Thursday, 14. October 2021

Distribution Rules: distribution of “Residuals” from streaming and download platforms

Management of online rights is not subject to federal oversight. For this reason, amendments to the Distribution Rules do not have to be approved by the Institute of Intellectual Property (in Switzerland) or the Office of the National Economy (in Liechtenstein). They are in the exclusive remit of the Distribution and Works Committee and SUISA's Board. At its meeting on 30 September 2021, the Board adopted the following amendment:

“Distributions of “Residuals” paid by online platforms” / Amendment of Article 5.6.1 DR”


“Residuals” are the amounts paid by online music platforms for works or parts of works that are not claimed by any collective management organisation. This is often due to the fact that the corresponding works or parts of works have not been registered by their authors with their respective collective management organisation. These amounts are apportioned between all the licensors of the relevant platform. Therefore, for each of its platform licensing territories, SUISA receives a share that is proportionate to the weight of its repertoire compared with the weight of other repertoires used in the same territory. It is essential that members register their works as quickly as possible! In this regard, SUISA reminds members that they are required to register their works within a given time limit: for authors within one month of a work’s creation, for publishers within one month of a work’s publication. Remuneration from a platform can only be claimed for works that are duly registered and fully documented. Through SUISA Digital Licensing AG (SUDL), it is now possible to issue an invoice up to 18 months after the end of an already invoiced period of use. For works duly registered with SUISA within this time limit, SUDL will therefore be able to claim the corresponding remuneration from the platform. Thereafter, any Residuals will be apportioned between the current online settlements. The new Distribution Rules in force since 1 October 2021 accordingly contain the relevant additional provision under Article 5.6.1.




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