Revision to copyright law
The revision to copyright law is aimed at better exploiting the opportunities presented by the digital age while at the same time combating internat piracy more effectively.
Copyright protects the authors of literary and artistic works. It is the way in which an idea is expressed that is protected, not the idea or concept itself. Copyright protection therefore applies to the form of the work and not its content. For example, Einstein’s essay “The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity" in the “Annals of Physics” is protected by copyright. The theory of relativity itself, however, may be freely used, just not with the same words as in Einstein’s original text.
According to copyright law, works are intellectual creations in the field of art and literature. These include, in particular:
Copyright does not protect ideas, achievements, concepts or instructions – even if they are individual. Laws, ordinances and other official texts as well as decisions, protocols and reports by authorities are also not protected, insofar as they do not concern the legal position of citizens. Methods of payment, patent specifications and published patent applications are likewise not protected.
Along with creators of works, copyright law also protects other categories of cultural providers that enable the enjoyment of works such as actors, musicians, music and film producers, radio and television programmes. However, these rights are not as extensive as those of creators.
In principle, every legal system is a national system. The Swiss Copyright Act protects authors and other categories of cultural intermediaries in Switzerland only. International protection is regulated by international agreements.
Collective management organisations collectively administrate the rights of copyright owners, in particular where it is not possible for individual rights owners to manage their copyright or if it would be impractical to do so (for example, for photocopying, using works for educational purposes etc.).
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