Which rights are managed by which society?

The author has the exclusive right to determine whether, when and how a work may be used (Art. 10 Para. 1 Federal Copyright Law, URG). There are only a few exceptions to this rule. These are cases in which the law declares a use to be permissible (so-called “statutory licence”) but generally provides for a remuneration in return. This applies to private copying for example.

Individual and collective management of authors’ rights

In principle, the authors are entitled to decide for themselves whether to permit or forbid an individual work use (individual rights management). They are however also entitled to assign certain rights or claims to remuneration to a collective rights management organisation for administration (voluntary collective management). And finally, there are cases in which the law itself lays down a collective rights management organisation obligation; this means that in these cases, individual rights management is not permissible under any circumstances (obligatory collective management). Depending on the work category, more (e.g. music) or fewer (e.g. film) rights are managed collectively.

Joint tariffs and common collecting agencies

If a number of collective rights management organisations are active in the same field of use, they are normally required to establish joint tariffs and designate a common collecting agency (Art. 47 Federal Copyright Law, URG). Collective management via collective rights management organisations is thus very much in the interest of the user who is able to obtain all rights for a specific use centrally in the sense of a “one-stop shop”.

The table below shows which rights or claims to remuneration are collectively managed through which society. If rights are not collectively managed via a collective rights management organisation, the assignment or licensing takes place on the basis of individual contracts. 

Right/entitlement to remuneration1 ProLitteris SSA SUISA SUISSIMAGE SWISSPERFORM** Remarks
Copying and distribution (10 II a/b) yes* yes yes no no *excl. reproduction rights to texts
Reproduction of pictures / photographs (10 II a) yes* no no no no *excl. press / advertising photographs
Copying for private use
- Reprography and internal networks ( 19/20 II) yes yes yes no CT 8 and 9
- by private persons onto blank data media (19 I a/20 III) yes yes yes yes yes CT 4 and CT4i
- by schools (19 I b/20 II) yes yes yes yes yes CT 7
- by companies (19 I c/20 II) yes yes yes yes yes CT 8 and 9
- by third parties (19 II/20II) yes yes yes yes yes CT 12, 8 and 9
Copying for broadcasting purposes (24b) no no yes no ja CT S and Tarif A of SUISA and SWISSPERFORM
Distribution right (10 II b Federal Copyright Law (URG)) * * * * * *only in conjunction with other rights, e.g. with copying
Performance / presentation (10 II c) no yes* yes no yes** *only dramatic repertoire **only for retail recording media; Federal Copyright Law (URG) 35
Making publicly accessible elsewhere (10 II c) yes *** yes* yes no** no** *only dramatic repertoire **other than for the simultaneous and unchanged public broadcast of programmes (see below) *** excl. press / advertising photographs
Making available, incl. the requisite rights for copying and distribution (VoD; 10 II a-c) yes yes yes yes* no *only for authors
Making available broadcast musical works (22c) no no yes no yes
Broadcasting (10 II d)) yes yes yes yes* yes** *only for authors **only for retail recording media; Federal Copyright La
Retransmission (10 II e/22) yes yes yes yes yes CT 1, 2a, 2b
Making broadcasts/retransmissions publicly available (public reception of television broadcasts; 10 II f/22) yes yes yes yes yes CT 3 a-c
Rental (13) / Loan yes yes yes yes yes CT 5, 6a, 6b
Archive works belonging to broadcasters (22a) yes yes yes yes yes CT 11
Use of orphaned works (22b) yes yes yes yes yes CT 13
Use by disabled persons (24c) yes yes yes yes yes CT 10
Editing rights / Use for the creation of derivative works:
- Combining music works with other works (“synchronization rights“) no no subsidiary only no no
- Film rights no no no no
- Remake rights no no no no no
- Using extracts in a new work no no no no
- Translation rights / synchronization rights no* no no no no *Translators are independent authors at ProLitteris
- Ancillary printing rights (e.g. book of the film) no no no no no
Incorporation in a multimedia product yes yes yes subsidiary only no
Merchandising rights yes * no no no no *Restricted in the case of works of visual art and photographs
Use of a work for individual interpretation (karaoke) no no yes no no
Access and exhibition rights (14) no no no no no

* For the sake of clarity, no mention has been made of the relevant provisions relating to neighbouring rights.
** Refers to the neighbouring rights of performers, producers and broadcasting companies (see the columns for the other collective rights management organisations for any authors’ rights concerned)


Source: www.swisscopyright.ch, 2017

Yann Lambiel

"The contact with my copyright society for all legal matters in connection with my shows is always easy and efficient. I am confident that my royalties are properly asserted, verified and distributed."