Parliamentary deliberation

    
  

The Council of States addresses the outstanding differences

Following the Council of States’ consultation on 12 September 2019, the final difference remains:

 

  • With 31 votes to 9 (with three abstentions), the Council of States voted against the exception introduced by the National Council for television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes. They propose that these institutions should continue to pay copyright remuneration for the dissemination of TV and radio programmes in their guest rooms, patient rooms or cells. The Council of States thus maintains its position and follows the draft of the Federal Council.

 

The outstanding difference will undergo a third reading and is expected to be discussed by the National Council on 16 September 2019.

  

  

The National Council addresses the outstanding differences

Following the consultation of the National Council on the draft of the revised Copyright Act on 10 September 2019, only one of the three remaining differences (see entry below on the meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council on 4 July 2019) is now outstanding:

 

  • With 108 votes to 68 (with 12 abstentions), the National Council follows its Committee and adheres to the exception for television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes.

 

The National Council voted unanimously, with 184 votes to 1 (and three abstentions), to accept committee postulate 19.3956 “Copyright remuneration. The legal situation and practice of SUISA”. This mandates the Federal Council to report on the legal obligation to pay remuneration for the use of music and films on business premises, in telephone queue systems etc., as well as the collection practices of the responsible collective rights management organisation (SUISA).

  

  

The Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council (LAC-N) addresses the remaining differences

On 4 July 2019, the Committee considered the three outstanding differences:

  • It supports, without reservation, the decision of the Council of States to introduce a music reservation in the video on demand regulation.
  • It also supports a regulation for library tariff benefits, thereby following the position adopted by the Council of States. A minority would like to additionally specify in the law that there is no obligation to pay remuneration for lending copies of works.
  • With 16 votes to 8, the LAC-N adheres to its proposed exception for television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes. A minority share the same view as the Council of States and object to this exception. They underline the risk of Switzerland being faced with a dispute settlement procedure due to its international obligations.


The Committee voted unanimously (with three abstentions) to submit postulate 19.3956. This mandates the Federal Council to examine the legal situation regarding employers’ obligation to pay remuneration in connection with the consumption of music by employees in shared offices and service vehicles. It also issues a mandate to analyse the practice of the responsible collective rights management organisation (SUISA) and the courts in this respect.

The National Council will discuss the three differences in the 2019 autumn session.

  

  

Approval of two agreements of the World Intellectual Property Organization

In the final vote on 21 June 2019, both chambers of parliament unanimously approved the two agreements of the World Intellectual Property Organization. In doing so, they gave the green light for Switzerland to ratify the agreements, which the Federal Council will undertake after the referendum period has expired.

  

  

Bill considered a second time by the Council of States Science, Education and Culture Committee

The Council of States Science, Education and Culture Committee (SECC-S) considered the draft of the revised Copyright Act for the second time on 29 April 2019. It chose not to pursue its requests on entitlement to remuneration for journalists and on related rights for publishers. However, it did recommend that the Federal Council examine the effectiveness of the revision with regard to copyright law developments within the EU. This examination should include and pay special attention to the experiences of press publishers concerning the recently adopted related rights within the EU. The SECC-S made this request with postulate 19.3421 “Revision of the Copyright Act. Review of its effectiveness” (in German, French and Italian only).

 

In addition, the SECC-S made the following requests and proposed the following amendments:

 

  • Public and publicly accessible libraries should be able to take advantage of tariff benefits in line with schools.
  • Video on demand regulation: here, the SECC-S has kept to its earlier decision. This means that in contrast to the rights of other authors and performers, remuneration for music in films on streaming platforms should not necessarily be regulated collectively (music reservation).
  • Television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes should not be free of remuneration. The SECC-S adheres here to the Federal Council’s draft act.

 

The Council of States’s detailed consideration will take place in the 2019 summer session.

  

  

Council of States approves bill introduction but refers it back to the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the Council of States

The Council of States unanimously approved the introduction of the bill on 12 March 2019. However, it referred the draft back to the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the Council of States (SECC-S) for in-depth deliberation. The Council of States' detailed consideration is expected to take place in the 2019 summer session.

  

  

Bill adopted by the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the Council of States

The Science, Education and Culture Committee of the Council of States (SECC-S) adopted the bill on 12 February 2019 in the vote on the text in its entirety with 12 votes and one abstention. At the same time, the SECC-S also requested the Council of States’ approval of two World Intellectual Property Organization agreements and their implementation.

 

Like the National Council, the SECC-S has also largely kept to the Federal Council’s draft act, but has submitted requests and amendments concerning the following topics:

 

  • Lending right: the law should confirm that non-profit institutions (e.g. libraries) that are purely cost covering are not obliged to pay remuneration.
  • Video on demand regulation: remuneration for music in films on streaming platforms should not necessarily be regulated collectively, in contrast to the rights of other authors and performers.
  • Entitlement to remuneration for journalists: those who operate online communication platforms should owe additional remuneration to authors in addition to remuneration for the exclusive right to make their journalistic works available.
  • Related rights for media companies: media companies should have the exclusive right to make available their media products and parts thereof that are not protected by copyright for a period of ten years, in contrast to commercial providers of electronic works.
  • Television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes: the SECC-S accepts the National Council’s proposal with regard to expanding the personal use exception to television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes. However, it proposes different wording.
  

  

Approval of the National Council

The National Council unanimously accepted the draft of the Copyright Act with no abstentions in the vote on the text in its entirety on 14 December 2018. It also gave its consent to two World Intellectual Property Organization agreements and their implementation.  The first agreement improves the position of actors at international level, while the second agreement improves access to art and literature by people with disabilities. The National Council closely followed the Federal Council's draft and decided on only two amendments:

 

  • On television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes: watching television and listening to the radio in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes should be included under the personal use exception.
  • On exceptions for people with disabilities: the exceptions for people with disabilities should not only apply to those people who cannot perceive or can only perceive works with their senses under difficult circumstances, but also those who are dependent on specific formats to be able to perceive them.
  

  

Legal Affairs Commission of the National Council adopts draft

On 25-26 October 2018, the Committee for Legal Affairs adopted the draft in the vote on the text in its entirety with 21 to 0 votes and one abstention. In its detailed considerations, the committee remained close to the draft of the Federal Council. It has proposed the following amendments:

 

  • The protection of non-individual photographs; the committee supported the protection of photographs without individual character. However, it does not want to provide protection under copyright but under related rights. The scope of protection should not be changed as a result.
  • Time-shifted television; the committee wants broadcasting organisations to be able to negotiate directly with cable companies on the possibility of skipping over advertisements in time-shifted television.
  • Television and radio consumption in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes; watching television and listening to the radio in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons and holiday homes should be included under the personal use exception.
  • Exceptions for people with disabilities; the exceptions for people with disabilities should not only apply to those people who cannot perceive or can only perceive works with their senses under difficult circumstances, but also those who are dependent on specific formats to be able to perceive them.

 

With the adoption of the draft, the committee is also requesting the National Council’s approval on two World Intellectual Property Organization agreements and their implementation.

  
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