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Complaints and arbitration

Complaints Committee

SUISA has created its own body, the Complaints Committee (Article 9.5 of SUISA’s Articles of Association), to handle complaints from principals and members of SUISA, as well as from foreign sister societies.


The Complaints Committee comprises two members of the Board of Directors and two further qualified professionals, who must not be members of SUISA, along with the Head of SUISA’s Legal Department as its Chair. All the members of the Committee are elected by the General Meeting.

Requirements for a complaint

In principle, a complaint can be filed in any area that concerns the relationship between SUISA and a principal, member or foreign sister society. However, the complaint must first have been examined by SUISA’s responsible department and its Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee rejects a complaint or fails to respond, the complaint can be referred to the Complaints Committee within three months (or two months in the case of appeals against the rejection of an application for membership, see Article 5.4 of SUISA’s Articles of Association).


Complaints are excluded in the following cases:

  1. Complaints concerning the contents of SUISA’s Articles of Association, Rights Administration Agreement or Distribution Regulations; in other words, the purpose of a complaint cannot be to amend these documents.
  2. 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.
  3. Issues concerning the social security benefits for authors or publishers.
  4. Issues concerning FONDATION SUISA.

For further details, please see the Rules of Procedure of the Complaints Committee (only available in german and french).



The complaints procedure

Complaints must be submitted in written form in German or French to SUISA’s postal address or by email to suisa@suisa.ch. They must include a request (what you wish to achieve with your complaint) and a justification (why you wish to achieve this).


The Committee will then consider the matter. The Committee may invite the complainant to a personal meeting and seek to reach an agreement.


If no agreement can be reached, the Committee will make a decision 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 his/her complaint.


The complaints procedure is usually free.


For further details, please see the Rules of Procedure of the Complaints Committee (only available in german and french).




In matters regarding cross-border licensing of online rights, principals, members and foreign sister societies having their residence or a branch in Switzerland or in an EEA Member State, may file an  application for arbitration with the regulatory authority of the Principality of Liechtenstein (Amt für Volkswirtschaft /Office of Economic Affairs, PO Box 684, 9490 Vaduz, Liechten-stein, info.avw@llv.li) in disputes relating to:

  1. information about musical works under an online rights management arrangement, the correction of such information, and information about the scope of online rights management;
  2. electronic communication of the information referred to in point 1 above;
  3. monitoring of online uses and collection of online usage fees from users;
  4. distribution and settlement of online usage revenues to entitled parties;
  5. the obligation to enter into a reciprocal representation agreement with another collecting society;
  6. information about musical works covered by representation agreements for online uses;
  7. the right, under certain circumstances, to entrust the management of online rights to another collecting society;
  8. equal treatment and cost-coverage deductions in online rights management.


For further details, please see Articles 63, 50 and 61 of the Liechtensteinischen Verwertungs-gesellschaftengesetz (Liechtenstein legislation on collecting societies).




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