Modernisation of Swiss Copyright Law: Compromise on the issue of combating piracy

Modernisation of Swiss Copyright Law

The public consultation procedure on the revision of the Copyright Act (CopA) showed that the ideas on approaches to the revision diverged strongly. In autumn 2016, the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) therefore mandated the copyright working group AGUR12 II to clarify the outstanding issues from the consultation on the revision of the Copyright Act and to propose possible solutions. After five sessions between 28 September 2016 and 2 March 2017 under the direction of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), the AGUR12 II reached a compromise on various issues. The FDJP will take into consideration the results of the AGUR12 II on the revision of the Copyright Act. By July 2017, the Agur12 II will submit a proposal on how to proceed to the Federal Council.

Compromise on the issue of combating piracy

The AGUR12 II agreed, among other things, that the fight against music and film filesharing platforms, or similar online services, should occur where it is most effective, namely with hosting providers. According to the media release of the IPI published on 2 March 2017, hosting providers can act "quickly an in a targeted manner". Further, Swiss hosting providers should not host piracy platforms and should promptly remove affected content in cases of copyright infringement via their servers. Thereby, the AGUR12 II relies on "the already successful self-regulation".

However, if hosting providers create incentives for copyright infringement, they must ensure through a so called "stay down" that copyright infringements, once eliminated, also remain eliminated in future.

In case of a revision of the CopA, it should also be explicitly laid down in law that "the processing of data for the prosecution of copyright infringement is permissible".

"Blocking measures (so called internet blocking) not included in the compromise package"

The AGUR12 II was not able to agree in the matter of internet blocking. According to the media release of the IPI published on 2 March 2017, neither blocking measures through access providers (known as internet blocking) nor the sending of notifications for severe copyright infringement via peer-to-peer networks are included in the compromise package.

Compromise on other issues

The AGUR12 II compromise package also includes a series of further measures for modernising Swiss copyright law:

  • An inventory index privilege, a royalty-free exception for scientific purposes as well as the use of orphan works for the benefit of users and consumers.
  • For creative artists, the package contains an extension to the period of protection for related rights, protection for photographs lacking individuality and remuneration for authors and performers for video-on-demand uses.
  • Finally, the compromise also includes the introduction of extended collective licensing, improvements in the tariff approval process as well as electronic user notification to the collective rights management organisations.

Source: Media release of the IPI published on 2 march 2017

* Dr. Andreas Glarner

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