SUISA set up the Complaints Committee to process complaints. The Complaints Committee handles complaints from principals and members of SUISA, as well as from foreign sister societies. It is a separate body of SUISA anchored in SUISA’s Articles of Association (Article 9.5)
The Complaints Committee comprises two members of the Board of Directors and two further qualified professionals, who cannot be members of SUISA, along with the Head of SUISA’s Legal Department as its Chair. The members of the Complaints Committee are all elected by the General Meeting.
Requirement for a complaint
In principle, a complaint can be filed in any area that concerns the relationship between SUISA and a principal, a member, or a foreign sister society. As a prerequisite, the complaint must be examined in-house by SUISA: first, by the staff members who were originally approached with matter; then, if the matter is not handled to the member’s satisfaction, by the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee rejects the complaint or does not examine it, the complainant then has three months to file the complaint with the Complaints Committee. For complaints against the rejection of an application for membership, the time limit is two months (Article 5.3 of the Articles of Association).
Complaints are excluded in the following cases in particular:
- Complaints concerning the content of SUISA’s Articles of Association, Rights Administration Agreement, or Distribution Rules. Complaints may not be filed for the purpose of amending these documents.
- Disputes between rightholders over the protected rights in a work, authorship of, or participation in a work, or about the infringement of a work’s copyright by another work.
- Matters concerning authors’ and publishers’ pension benefits.
- Matters concerning Fondation SUISA.
For particulars, please see the Reglement der Beschwerdekommission (rules of procedure of the Complaints Committee, in German and French only).
How to file a complaint
If the Executive Committee has rejected the complaint or failed to consider it, a complaint may be filed with the Complaints Committee within three months. Complaints must be submitted in written form in German or French to SUISA’s postal address or by email to email@example.com. They must include a request (what you wish to achieve with your complaint) and a justification (why you wish to achieve this).
The Complaints Committee will then consider the matter. As part of the process, the Committee may invite you to a personal hearing with a view to reaching agreement.
If no agreement can be reached, the Complaints Committee will decide on the complaint. The Committee will deliver a substantiated decision in writing. If the complaint is entirely or partially rejected, the complainant will be informed of the available options for pursuing their complaint.
The complaints procedure is usually free.