Consequences of Shakira's New Song: Right to Honour

Shakira's new song has reached 100 million plays on YouTube in less than 72 hours. The song is full of allusions to her ex-partner and current partner, Clara Chía.

Phrases like: "I'm worth 2 out of 22", "you traded a Rolex for a Casio", "you traded a Ferrari for a Twingo". And the more direct ones like "Sal-pique" and "clara-mente".

According to the singer, she is not committing any offence against the honour of the former Barcelona player.

But would Shakira have been guilty of libel against Piqué?

The song makes blatant allusions to intimate aspects of her relationship with Piqué and their former cohabitation. Allusions that could be degrading to the person concerned.

Thus, according to the definition of insult in Art. 208 of the Penal Code:

An insult is any action or expression that injures the dignity of another person, undermining their reputation or damaging their self-esteem.

Only insults which, by their nature, effects and circumstances, are regarded in the public mind as serious, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 173(4), shall constitute an offence.

Insults consisting in the imputation of facts shall not be considered serious, except when they have been committed with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth.

Analysing the article, it appears that the action would consist of an "expression", which violates the right to honour of the person to whom the allusions are addressed. Such allusions must be offensive, taking into account social appropriateness, context and circumstances. Likewise, the offence contains a subjective type, therefore it will be necessary that the author of the insult makes the statements with the purpose of insulting or offending.

Although the lyrics of the song could be offensive to Piqué and his new girlfriend, they are not vexatious. It is a lyric based on mere innuendo, therefore it would not fall under criminal law.

In fact, Shakira makes it clear in the song why she writes it, which is to earn money: "women don't cry any more, women make money". So she draws on her own experiences. Therefore, on the basis of creative freedom, she would be protected under the right to freedom of expression.

However, according to Organic Law 1/1982, of 5 May, on the civil protection of the right to honour, personal and family privacy and one's own image, article 7.3 of this law defines as unlawful interference the disclosure of facts relating to the private life of a person or family that affect their reputation.

It should be borne in mind that we are dealing with two people with a high degree of public and social interest, whose intimate life could give way to rights such as the right to information.

Therefore, there are several possibilities for the former football player, who seems, for the moment, to have taken the song with humour and is not going to take any legal action to assert his rights to honour, image and dignity.

What about the brands mentioned in the song?

In this case, four brands are compared, Rolex with Casio and Ferrari with Twingo, and in these cases the brands that lose out in terms of reputation are Casio and Twingo. However, the marketing teams of both brands were able to seize the opportunity.

Brands cannot control what is said about them, but despite this, the creative teams, from both brands, joined in with the memes, garnering positive and supportive comments.

In cases such as those mentioned above, reputation management, crisis management and digital marketing are fundamental, as a crisis/pollemic can arise at any moment and change the paradigm of the situation in seconds. So in many cases, having a crisis action plan helps to be forewarned.

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