New ancillary copyright divides media and parties

During the consultation process, the major publishers welcomed the fact that large Internet groups will in future be paid for the distribution of media content. Small media, however, feared that the "ancillary copyright" could prove counterproductive.


For example, when Internet platforms such as Google display short excerpts from newspaper articles, known as "snippets," they do not have to pay publishers for this. The Swiss Media Association VSM expressly welcomed the fact that the Federal Council now wants to change this with the so-called ancillary copyright in the consultation process that ended on Friday.

The platforms benefit greatly from the publishers, wrote the VSM. This is because, for example, thanks to the media content, the Internet giants can collect data about the interests of Internet users, which enables them to place targeted advertising.

However, the smaller, independent media, which have joined together in the Association Media with a Future VMZ, expressed doubts about the new law during the consultation process. It posed considerable risks for small publishers and prevented the debate on the necessary reforms of media promotion and platform regulation.

Parties are divided

There is also disagreement among the parties. The FDP supports the draft, which the party describes as "balanced and pragmatic. It offers a "Swiss" approach that supports the country's media diversity and does not neglect the small publishers.

The SVP rejects the bill, even though it sounds "promising" at first glance. Its main complaint is that the new copyright law only applies to the media, while blogs and online encyclopedias, for example, cannot benefit from it. In addition, the principle of compulsory remuneration collides with freedom of contract.

The center welcomes the fact that the system proposed by the Federal Council is based on incentives. In contrast to the European model, which subjects the use of journalistic content to an authorization system, the Swiss way introduces a "right to remuneration.

Despite sympathies, the Green Liberals reject the draft before it is clear in which direction media funding should go. This would have to be redefined after the people rejected a comprehensive package for press funding in February 2022.

The Greens are campaigning for the introduction of a performance protection right. The remuneration would benefit small media in particular, which they believe do not have the opportunity to negotiate with the Internet giants on an equal footing.

Internet industry against new copyright law

Swico, the trade association for the ICT and Internet industry, firmly rejects the draft. Journalistic content is already sufficiently protected today. Moreover, media companies already have the option of preventing the display of snippets.

Google did not provide a statement when asked by Keystone-SDA. (SDA/swi)

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