How can I defend myself against rights infringement?

As the owner of the copyright and related rights, you can demand that your rights are respected in civil or criminal proceedings. In both cases, the competent court decides whether your rights have been infringed or not. It is generally advisable to seek dialogue with the opposing party before going to court. It may be possible to come to an agreement and avoid the effort and expense of court proceedings.


In cases of copyright infringement on the internet, it is generally sufficient to notify the hosting provider that the content made available by one of their customers is illegal. The hosting provider will then take the necessary steps in accordance with the Hosting Code of Conduct. According to the Code of Conduct, the notice sent to the hosting provider must include the following:


(a) name and address of the sender;

(b) an explanation of why the sender is particularly affected (excluding offences prosecuted ex officio);

(c) the URL of the offending web page or subpage;

(d) a precise description of the alleged illegal content and

(e) the reason why the content is illegal.



If your rights are infringed on the internet, you usually do not know exactly who is behind the infringement. You may record the IP address linked to the infringement and submit this to the criminal justice authority as part of a criminal complaint. The provisions of the Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP) and the Recommendations of the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) (in German) must also be observed. The criminal authorities decide on how to proceed and can identify the holder of the IP address.



We recommend discussing the circumstances and the next steps with an attorney who specialises in copyright law. You can search for attorneys on the website of the Swiss Bar Association or the Democratic Jurists of Switzerland, for example.