far the biggest event of its kind in Spain, thanks to being made world famous by Ernest Hemingway. The festival runs from the 6th-14th July. Anyone can take part in the 8am 'encierros' as long as they’re over eighteen and sober. 

Photo: Ville Miettinen/Flickr

Rapa das Bestas (shearing of the beasts) (Pontevedra, Galicia) July 3rd-7th

Every year, hundreds of wild horses are captured from the mountains surrounding Pontevedra in Galicia to have their manes and tails cut by “horse fighters” before being released back into the hills, in a traditional local festival dating back 400 years. This being Spain there is a party attached to the haircut with music and merrymaking.

Madrid Pride July 1st-5th

Parties, live street performances and a colossal parade take over Madrid between 1st and 5th July in one of the biggest and best gay pride events in Europe.


Red Bull X-Fighters Tour (Madrid) July 10th

A chance to see some death-defying stunts as motorcross riders from around the world descend on Madrid’s La Ventas bullring for the freestyle motorcross championships.

By Rory Jones