Revised copyright law approved after nine years

Parliament passed the revised Copyright Act in its final vote on 27 September 2019. Now, after nine years’ work, it finally comes into effect. Swisscopyright is glad that the law reflects the compromise of the copyright working group (AGUR 12). The revised Copyright Act means that authors, performers, publishers and producers can profit from digitalisation. Action is still required regarding the transfer of value for internet platforms.

Swisscopyright, the association of the five Swiss collecting societies ProLitteris, SSA, SUISA, SUISSIMAGE and SWISSPERFORM, is pleased that parliament largely followed the AGUR compromise presented by the Federal Council. Parliament rightly rejected initiatives that were submitted later which would have unfairly disadvantaged artists. 

The compromise was developed in a process involving representatives of various interest groups over a number of years. The object of the Federal Council was to update copyright law to reflect the internet age. The new law means that authors, performers, publishers and producers can profit from digitalisation. 

Need for improvement regarding transfer of value

However, Swisscopyright points to the main problem that digitalisation presents to authors, which has still not been solved: copyright-protected works are now being published via internet platforms to a greater degree than ever before in the form of videos, texts, images and music files. This added value is financing a powerful internet industry thanks to revenue from advertising and usage data. But today’s artists and content producers are not part of the value creation chain.

With transfer of value being adjusted in EU copyright law to the benefit of artists, this is a conversation we need to have in Switzerland as well. The claims to remuneration for video-on-demand usage included in the new Copyright Act are an important step, but they are not enough. The authors and performers must have a larger stake in the value creation of online platforms. Swisscopyright will be advocating for this in the next legislative period. 

Photo: Parlamentsdienste 3003 Bern