Partial amendment
Copyright>Partial amendment

On-demand right now for performers, producers and broadcasters as well

'On-demand right’ refers to the right of making a work available to the public over a communication network, such as the internet. This right, which until now was granted solely to authors, has now been extended to performing artists, producers and broadcasters. The right allows rights holders to protect themselves against unlawful uses of their creative achievements via a network.

Infringement of the on-demand right can be punished with a custodial sentence of up to five years and a monetary fine of up to CHF 1,080,00.00.

Improved protection for performing artists

Folkloric performances are now protected even when no ‘work’ in the copyright sense is being presented (for example, flag twirling).
The performer's moral rights have also been brought closer into alignment with those for authors. They now have the right to claim to be identified as the performer of the performance. Many artists are often involved in a performance (e.g., actors in a film). In case of conflict, all performing artists have needed to file a joint complaint up until now, which made enforcing rights nearly impossible. The new regulation is closer to practice and offers a remedy.

Technical measures and rights information

Technical measures and rights information newly protected

Technological measures are technologies, devices or components designed to prevent users from accessing digital content without authorization or to copy it without permission (e.g., copy protection on audio CD’s). Such technological measures are now protected. Whoever circumvents them — unless it is to serve an authorized use — or assists in circumventing, for instance, by selling "circumvention software", is liable to prosecution.

Rights information is digital information which gives details about the rights holder and the authorized uses. This is also protected and may not be removed or modified.

Technological measures will be monitored

Technological measures are for preventing unauthorized uses — at the same time, they can also prevent lawful uses. For this reason, the application of technological measures will to be monitored. The monitoring office established for this purpose has two goals:

  • To monitor the effects of technological measures on the exceptions and limitations to copyrights, i.e., on the legal applications for users, such as the use of a work in a school classroom.
  • To promote a partnership solution between users/consumer groups and those who employ technological measures.

Further information on the monitoring office.

Private use of works

Whoever downloads digital content, such as an online technical journal, is generally creating a copy for private use. However, making a copy is only limitedly permissible outside of the personal sphere. The new paragraph 3bis of Article 19 of the Copyright Act enables institutions of education, businesses, public administration, libraries, etc., to use digital content without coming into conflict with the requirements for private use.
Copying for private use is permitted, but only if an appropriate remuneration is paid (e.g., blank recording media levy). The new legislation assures that e-commerce consumers are not unjustifiably charged double or even multiple levies.

New copyright exceptions and limitations

The Copyright Act permits a series of uses of protected works which are in the public interest (e.g., the use of content by handicapped persons or in schools and businesses) or it stipulates that exercising certain rights must be under collective rights management. Such statutory licenses, respectively, compulsory collective management, are referred to as “limitations and exceptions to copyright”.

The partial amendment revises the regulation of exceptions and limitations and with that, is adapted to technological developments:

  • Broadcasters play an important role as intermediaries of works. The partial amendment enables them to make their archives as well as current broadcasts available over the internet in the general interest of access to culture. Significant rights needed for doing so are now under compulsory collective management. Broadcasters no longer need to negotiate with each right holder individually, which lowers costs, they can also publish broadcasts even if the rights owner is unknown or his whereabouts unknown.
  • Publicly accessible archives, such as museums or libraries, also make an important contribution to the accessibility of culture. They too may apply to the collecting societies when the rights holder is unknown or his whereabouts are unknown when using their archives. The new regulation for archival copies also takes into account that digital media is clearly less durable than conventional media such as books. Archives may now create not just one, but all copies needed to preserve the archive and, with that, better meet their mandate to preserve and make culture accessible.
  • Copyright allows the reproduction of protected works only with the permission of the rights holder. This approach is no longer appropriate for a digital environment where copying is oftentimes incidental and has no independent significance. Such copies are now allowed. This greatly reduces the liability risk for internet service providers and assures a functioning communication environment. This exception is considered so important that the EU Infosoc Directive (copyright in the information society) declares it compulsory.
  • Handicapped people depend on works being made available to them in a form they can perceive (e.g. books on tape for blind people). In practice, requests to rights holders for permission to produce their works in a perceivable form remain, unfortunately, often unanswered. The law now allows copies to be made specifically for people with handicaps — in return for remuneration to the rights holder.
Last modified:10.06.2011 16:26


Copyright debate website

Copyright debate website

This website has been created for the purpose of shaping public opinion as part of the partial amendment of the Copyright Act which went into force July 1, 2008. It will no longer be updated.