Renegotiating the concert tariff: back to basics

Of all the tariffs that SUISA is currently negotiating, Common Tariff K occupies a special place. In this article, we take stock of the ongoing negotiations. 

SUISA’s objective is to simplify the tariff, for smaller events in particular, in order to save administration costs and facilitate access to music. Since concert organisers are pursuing much the same goal, solutions geared to simplification should be within reach. Matters are more complicated, however, because the associations involved in the negotiations are challenging certain basic principles of copyright and tariff law.

The law is crystal clear on one key point: remuneration must be determined firstly by taking into account the proceeds obtained from the use of the work (Article 60 CopA). With regard to concerts, it is common knowledge that ticket prices have risen steeply in recent years, and with them the turnover realised by concert organisers. These companies point out, however, that this trend is due to the increase in the costs they have to carry and not to any improvement in their profit margin. Moreover, they argue that since composition work has not changed in recent years, there is no reason for it to be valued any higher.

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(Photo: Tabea Hüberli & Dirk Hoogendoorn)