Questions & Answers

Basic question

Why do I have to pay SUISA to use videos on websites and social media?

To use music on a website - in videos for example - you have to acquire the rights from the authors, performers and producers of the music. This is done by obtaining a licence for the use of music. As the cooperative society for authors, lyricists and publishers of music, SUISA represents their rights and issues the licences.

 

How much does it cost to use music videos on websites and social media?

We apply a flat fee of CHF 344 per year, plus VAT, regardless the number of videos you use. The performing rights are licensed by Audion GmbH; thanks to its cooperation with Audion, SUISA can offer its customers all the rights from a single source.

 

Why do I need rights from SUISA and Audion GmbH? 

If you take music from a sound recording to use in a video, you need both a licence for the authors' rights (composition and lyrics) and a licence for neighbouring rights (the rights of the performers and the record producer or label). You can obtain the authors' rights from SUISA and the neighbouring rights from Audion GmbH.

 

How many videos does the flat fee cover?

The flat fee covers an unlimited number of videos.

 

Does the annual flat fee cover all videos? 

No. It mainly covers image videos, tutorials, presentations, etc. for own websites and social media profiles.  

The flat fee does not cover any of the following (the rights for these videos have to be obtained separately, see https://www.suisa.ch/en/customers/online/video/videos-and-films-with-music-on-the-internet.html): 

• advertising videos 

• videos with a production budget of more than CHF 15,000 

• videos with a total playback time exceeding 10 minutes

• music videos   

• videos only used in the framework of an event

 

What if I only use commissioned music?

If you only use commissioned music, that involves several issues at once; we suggest you obtain clarification from our customer desk. To do so, contact smevideo@suisa.ch.

 

As a private individual, do I also have to pay for the use of videos? And can I also apply for flat-fee coverage? 

Yes. Private individuals also have to pay to use videos on websites which they make publicly accessible and which, therefore, do not qualify as private use. You can choose to pay by annual invoice like a small business, or on a per video basis as you have so far, depending on which solution is more advantageous for you.   

 

 

In the past....

In the past, I applied separately for each individual video. Do I still have to do that if I pay the annual flat fee?

No. The annual flat fee covers all the videos on your websites and social media platforms, so separate applications are no longer necessary (for exceptions, see the section "Basic question" in these FAQs).

 

In the past, I already licensed a few videos from you. Can the fees I have already paid for these individually licensed videos be offset against the annual flat fee so that I don't have to pay twice?

You do not have to pay again for any videos you have already licensed. The normal flat fee covers all the new videos you put together and make available.

 

I have had videos with music on my websites for years and have never paid anything for them. What about those years? 

Invoices are for one year from the invoice date. The rightholders can also ask us to collect the fees for earlier years, or you can settle with them directly. 

 

 

Social Media

My video has been blocked on social media. What do I have to do to have it unblocked?

You have to follow the instructions of the relevant social media platform.  

 

If my video is blocked on social media and can no longer be viewed, am I entitled to a refund of the fees paid?

Yes, provided that all the videos have been blocked on all social media platforms and are not available anywhere else online.

 

Can my videos be blocked on social media even if I have paid the annual fee? 

Music rightholders (labels, publishers, performers and authors) can in certain cases demand that a video be removed, or have it blocked (e.g. if the synchronisation rights have not been obtained).

Music rights

 

How can I acquire the synchronisation rights?

You should apply directly to the author or publisher. You will find information about rightholders at: https://www.suisa.ch/en/services/works-database/works-database-search-for-works.html 

 

Is there any way to acquire all the music rights only from you? 

Yes, if you use what is know as "mood music" https://www.suisa.ch/en/customers/mood-music.html  we can license all the rights worldwide to you. 

 

I only use music that is not subject to royalties in my videos (royalty-free music). Do I still have to pay a fee to SUISA? 

You use this type of music at your own risk. You must check the GTCs of the provider to ensure that all rights are covered. SUISA cannot give you a general release from claims. If you notify us of the authors of the musical works you use, we can establish (for a cost contribution fee) whether SUISA or a foreign copyright society is entitled to claim royalties.       

 

What musical rights are not covered by the annual flat fee?

  • authors' rights: synchronisation rights. These are managed directly by the authors or publishers. 
  • neighbouring rights: the right to make a video available on social media. These rights are generally negotiated directly between the holder of the neighbouring rights and the social media platforms. 

 

 

Territory

Is you flat fee offer valid worldwide? 

Yes if the video was produced in Switzerland and the website (and social media presence) primarily addresses the Swiss and Liechtenstein public. If, in exceptional cases, our licence is not recognised abroad although all these conditions are satisfied, we will refund the fees paid.   

 

 

Cash flows

What happens to the fees I pay?

The fees are passed on to the rightholders (musicians, producers, publishers) after deduction of a 15% commission.

 

Will I automatically receive a new invoice every year?

Yes. Invoices are issued automatically every year.

 

 

Take down

I have deleted all my videos with music. Could I still be asked for back payments? 

Yes. You must expect to be charged back payments for your past music usage. SUISA may demand back payments on behalf of the rightholders. Alternatively, the rightholders may contact you directly to assert their claims for back royalties. 

 

I only removed my videos after I received your invoice. Do I still have to pay the invoice?

Yes, because in any event the music use took place. Clearly, however, you will not be invoiced for subsequent years.

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