Parliamentary initiatives

Interpellations

 

21.3061 Interpellation NR Baptiste Hurni
Music streaming and support for music creators. A bad mark for Switzerland

With his interpellation on the subject of streaming, National Councillor Baptiste Hurni wants to shed light on the question of payment for performers. Among other things, Hurni wants to know from the Federal Council how it assesses the problematic situation of many music creators, in view of the disproportionate distribution of funds by platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music. Hurni also asked the Federal Council whether it could imagine proposing the same regulations in the music sector that are provided for in the Film Act, and - if not - what justification it had for the different treatment. 

Hurni justifies his proposal with the fact that the majority of the profits of the streaming platforms do not benefit those responsible for the content, but remain with the tech companies. According to National Councillor Hurni, an artist must generate one million streams to receive CHF 4,000. This low income would endanger artistic and cultural creation, and this trend must be counteracted. 

On 12 May 2021, the Federal Council commented on the interpellation. It referred to activities and the promotion of the Confederation in the field of music, but at the same time explained that it could not pursue any non-coordinated measures in the international field. According to the Federal Council, there are no precise figures on the economic importance of Swiss music production measured in terms of music consumption on online platforms. Furthermore, the Federal Council explained the efforts in the film sector in favour of an investment obligation amounting to 4% of gross revenues for Swiss and foreign television broadcasters and online platforms, which are to be used for the promotion of Swiss films. In the music sector, however, other models should be examined, since the music platforms do not act as producers but as distributors.

 

Parliamentary initiatives

 

19.482 Parliamentary initiative NR Fabio Regazzi
Excluding SMEs from media tax

In his motion of 19 September 2019, National Councillor Fabio Regazzi (Ticino / CVP) called for an amendment to Article 68 of the RTVA and - if necessary - to further acts. Specifically, the fees for radio and TV reception should only be paid by companies with 250 or more employees (full-time equivalents). Companies with fewer employees should be exempted from the levy.

On 17 February 2020, the competent Committee for Transport and Telecommunications of the National Council has acceded to the initiative. 

On 15 March 2022, the National Council approved the initiative by 119 to 71.  

The Committee for Transport and Telecommunications of the Council of States decided on 15 August 2022 not to approve the parliamentary initiative.

On 20 September 2022, the Council of States rejected the proposal by 27 votes to 14 with 4 abstentions. The matter is therefore closed.

 

Motions

 

17.3008 – Motion Committee for Transport and Telecommunications NR
Amendment of Article 44(3) and Article 39(2)(a) RTVA to strengthen service public digital offers outside the SRG
The amendments of Articles 44(3) and 39(2)(a) RTVA proposed by the Committee were designed to extend the journalistic supply area and eliminate the 2 plus 2 rule: "A broadcaster or the undertaking to which it belongs may acquire a maximum of two television licences and two radio licences." Since the regional TV market was locally structured, production costs were high and profitability was low. A report dated 25 January 2017 showed that, by eliminating the 2 plus 2 rule and extending the journalistic supply area, organisational, human resource and financial synergies could be exploited. This was liable to improve the economic viability and quality of regional TV broadcasters in particular. A revision of the Law on Radio and Television would facilitate larger supply areas and a greater business concentration of offers.

On 30.08.2017, the Federal Council proposed that the motion be dismissed. The Federal Council was prepared to rescind Article 44(3) RTVA in the framework of the law's planned transformation into a law on electronic media. With reference to Article 39(2)(a) RTVA, the Federal Council believed that the disadvantages of the proposed change would outweigh the expected benefits.
At its meeting of 11.09.2017, the National Council approved the motion. On 11.12.2017, the Council of States approved the motion subject to the following modification: Following the amendment of Article 44(3) RTVA, the 2 plus 2 rule should be rescinded: "A broadcaster or the undertaking to which it belongs may acquire a maximum of two television licences and two radio licences."
On 7 June 2018, the National Council approved the motion with the amendment proposed by the Committee of the Council of States.

The matter was written off on 18 June 2020 in the context of the consultation on Matter 20.038 (package of measures in favour of the media / see https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetrieb/suche-curia-vista/geschaeft?AffairId=20200038).

16.4027 – Motion NR Kurt Fluri
SRG and independent audiovisual industry. Strengthen the independent market, intensify cooperation, avoid distortions of competition
In the framework of the revision of the Federal Law on Radio and Television, National Councillor Kurt Fluri urged the Federal Council to create the legal bases to oblige the SRG to work with the Swiss film industry on commissioned productions and technical film services.

In its reply of 1.2.2017, the Federal Council proposed that the motion be approved. The National Council and the Council of States approved the motion on 17.03.2017 and 26.09.2017 respectively.

The matter was written off on 18 June 2020 in the context of the consultation on Matter 20.038 (package of measures in favour of the media / see https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetrieb/suche-curia-vista/geschaeft?AffairId=20200038).

Comment: SWISSCOPYRIGHT would welcome greater cooperation between the SRG and the Swiss film industry. It therefore supports the motion.

17.3627 – Motion of the Committee for Transport and Telecommunications NR
Shared-Content Model
On 4.7.2017, the Committee for Transport and Telecommunications of the National Council (KVF-NR) withdrew its Open Content motion and submitted a new motion for a "Shared Content" model. The proposal invited the Federal Council, in the framework of the revision of the Law on Television and Radio and with regard to the preparation of the new SRG concession, to draft a bill facilitating the implementation of a Shared Content model. Private Swiss media providers should be granted easy access to use contributions broadcast by the SRG. Private broadcasters should also be permitted to use various short versions and individual original soundtracks. Moreover, the SRG should, where possible, acquire the requisite authors' rights and rights of use in its own and third-party productions for their transfer.
The Federal Council proposed the approval of the motion on 30.8.2017. It would also take the Shared Content model into account in the planned law on electronic media.

At its meeting of 11.09.2017, the National Council approved the motion.

On 11 December 2017, the Committee for Transport and Telecommunications of the National Council unanimously proposed to accept the motion with a slightly modified wording. In practice, the Committee decided to maintain the existing rules on copyrights and rights of use and not to propose any changes. Thus the Committee unanimously proposed to delete the last sentence ("The SRG should, where possible, acquire the necessary copyrights and rights of use in its own and third-party productions).

The Federal Council agreed with the Committee's proposal.

On 7 June 2018, the National Council approved the motion as amended by the Committee of the Council of States.

Comment: SWISSCOPYRIGHT had rejected the motion in its original wording. One of the basic principles of intellectual property is that the creator and the investors should share the revenues generated by the use of their works. The original motion would have undermined contractual freedom and the proper functioning of copyright law. The amendment now proposed by the Committee of the National Council remedies this defect; Swisscopyright now supports the amended motion. 

Postulates

 

22.3675 Postulate, National Council, Baptiste Hurni 
Copyright in Switzerland, or how to make contemporary art accessible to all

National Council member Baptiste Hurni requests that the Federal Council respond to questions on copyright law and the calculation of royalties. In particular, he would like to know whether the royalties charged after the author’s death make it more difficult to consider contemporary works. He also asks about the method of calculating copyright royalties, whether it is always fully justified and what additional measures, if any, can be taken to facilitate access to contemporary Swiss works by organisers and the public.

Hurni rationalised his proposal by alluding to the difficulties faced by event organisers with regard to contemporary works and considers these problems in the context of the royalties paid to right holders. He suggests that the duration of the period of protection should be reconsidered. Specifically, it should cease with the author’s death, in order to facilitate access to contemporary works.

In its reply of 24 August 2022, the Federal Council explains the fundamentals of copyright law and exploitation rights. For example, limiting copyright to the lifetime of the author would be contrary to international agreements, with the consequence that Switzerland would have to withdraw from the WTO if such a limitation were imposed. The Federal Council further explains the meaning and procedure of voluntary collective exploitation using the SSA as an example: Authors expect better protection of their interests through collective safeguarding, which is legitimate due to the existing freedom of contract. According to the Federal Council, there is no reason to intervene in the market. Lastly, the Federal Council does not see any need for action to simplify access to contemporary works of theatre. There is competition in this area, and one of the main goals of the cultural promotion policy of the federal government, cantons, cities and municipalities is to ensure access to contemporary culture in particular.

The Federal Council has proposed that the postulate be rejected.

16.3375  –  Postulate by National Council Philippe Nantermod
Authorise parallel imports of online content
In his postulate of 2 June 2016, the FDP National Councillor from the Valais has asked the Federal Council to examine "the measures which could be adopted to encourage parallel imports of online content, in other words, to restrict Geolocking, so that Swiss consumers may use online services offered abroad and access Swiss online services from other countries. If necessary, the Copyright Act should be amended accordingly".

On 17.08.2016, the Federal Council proposed that the postulate be rejected. The National Council rejected the proposal on 28.02.2018

12.3326 – Postulate by Council of States Luc Recordon
For a copyright that is fair and in accordance with the liberties of the internet community
The Council of States referred the postulate on 5 June 2012. The report is yet to be published. The Federal Council still needs to inform the advisory commission of how it plans to fulfil the postulate.

In its reply of 9.5.2012, the Federal Council proposed that the postulate be approved. The Council of States approved the postulate on 05.06.2012.

The business was dismissed on 4 June 2019 in connection with the consultation on the URG (Swiss Copyright Act) revision.

12.3173 – Postulate by National Council Balthasar Glättli
Adequate remuneration for creators and artists while respecting the privacy of internet users
In May 2012, the Federal Council agreed to focus on the issues in a report. The report is yet to be published. The Federal Council still needs to inform the advisory commission of how it plans to fulfil the postulate.

Addition: In its reply of 16.5.2012, the Federal Council proposed that the postulate be approved. On 15.06.2012, the Council of States approved the postulate.

The business was dismissed on 4 June 2019 in connection with the consultation on the URG (Swiss Copyright Act) revision.  

Completed initiatives

(Links mostly in German)

20.3685 - Postulate Cédric Wermuth
Clarify possibilities for the structural promotion of the Swiss music industry 

18.405 - Parliamentary initiative NR Gregor Rutz
Deeds, not words. Remove the household fee for radio and television

18.4278 - Interpellation Anita Fetz
Are direct licensing agencies for concerts legal in Switzerland?

18.404 - Parliamentary initiative NR Natalie Rickli
Deeds, not words. Reduce household fee for radio and television to CHF 300

18.3070 – Motion SR Beat Vonlanthen 
A sound and forward-looking media policy to support the diversity of Swiss media 

17.3628 – Postulate Committee for Transport and Telecommunications NR 
Review of the number of SRG stations

17.3492 – Interpellation NR Kurt Fluri
Support for the organisations of cultural professionals 2017

17.3068 – Interpellation SR Didier Berberat
Foreign advertising window in Switzerland. What solutions for Switzerland as a media location?

17.3010 Motion, Federal Council Transport and Telecommunications Committee
Reduction of special interest radio channels

17.3009  – Motion Committee for Transport and Telecommunication NR
"Open Content" Model

16.493 - Parliamentary initiative, Federal Council, Philippe Nantermod
Copyright, No fee for use on private premises (hotels, holiday homes, hospitals and prisons) 

16.3849 – Motion by National Council Martin Candinas 
Exemption from licence fees for the dissemination of music for the portions due to mountain and peripheral regions, including Simulcasts

16.3119 Motion, Federal Council, Corrado Pardini
Open hardware, open software, open source, open data

16.1056 – Enquiry, Federal Council, Balthasar Glättli
Revision of the copyright law. Results of the consultation procedure and preparation of a draft law

15.4211 – Interpellation by National Council Beat Jans
URG. Round off modernisation with contractual freedom?

15.3876 – Interpellation by Council of States Hans Stöckli
Royalties for film authors and actors for video-on-demand usages

15.3849 – Postulate by National Council  Hans Stöckli
Greater flexibility in collective copyright administration

15.3710 – Postulate by National Council Beat Flach
Storage media. Blank media levy transparency for consumers (text not available in English)

15.3397 – Postulate, Federal Council, Olivier Feller
Resale of event tickets at inflated prices. Sanctions

15.1096 – Question NR Viola Amherd
Calculation basis for SUISA fees 

14.4150 – Postulate by Council of States Peter Bieri
Revision of Federal Copyright Law - Introduction of a lending right

14.3293 – Motion by the Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxation
Blank data storage devices

14.3204 – Interpellation by Council of States Felix Gutzwiller
Agur 12 consensus. Further action

13.404 – Parliamentary Initiative by National Council Christian Wasserfallen
End unfair levies on blank data storage devices

13.3561 – Interpellation by National Council Filippo Leutenegger
Transparency in the copyright royalty process


12.4202 - Interpellation by Council of States Hans Stöckli

Swisscom. Dealing with content protected by copyright

12.3902 – Interpellation by National Council Kurt Fluri
Switzerland as a hotbed of illegal services on the internet

12.3834 – Motion by National Council Oskar Freysinger
Protection of copyright

12.3092 – Interpellation by National Council Christoph Mörgeli
Collective copyright management

10.3612 – Motion by National Council Gerhard Pfister
Lower tariffs for schools and educational institutions. Amendments to copyright law

10.3263 – Postulate by Council of States, Géraldine Savary

Does Switzerland need a law against illegal music downloads?

09.1169 – Enquiry by National Council Ruedi Noser

SUISA record turnover for 2008.

09.522 – Parliamentary Initiativeby National Council Susanne Leutenegger Oberholzer
Excessive salary payments at collecting societies.  Amendments to copyright law

Jean-François Amiguet

"It's often in emergencies that I need the SSA’s services. I appreciate the exceptional availability of its staff members."