Monitoring office
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Monitoring Office for Technological Measures

Technological measures are measures designed to prevent users from accessing digital content without authorisation or to copy it without permission. At the same time, such measures can prevent lawful uses.

An independent office for monitoring how technological measures are affecting the lawful use of works and whether public interests are being impacted has been established with the partial amendment of the Copyright Act, which goes into effect 1 July 2008. In addition, the office will act as an intermediary between those who apply technological measures and user and consumer groups and help as needed in finding partnership solutions. The establishment of the monitoring office is based on Article 39b of the Copyright Act and Articles 16e-g of the Copyright Ordinance (available in GermanFrench and Italian).

Monitoring the effects of technological measures will not include assessing whether they restrict or prevent a lawful use but rather, much more, whether they impact the objective being followed by putting an exception into place. To illustrate this point:

The law allows uses of works in the private sphere and the making of private copies. The legislator created this exception to protect the private sphere not so that private persons can copy without limits. Copyright should not create an incentive for rights holders to try to control the private behavior of users and consumers. At first glance, copy protection seems to compromise the statutory license for private copies; however, it is not necessarily in contradiction with the objective being followed by this license because it is not an intrusion into the private sphere. The monitoring office can only help the impacted party when the private sphere has been intruded upon.

Monitoring Office for Technological Measures (OTM) website (available in German, French and Italian)

Last modified:09.01.2014 12:30