“As a songwriter, you’re some sort of a lone wolf”

Debrah Scarlett already enjoyed international fame before releasing her début EP “DYS(U)TOPIA” in mid-March. Prior to that, the Norwegian-Swiss musician joined SUISA. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Debrah Scarlett: “As a songwriter, you’re some sort of a lone wolf”

New SUISA member: Joanna Deborah Bussinger who has adopted the pseudonym Debrah Scarlett. (Photo: Stian Foss)

“I prefer to play it safe and don’t place expectations in myself and others that are too high”, explains Joanna Deborah Bussinger when asked about her future plans. It was not least because of this kind of caution that the 23-year-old avoided the risk of turning into a fleeting pop starlet that has to waive the control over its career. In 2013, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a Swiss-Italian father had taken part in the Norwegian version of the talent show “The Voice” – and reached the semi-final.

“I didn’t even want to win”, she adds with a smile, “otherwise I would have had to subject myself to tricky conditions.” Still, she doesn’t want to miss the experience she gained there any less than the experience of representing Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, where she reached eighth place under her pseudonym Debrah Scarlett together with her duet partner Kjetil Mørland.

Trying out new things

“I do like to face fascinating opportunities and challenges”, Joanna Deborah Bussinger explains. “Even if I am scared at first, I nearly always learn something from the experience.” This also applies to her commute between Switzerland and Norway. She grew up in her native town of Basel and moved together with her mother and her two brothers to Norway when she was six years old. At the age of ten, she decided to try out “what it would be like to live with her father in Basel”. When she turned 21, she moved back – “rather intuitively” – to Norway. “That was a point in time where a lot of things were open and nothing stood in my way.”

Her family also played a major role regarding her professional career. “My parents have always told me: If you want to do something, then do it.” Another characterising effect for Joanna Deborah Bussinger was that she comes from a family which had been art and music enthusiasts for generations. Her mother is a painter and singer, her father plays the piano and writes poems. “When I was five years old, I didn’t yet know that I wanted to become a musician but that I had to express myself somehow, whether visually or musically. Music turned out to be the most natural medium and means for me to create my own world.”

Fuelled by feelings

When she was 15, Joanna Deborah Bussinger began to play the piano and to write songs. Soon she took singing lessons and attended the preparatory class at the Academy of Art and Design as well as the prep class of the Jazz Campus in Basel. She became more and more active and was a singer with the project ‘The Rumours’, for example. What she really wanted to do, however, was to develop her own music. The début EP “DYS(U)TOPIA” which was released mid-March does, despite its many stylistic influences sound remarkably independent and proficient, and it isn’t just the captivating singing but also the dreamy atmosphere that stands out.

Joanna Deborah Bussinger has written most of the songs at home so far, alone in front of the piano. “I have, more recently, also started to collaborate with other musicians. It is exciting to try something that you wouldn’t do alone at home, after all, as a songwriter, you’re usually some sort of a lone wolf.” Most of her songs are fuelled by a feeling, present around her, and for which she was trying to find a melody. “From this, a theme usually emerges and I soon realise while I am composing which direction the journey will take.”

Still going in 40 years’ time!

Music has become her “language”, as she spoke several languages since childhood and yet never managed any of them to perfection. “Music allowed me to express myself properly.” Nevertheless, she also writes song lyrics subtle and pensive at the same time, which reverberate even more once they are sung. They are always in English even though this is neither her mother’s nor her father’s tongue. “Strangely enough, it feels better for me to write personal lyrics in English. It provides the story with a certain distance, as if I had experienced it three years ago and would now only sing about it.”

Joanna Deborah Bussinger hopes that her career will continue to develop steadily; she is already working on a début album. “I try to do what I can and all members of my great team are doing the same, helping me in Basel, Berlin, London and Oslo. Still, I want to keep a nice, slow pace, not too fast, so that I don’t get under commercial pressure. After all, I still want to make music in 40 years.”

Comforting knowledge

With such long-term plans in mind, SUISA also plays a role, even though Joanna Deborah Bussinger has only recently joined as a member. “I had not really seen the sense in a membership of a collective management organisation for copyright before, as I had not published my compositions at that time.” This changed since she has been signed to the management and label ‘Radicalis’. As the company has its offices in Basel, she decided to become a SUISA member even though she is still living in Norway. “This way, the specialists at Radicalis can check any questions directly with SUISA which is also known for the fact that settlements are made quicker than at any other collective management organisation.” She doesn’t know yet what exactly she can expect from SUISA in terms of royalties. “But I think it’s great for all musicians that this kind of cooperative society exists. After all, it simplifies our lives with its work and defends our rights – to know that is really comforting.”

Concerts:
4th – 6th April at the “Zermatt Unplugged Festival”.

www.debrahscarlett.com, Debrah Scarlett’s official website

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Debrah Scarlett already enjoyed international fame before releasing her début EP “DYS(U)TOPIA” in mid-March. Prior to that, the Norwegian-Swiss musician joined SUISA. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Debrah Scarlett: “As a songwriter, you’re some sort of a lone wolf”

New SUISA member: Joanna Deborah Bussinger who has adopted the pseudonym Debrah Scarlett. (Photo: Stian Foss)

“I prefer to play it safe and don’t place expectations in myself and others that are too high”, explains Joanna Deborah Bussinger when asked about her future plans. It was not least because of this kind of caution that the 23-year-old avoided the risk of turning into a fleeting pop starlet that has to waive the control over its career. In 2013, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a Swiss-Italian father had taken part in the Norwegian version of the talent show “The Voice” – and reached the...read more

Mint Digital Services: FAQs

SUISA and SESAC, a US collective management organisation, have established Mint Digital Services as a joint venture. Mint Digital Services will take over the invoicing and administration services for SESAC and SUISA’s online licensing activities. The joint venture will also offer services to publishers and collective management organisations. Warner/Chappel Music, a major publisher, is already using Mint’s services. Here the main FAQs: By Fabian Niggemeier, Martin Korrodi, Sebastian Spring and Erika Weibel

Mint Digital Services: FAQs

Through Mint Digital Services, SUISA is relying on its high-performance, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to develop new business. (Graphics: Hej – Büro für Strategie und Gestaltung in Kultur und Wirtschaft, Zurich)

What is Mint Digital Services?
Mint Digital Services is a joint venture established by SUISA and SESAC, a US music rights organisation. Mint Digital Services offers administration services for multi-territorial online music licensing. Essentially, its services involve processing usage reports for online platforms, identifying represented repertoires, and invoicing.

The purpose of Mint Digital Services is on the one hand to streamline online licensing of SESAC and SUISA’s own repertoires. On the other, the joint venture intends to offer its services to large music publishers and, in due course, to other collective management organisations.

What were the reasons underlying SESAC and SUISA’s decision to establish Mint Digital Services?
There were three main reasons:

  1. Through Mint Digital Services, SUISA can turn to account its high-performance IT infrastructure for the development of new business areas.
  2. The joint venture will enable SUISA to fully exploit the capacity of its existing IT infrastructure. So far, SUISA’s extensive investment in its online licensing and distribution activities has only served its own repertoire. With little additional cost, Mint Digital Services can take on the invoicing and administration of SESAC’s repertoire and those of other publishers – at a later date perhaps even for other collective management organisations.
  3. SUISA is equipping itself for the future. In coming years, collective management organisations will see their monopolies challenged. The rule that only one society should be responsible for licensing the world repertoire in its own country is gradually eroding. The trend towards direct licensing – in other words, multi-territorial licensing of (solely) own repertoire – is progressing even outside the online sector.

Should members apply to Mint for online uses of their works?
No. Nothing will change for SUISA members. SUISA remains the contact for members and will continue to issue their settlement statements. Mint Digital Services simply provides services to SUISA.

Developing a new company costs money. Will members now receive lower settlements owing to higher cost-coverage deductions by SUISA?
No. The greater part of the investment was already made in recent years since SUISA has regularly upgraded its IT – regardless of the joint venture. The cost of developing the new company is therefore relatively low, and the business plan shows that the investment can be fully depreciated in a few years.

Can members expect to receive more money, more quickly for uses in the USA thanks to the partnership with SESAC?
The partnership with SESAC will have no effect on settlement flows from the USA. The joint venture only concerns online uses outside the USA. SUISA will continue to use its best efforts to improve payments from the USA and other countries. However, SUISA has only limited influence on the practice of the foreign sister societies.

Warner is a customer of Mint Digital Services. Does that mean that SUISA will henceforth focus on the majors to the detriment of the needs of its members?
No. Warner is Mint’s customer – not SUISA’s. Moreover, SUISA strives to be as customer-oriented as possible, regardless whether it is dealing with a major, an independent or an author.

Will Mint Digital Services be responsible for licensing the online repertoire?
No. The joint venture will only provide administration and invoicing services. SESAC and SUISA will establish two separate companies in the coming weeks to handle the licensing of their repertoires. Mint SESAC Licensing, a subsidiary of SESAC, and Mint SUISA Licensing, a subsidiary of SUISA. The two companies will be responsible for the separate online licensing of their respective rights, and for the performing rights of most Anglo-American companies.

Can SUISA now negotiate better terms and conditions with online platforms?
We may be able to negotiate better contracts with certain online platforms. But it is up to the platforms themselves to decide whether they want to negotiate with the SUISA and SESAC licensing entities individually or jointly. If they decide in favour of joint negotiations, Mint SUISA Licensing may be able to profit from the larger SESAC repertoire in order to obtain better terms and conditions.

SUISA regularly renegotiates its contracts with online platforms with a view to securing the best possible terms and conditions for authors and publishers; Mint SUISA Licensing will do the same.

Press release: “SUISA and SESAC Launch Mint Digital Services and Join Forces with Warner/Chappell Music as its First Client”
For more information about Mint visit the website of the joint venture: www.mintservices.com

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SUISA and SESAC, a US collective management organisation, have established Mint Digital Services as a joint venture. Mint Digital Services will take over the invoicing and administration services for SESAC and SUISA’s online licensing activities. The joint venture will also offer services to publishers and collective management organisations. Warner/Chappel Music, a major publisher, is already using Mint’s services. Here the main FAQs: By Fabian Niggemeier, Martin Korrodi, Sebastian Spring and Erika Weibel

Mint Digital Services: FAQs

Through Mint Digital Services, SUISA is relying on its high-performance, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to develop new business. (Graphics: Hej – Büro für Strategie und Gestaltung in Kultur und Wirtschaft, Zurich)

What is Mint Digital Services?
Mint Digital Services is a joint venture established by SUISA and SESAC, a US music rights organisation. Mint Digital Services offers administration services for multi-territorial online music...read more

SUISA member services: one look back, one look forward

Quicker pay-outs due to quarterly settlements, simpler data processing via online works registrations, digital access to statements via “my account”, more efficiency via online forms … What’s next – settlements in “real time”? Will there be no more paper dispatched in future? By Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

SUISA member services: one look back, one look forward

You want to register your work with SUISA while you’re in your rehearsal cellar via your tablet, or check your statements electronically? No problem – thanks to the web portal “my account”. (Photo: Archimede / Shutterstock.com)

In the last few years, SUISA has already implemented important measures which yielded more efficiency and higher quality for member services. The layout of the statements has also been reviewed. Since their redesign, they contain even more detailed information than ever before. Distributions thus became more transparent. In autumn 2015, SUISA introduced quarterly settlements. Since then, members receive the remuneration due to them at least four times a year.

Since 2015, members can electronically access their settlements via the web portal “my account”. An update was carried out at the beginning of March 2017 regarding the online service range offered by SUISA which members can use via “my account”: the works registration has been simplified, members can search specifically for roles in relation to their own works (e.g. Arranger), sub-publishing agreements can now be registered online and the web portal layout has been optimised for the broad range of end devices.

A works registration at SUISA via a tablet while you’re on the road, while you’re rehearsing in your cellar at home or during a meeting with your co-authors somewhere abroad? Thanks for “my account” all of this is possible.

From paper to electronic mail-outs

Paper forms (hardcopies) will be replaced by soft copies. Electronic data processing makes efficient processing possible. SUISA constantly checks what is possible from a technical point of view and what actually makes sense with regards to the range of member services offered. In this context, it is also important to consider members’ interests and wishes.

Do SUISA members want to receive all settlements and the relevant settlement details on paper? Or is the majority of members of the opinion that there should only be electronic statements now?

It is obvious that costs can be saved by not printing settlement statements out any longer to be mailed out by post. What speaks against renouncing on a paper dispatch is the fact that up to now only half of the active membership holds a log in for “my account”. Moreover, it is known that some members continue to regard hardcopy statements as a necessity going forward.

Taking all of these aspects into consideration, the range of member services is currently discussed; especially the pros and cons of the various offers have to be weighed up. Decisions will be made in the course of 2017.

Settlements in “real time”?

Every now and then we are asked by members whether we are planning to run distributions in “real time”. This would mean that, as soon copyright remuneration e.g. for a concert has been collected, it would be immediately paid out to the entitled parties . There are no longer settlement dates for all members but each member would receive their money separately as soon as it becomes available.

The technological requirements could – with some rather significant effort – be developed for such a process. The entire process from collection to pay-out would have to be analysed from scratch. Particularly our distribution rules would have to undergo a major overhaul since many provisions are not compatible with a real-time distribution.

As a consequence, the question remains whether such a system and process migration really corresponds with the needs of the majority of our members and whether quarterly pay-outs might not already satisfy the need for efficiency?

More service, more advice

We continue to monitor and test the service range offered to our members. The rule of thumb is: as much service as possible! Numerous automation processes such as data processing could – as already mentioned – be introduced by means of new IT applications. These enable a more efficient processing and offer the chance to use the resources thus freed up in another way.

The time that has thus been gained will be used for a competent and personal advisory service to our members. Apart from all the measures to increase efficiency, the personal contact to our members continues to be a core concern of SUISA. We will not lose sight of the quality assurance of SUISA member services.

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Quicker pay-outs due to quarterly settlements, simpler data processing via online works registrations, digital access to statements via “my account”, more efficiency via online forms … What’s next – settlements in “real time”? Will there be no more paper dispatched in future? By Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

SUISA member services: one look back, one look forward

You want to register your work with SUISA while you’re in your rehearsal cellar via your tablet, or check your statements electronically? No problem – thanks to the web portal “my account”. (Photo: Archimede / Shutterstock.com)

In the last few years, SUISA has already implemented important measures which yielded more efficiency and higher quality for member services. The layout of the statements has also been reviewed. Since their redesign, they contain even more detailed information than ever before. Distributions thus became more transparent. In autumn 2015, SUISA...read more

Swiss Copyright Review: SUISA in charge of a working group

Given the diverging reactions to the preliminary draft for the copyright law review, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga consulted the AGUR12 again in the summer of 2016 – the latter is a working group consisting of representatives from the affected sectors. The working group had the goal to look for conjoint solutions. Text by Vincent Salvadé

Swiss Copyright Review: SUISA in charge of a working group

The exhibition “Oh Yeah! Pop music in Switzerland” in the Museum for Communication in Berne covered 60 years of Swiss pop culture in the form of a multimedia experience (as pictured). An exhibition such as this would be able to benefit from a simplified rights acquisition via an extended collective licence (ECL). The introduction of such a licence has been one of the issues being discussed regarding a possible review of the Swiss Copyright Law. (Photo: Museum for Communication / Hannes Saxer)

For this purpose, several sub-groups were created; they were tasked with analysing several topics. SUISA was leading one of these sub-groups (working group 1) which focussed on four questions: Introduction of the extended collective licence, governance of the so-called “orphan” works, a possible new exception in copyright for science and the question of secondary publication rights of publicly financed scientific works.

Working group 1 consisted of the following representatives: Authors (Suisseculture), work users (DUN), libraries (BIS), music producers (IFPI), book publishers (SBVV), the Federal Office of Culture and the collective management organisations (Swissperform and SUISA). It was active between October 2016 and February 2017 and achieved the following results:

Extended collective licence

The extended collective licence (ECL) is a legal institution which is common in the Nordic countries, authorising collective management organisations to be active on behalf of all rightsholders as long as the societies are sufficiently representative. The working group holds the view that the ECL brings advantages both to rightsholders and users and consumers alike. It grants the former a remuneration for the mass exploitations of their works and performances, which individuals can hardly control and monitor. For the users, the ECL simplifies that process for obtaining the rights for projects which are connected with several goods protected by copyright (URG, CopA). This is particularly important in our digital age. Finally, the ECL could entail a growth in the number of cultural goods that are offered legally.

The working group has therefore presented a draft for a legal provision to introduce the ECL. It was careful when wording the draft that the legal basis would not be used to licence usages which clash with offers that are individually authorised by the rightsholders. Furthermore, the working group endeavoured to secure the freedom of the rightsholders by providing them with the opportunity to opt out from an ECL if the provisions are unacceptable for them.

Orphan works

Works are referred to as ‘orphan works’ if the rightsholders are unknown or cannot be located. Current legislation contains a provision on orphan works (Art. 22b URG/CopA) which authorises users to obtain the necessary exploitation rights via the licensed collective management organisations if the rightsholders cannot be contacted. This provision is, however, limited to sound and audiovisual recordings.

The working group suggests to expand this solution to all orphan works provided that they can be located in the archives of libraries, schools, museums and other institutions which contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage. It also recommends a solution in such cases where the collective management organisations cannot pay rightsholders after a period of ten years has lapsed: The money would then have to be invested into retirement funds and cultural promotion funds.

Exception for science

The working group is of the opinion that an exception of the exclusive right can be justified if the works are reproduced for scientific purposes by technical processes. These processes are, among others, data processing (text and data mining, TDM) and other similar procedures by means of which works are reproduced automatically in order for specific common features to be identified, for example. The European Union also plans to introduce such an exception.

The working group did, however, not reach an agreement concerning the issue whether this exception should be accompanied by a right to receive remuneration for the affected authors. The authors from the literature sector supported such a move whereas the users pleaded for an exception free of charge.

Technical measures simplify reading and processing of sources for scientists. Reading is a way to enjoy a work free from copyright. SUISA therefore reckons that a right to receive remuneration for the usage of sources in the context of a scientific activity is not advisable. An important factor, however, is to watch out whether the exploitation of the scientific research falls under copyright if this result contains recognisable, protected works. Furthermore, authors’ moral rights must remain unchanged, and the teaching activity must not fall under the new exception as they are already subject to a special regulation pursuant to Art. 19 and 20 URG/CopA (which provides for authors’ remuneration). The proposal of the working group takes these demands into account.

Secondary publication right

Work users, especially academic circles at Universities, wish to change the Swiss Code of Obligations in order to prohibit an author of a scientific work to assign his rights to make a work available to a publisher free of charge if it has been largely funded by the public authorities. It is the aim to allow authors to publish their works for free access on the internet, parallel to the publication by the publisher.

The working group was not able to submit a proposal regarding this issue as the opinions within the group varied too much. For publishers, such a provision would be the same as an actual expropriation and would prevent them from investing in the scientific sector.

What next?

The working group 1 has submitted its proposals to the AGUR12. The latter will discuss them together with other issues affecting the URG review (such as the fight against piracy or private copying). AGUR12 has finally established a supported compromise package where the three proposals described earlier by working group 1 were taken into consideration.

While it had to represent very different parts of the business, working group 1 managed to bring about an approach of the divergent views. This certainly contributed to a growth of the mutual understanding among the parties, and that a compromise could be found. A compromise, whose elements will be anchored in the law sooner or later, or so we hope.

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Second attempt to review the Swiss Copyright Act The preliminary draft by the Swiss Federal Council for a review of the Swiss Copyright Act was not able to carry a majority during the consultation. The Federal Councillor in charge, Simonetta Sommaruga, has therefore called upon a working group again. AGUR12 II is asked to work out specific legislative proposals alongside the compromise that had been achieved by AGUR12 and been in place for more than 2 years. Read more
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“Without an organisation like SUISA many songs would never have been created” The famous and popular musician Peter Reber has been a SUISA member since 1971. In a written interview, the composer, lyricist, artist and publisher explains, why his collective management organisation is important for him and why – from his point of view – it is not necessary that collective management organisations should be subject to a stricter supervision. Read more
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  1. Maruchka says:

    Droit d’auteur – révision
    Je ne suis pas sure d’avoir compris le chapitre ‘pour la science’

    Une petite vraie interrogation/apréhension : où s’arrête l’exception, ‘pour la science’ ?
    peut-on réquisitionner quelqu’un – juste pour la science – ?

    la science c’est des mio de personnes…
    la science ne sait-elle pas aller demander de la même façon, que n’importe quelle personne, qui veut diffuser une oeuvre ?
    si le scientifique aspirait à travailler gratuit, pour sa bonne cause ; reste que prendre c’est voler et obliger c’est très rarement bien.

    suggestion D : le scientifique fait sa demande à l’auteur et lui demande son prix/propose un tarif le scientifique informe l’auteur, qui a 10-15 jours (vs. poste) pour exprimer et exposer un éventuel désaccord et définir un autre tarif, que celui proposé par le scientifique
    + un tarif minimum mentionné dans les articles – calculé en fonction de la valeur ajoutée par l’oeuvre et des tarifs en vigueur dans le secteur du scientifique ou de l’artiste (l’oeuvrier) ; le tarif le plus élevé étant appliqué
    – en effet, dans ce genre de situation, ne faudrait-il normalement demander un audit par l’artiste ou un contrat de travail pour le scientifique-artiste ?
    pourquoi pas ?
    + subventions sont à disposition du scientifique, qui voudrait investir dans une recherche, p.ex. musicale

    Souvenez-vous quand nous montions aux fronton, pour défendre l’idée, le droit à la réflexion.
    Rappelez-vous quand le propriétaire du piano ou des toiles et de la peinture était le propriétaire de l’oeuvre, car l’esprit n’avait que peu de valeur, c’était le bien matériel qui comptait et qui recevait la somme totale des mérites, l’artiste vivant d’amour de son art et d’eau fraîche, rosée
    jusqu’à ce que sa toile ou sa musique finisse par lui rapporter argent…, enfin…, à ceux qui détenaient ses oeuvres ; lui n’ayant pas connu le jeans

    certains sont montés aux barricades, ce ne fut ni simple, ni rapide, peut-être y a-t-il eu des vies risquées mais la raisons a eu le dessus et le droit d’auteur est né, affaiblissant sans doute l’esclavagisme (ancrage du concept)
    cela a pris du temps, pour nous apporter le droit d’auteur, donc, à présent, que nous pouvons en profiter, faut-il vraiment le concéder, sans tenir compte des autres outils et données scientifiques comme un travail artistique ?
    mais pourquoi ?

    Voilà pour la science.

    Par contre se prendre un droit d’auteur sur quelque chose de visible (=/= créé par l’homme), comme par exemple une plante brésilienne brevetée aux USA/par USA c’est inconcevable…

    C’est un sujet qui me tient à coeur… 🙂

    • Nicolas Pont says:

      La restriction en faveur de l’utilisation à des fins scientifiques a été notamment conçue pour favoriser la fouille de textes et de données (text and data mining ou TDM).

      Il s’agit par exemple de pouvoir analyser et découvrir d’éventuels liens entre les nombreuses publications scientifiques, afin de trouver de nouvelles pistes de recherche, notamment dans le domaine de la médecine.

      Sans restriction en faveur de l’utilisation à des fins scientifiques, les chercheurs devraient, pour fouiller et compiler des extraits de textes, demander l’autorisation préalable des auteurs de ces textes, protégés par le droit d’auteur. Cela n’est tout simplement pas possible d’un point de vue pratique.

      SUISA est favorable à la restriction, qui ne devrait toutefois que peu concerner les oeuvres musicales.

      Ce qui se fait dans le secret du laboratoire du chercheur est difficilement contrôlable et il est donc également complexe de faire valoir un droit d’auteur sur cet acte.

      En revanche, il est capital que le résultat de la recherche scientifique ne puisse pas être exploité librement, s’il reproduit des oeuvres protégées. Les auteurs de ces oeuvres protégées doivent avoir leur mot à dire sur cette exploitation et avoir les moyens de demander une rémunération. C’est l’une des priorités de SUISA.

      L’exception pour la science ne doit pas concerner l’enseignement, y compris dans les universités, puisque la loi prévoit un droit à rémunération en faveur des auteurs dans ce cadre. Ce droit à rémunération fait l’objet du tarif commun 7, lequel ne doit pas être touché par une exception pour la science. C’est l’autre priorité de SUISA.

      Nicolas Pont / Service juridique SUISA Lausanne

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Given the diverging reactions to the preliminary draft for the copyright law review, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga consulted the AGUR12 again in the summer of 2016 – the latter is a working group consisting of representatives from the affected sectors. The working group had the goal to look for conjoint solutions. Text by Vincent Salvadé

Swiss Copyright Review: SUISA in charge of a working group

The exhibition “Oh Yeah! Pop music in Switzerland” in the Museum for Communication in Berne covered 60 years of Swiss pop culture in the form of a multimedia experience (as pictured). An exhibition such as this would be able to benefit from a simplified rights acquisition via an extended collective licence (ECL). The introduction of such a licence has been one of the issues being discussed regarding a possible review of the Swiss Copyright Law. (Photo: Museum...read more

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival between 24 March and 02 April 2017 in Geneva will be held under the motto “ensemble”. What’s behind this slogan?
Marc Texier: Under the motto “ensemble”, Archipel 2017 celebrates the important art of joint creation, which would be nice if we could see it transferred to other communities and which is extensively practised by the young musicians’ generation. We would like to offer it a broad concert platform.

What is the greater motivation when it comes to organising a festival: The desire to provide contemporary composers and artists with a shop window or to entice a wider audience for New Music?
The festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and to make the transition from university to work life easier. Its intention is also to present contemporary music in all of its forms and to pave the way to New Music for a big audience. The festival follows a dramaturgic script and provides the platform for the sound of living material of an art form which is reinventing itself.

Works of contemporary composers are often doomed to a life in the shadows when it comes to the programmes of traditional concert halls. Why is it that people prefer to perform Bach rather than New Music?
If only it was Bach; but it’s usually rather Tchaikovsky. That’s a question you should ask the representatives of orchestras and concert halls. Where does this strong restraint vis-a-vis contemporary music creation come from? It’s not always dictated by the audience, as they are curious, how I could determine time and again. It’s the structures, orchestras, opera houses, radios which hold on to music which dominated the time of its creation in the 19th and 20th century. What people forget is that the music back then was the most important carrier of modern times. We’re facing a museum-like approach rather than the joy of discovery. Thank God, however, there are exceptions.

Under the auspices of the Académie Archipel Ose! which takes place for the first time and is run by Kaija Saariaho and Daniel Kawka, 6 young composers may take a one-week course in symphonic composition for the first time. What’s the point of an education when there are no more rules and everything is allowed in music nowadays?
Edgar Varèse, one of the ‘fathers’ of New Music, wanted to reduce the rules (grammar) and only follow the (mainly acoustic) laws. Here we are now. There are basically no more rules, just what you need to channel your own imagination. What still applies are the physical laws of sound, its source and how it spreads. There are thousands of techniques to construct a work, to dominate its form, the musical discourse. And finally, computer science also belongs to the pragmatic and necessary instruments of music composition. Once all of that has been acquired, the most substantial factor comes along: to find your own voice, to create something of your own. Colleges, where people of the most diverse backgrounds and varied careers get together, are a help to achieve this: Once the young musicians have learned about the “laws” at the conservatoire, they discover their own “self” when meeting other composers of their generation.

What kind of challenges does a budding Swiss composer master so that his works gain international recognition?
The same as a Frenchman or a Korean woman. Since the wall came down, and many countries have gained access to relative wealth, music creation has been heavily internationalised. The candidates for the Académie Archipel Ose! came from no less than 30 countries on five continents. They are expected to bring along a solid theoretical and practical basic knowledge, imagination and originality, since they travel from academy to academy around the world in order to complete their education and to be able to gain international recognition.

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, a “Journée d’orientation professionnelle” for young composers and artists will be held, co-produced with SUISA. Access to this event in ‘L’Abri’ is free of charge. What does this event have in store for a young music creator?
As newcomers, we have all had the unsettling experience that there is a gap between our career ambitions and professional reality. We cannot change that altogether, but we can help young musician, composers and artists to get to know the environment in which they will be active. This includes administrative, legal, technical and human constraints which they are subjected to when they perform their music for which they were specifically trained. Musical professions – ranging from music critic to publishers of music score and from orchestra musician to creators of sound – have been fundamentally changed as a consequence of the computerisation of music creation, the dematerialisation of carriers, the disappearance of boundaries between the art forms, and the replacement of traditional dissemination channels such as TV, radio and print media by social networks. Experts that have been invited to attend this event will be addressing these issues.

How about yourself: What kind of events from this year’s festival programme are you not going to miss under any circumstance?
I will, of course, attend them all, and can therefore not really answer this question. As a connoisseur of New Music, I would not wish to miss out on the creations of our four most important contemporary composers: Murail, Kyburz, Gervasoni and Blank, in the course of the concert of the Lemanic Modern Ensemble on 01 April. If I wanted to have an introduction to contemporary music unknown to me, and wanted to be able to ask various artists questions in a pleasant atmosphere, I wouldn’t want to miss the afternoon of 2 April to the ‘salons de musique’, which are dedicated to the contrabass clarinet and the drums.

www.archipel.org, festival website

“Journée d’orientation professionnelle”
I am a young composer and at the beginning of my career. Where can I complete my education and training? At which academy? How do I introduce myself? I have founded an ensemble: How do I get it to become well-known, how do I develop and run it? Do I have to register with a collective management organisation? What’s better: paper or ‘dematerialised’ editions? Can I upload my music on the internet for free? Where can I work in an multidisciplinary manner? Where do I distribute my work? These and many more questions are what young artists are asking themselves at the beginning of their careers. We attempt to answer them in the course of meetings with lawyers, publishers, teachers and music producers. The event is under the auspices of SUISA and intended to facilitate the career entry for young musicians. It is open to everyone. (Text: Archipel Festival)
Saturday, 01 April 2017 at the ‘L’Abri – A2’, free admission
10:00-10:10 Welcome speech by Bernard Meier – President of the Archipel Association responsible for the workshops of the music conservatoire HEM
10:10-10:30 Nicolas Pont – Head of SUISA Legal Services
10:30-10:50 David Johnson – responsible for Swissperform’s branch office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland
10:50-11:10 Johannes Knapp – Director of the STV/ASM
11:20-11:40 Damien Pousset – Founder of the Aeon label
11:40-12:00 Andri Hardmeier – Head of the Music Division of Pro Helvetia
12:00-12:20 François Passard (Director) and Alain Renaud (Manager of the production studio) of the ‘L’Abri’
Break
13:30-13:50 Marc Texier – Archipel Director
13:50-14:10 Daniel Zea – Composer and founding member of the Ensemble Vortex
14:10-14:30 Tzairi Santos Garcia – responsible for the digital development at Outhere Music
14:30-14:50 Lucas Fagin – Composer and co-director of Babelscores
15:00-15:20 Bruno Serrou – Music critic
15:20-15:40 Marie-Christine Papillon – Director of Papillon Publishing
15:40-16.00 Conclusion/Debrief
Conversations with composers
With Hanspeter Kyburz, Stefano Gervasoni, William Blank, Tristan Murail, Xavier Dayer. Presented by Marc Texier.

Saturday, 01 April 2017, 20.00 hrs
Alhambra, free admission

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Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival...read more

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Over the Easter period, it’s not just the palm trees and nice weather that make the Ticino attractive: Over a three-day period, you can get a good impression of what the Indie-Pop-/Rock scene has on offer in the Ticino. Text by Erika Weibel

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Barbara Lehnhoff (left) and Aris Bassetti (right) are mainly music creators and known for their projects Peter Kernel and Camilla Sparksss. Apart from that, they have their own label, On the Camper Records, and organise the festival La Tessinoise. (Photo: Robert Huber)

Last year, Ticino label On the Camper Records celebrated its tenth anniversary with a festival. For the celebrations, label founders Aris Bassetti und Barbara Lehnhoff invited music professionals from across Europe and organised several concerts in the Lugano area. The festival and the get together of music business and artists proved to be so successful that the organisers decided to continue the event under the name “La Tessinoise”.

As a consequence, many bands will enter the stages at various event venues around Lugano again this year, between 14 and 16 April 2017. While music creation in the Ticino takes the ‘centre stage’ in terms of focus, acts from other Swiss regions and from abroad are also set to perform. One thing that distinguishes this festival is that all bands will play new repertoire. Every evening, the audience will thus be able to listen to the première of new songs.

If you wish to enjoy some Indie music in Switzerland’s ‘sunny parlour’ and also want to meet people from the music business from all across Europe on an informal basis, you will have an excellent opportunity to do so in Lugano.

Further information:
Concert programme, tickets etc.: www.latessinoise.com, festival website
Website of the On the Camper Records label: www.onthecamper.com

SUISA and FONDATION SUISA, SUISA’s foundation for music promotion, support the Festival La Tessinoise. On Saturday, 15 April 2017, at 10:30, SUISA holds a brunch during the festival – access is by invitation only.

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Over the Easter period, it’s not just the palm trees and nice weather that make the Ticino attractive: Over a three-day period, you can get a good impression of what the Indie-Pop-/Rock scene has on offer in the Ticino. Text by Erika Weibel

La Tessinoise: Much ado about the Ticino

Barbara Lehnhoff (left) and Aris Bassetti (right) are mainly music creators and known for their projects Peter Kernel and Camilla Sparksss. Apart from that, they have their own label, On the Camper Records, and organise the festival La Tessinoise. (Photo: Robert Huber)

Last year, Ticino label On the Camper Records celebrated its tenth anniversary with a festival. For the celebrations, label founders Aris Bassetti und Barbara Lehnhoff invited music professionals from across Europe and organised several concerts in the Lugano area. The festival and the get together of music business...read more

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

A story of 50 years’ success: The only sustained career in Switzerland in relation to the “canzone italiana” – in all its dimensions. An undisputed, and undoubtedly significant fact about the singer songwriter Marco Zappa from Bellinzona, who has become the focal point of music culture in the Ticino again at the beginning of the year. This comes with the release of his new album “PuntEBarrier” which contains 18 unpublished songs, and a tour across Switzerland starting on 14 March 2017 in the Teatro Sociale Bellinzona. Interview/Text by Zeno Gabaglio – La versione italiana del testo si trova sotto.

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Interview with Marco Zappa in the studio MarcoZappaMusic in Sementina. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

50 years of music: This is a great opportunity to meet Marco and cast a look back into the past. We asked him to tell us how it all began and how his relationship with musical creativity developed; in the Ticino – an area which had never really stood out in terms of the “canzone italiana”, i.e. songs in Italian.

Marco Zappa: At the beginning of it all, there was my mother who regarded me as a pianist in the classical music sector. We lived in Bellinzona at the time, and I was still barely a child. I played the piano for two years – more or less ‘under duress’ – and I do recall that I really didn’t enjoy it: I had to practice every day, but had completely different things on my mind at that age. While I was a boy scout, I began playing the harmonica (mouth organ), an instrument which, unlike a piano, you can take with you and also share your music with others. My mother’s sister played the guitar. She had taught me my first view chords, exactly at the time when Adriano Celentano and the first “shouting singers” were all the rage in Italy. I was hooked right from the start and could immediately relate to that type of music. I founded a small band with my colleagues from the Gymnasium (grammar school) with which we performed at school parties.

Marco Zappa (l.) and Zeno Gabaglio.

Zeno Gabaglio: What kind of opportunities did those have who wanted to make music and share it – as much as possible – with others?
The desire effectively existed to meet up to make music, but it was mainly folk and traditional music. I have also spent a few years to sing and play la Verzaschina, il Boccalino and various other songs that nowadays would be called ‘folk’. When it comes to live music in the Ticino, there was quite a good supply of ensembles that performed light music, i.e. bands (even those with just 4-5 musicians) that performed a repertoire mix between jazz, swing and ‘Schlager’ [traditional German-language pop songs]. On my way home after school, I always stopped outside the bars of Locarno where they were playing in order to listen to their music. And I was totally enchanted and learned new chords.

But the music of such dance ensembles was “old” music, wasn’t it? How come that Marco Zappa found a more modern path to rock music?
It was the electric guitar. One evening where I performed with my band in the Oratorium in Minusio, the priest who had organised the meeting, played the song Apache by The Shadows, with those wonderful tunes at the beginning, played by a distorted electric guitar. It was love at first “sound”. And then there were, of course, the songs by the Beatles! …

New album “PuntEBarrier”.

The rock career of Marco Zappa thus goes back to a modern priest?
Yes, in a way: to an enlightened priest! But as we were – so suddenly – infected with the electric guitar virus, young people like us had a problem: How could we change our instruments so that we would manage to hit exactly that tone? A friend who was an electrical engineer told me that you would get a microphone if you unscrewed the lower part of a telephone receiver (i.e. the part into which you speak). So I did exactly that and mounted that piece onto my guitar, connected both wires to an amplifier of an old radio owned by my parents and voilà, I had my first electric guitar. I do remember how I rode through the city with the old radio, tied to the moped on my way to the rehearsals …

Shortly after, you began – with the Teenager Band – to create music, even though you would not reach the gravitational centre of your musical universe until a few years later, by changing from English to Italian. Could you explain to us what led to this important development?
I had grown up listening to English rock pieces on my turntable. I played singles a thousand times in order to practice the guitar solos and to learn the lyrics by heart. Even though our English wasn’t brilliant, we still wrote our songs and performed them in that language, as we mainly listened to English rock at the time. Strangely enough, I find myself criticising musicians of today a little when they – even though Italian is their mother tongue – sing in English only, and I do believe I have the right to do so, especially as that’s exactly how I started myself! Our first two albums were recorded in English and we were proud that EMI (the record label of the Beatles!) produced it; they would have never produced the albums with us in any other language than English.

“The words you choose are just like fingers on a guitar: You need to feel that they are your own. If this is not the case, then the musical result is not really authentic.” – Marco Zappa

So when did you change to Italian?
The transition to Italian took place in 1979. Musical tastes around us had changed, and so had certain connections to the concept of the “canzone italiana”; but it was mainly a case of a new awareness that had awakened in me. The language that you use is like the instrument which you need to own. The words you choose are just like fingers on a guitar: You need to feel that they are your own. If this is not the case, then the musical result is not really authentic. Since then, this is what has been happening: When I experience a story in my dialect, then I have to write it in my dialect, and if I experience it in Italian, I have to write it in Italian. The same applies to any other languages. That’s not a decision I have to take up front, it is the story itself that I want to tell which leads me onto an unavoidably expressive path.

And now, finally, for the music. What happened is that you have come off rather quickly from the young convention of the English language, and it was the same with your musical vision which had only been influenced by rock music. You thus went to look for less predictable and undoubtedly more daring solutions. What made you choose this direction?
Due to the change to Italian lyrics, I chose an unusual musical setup: a trio with flute and cello. Maybe, at the time, my subconscious told me to do something that even my mother would like. The setup of the band seemed to be classical, but the spirit was definitely committed to rock, even if many people were of the opinion at the time that you could only create rock music with a stratocaster with a distortion switch. Since then, I have always tried to be open to new musicians, instruments and ideas when it comes to musical collaboration. The principle is the same, as it also applies to the lyrics: The story that you wish to tell suggests different technical and poetic solutions – and sometimes it also provides them. If you use the same stones every time and also stack them in the same way, you’ll end up with the same wall, every time.

www.marcozappa.ch, official website


Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Cinquant’anni di carriera: l’unica duratura carriera della canzone svizzera che si sia svolta dentro (ma anche sopra, sotto e accanto) alla lingua italiana. Questo è il dato incontrovertibile – e incontrovertibilmente fondamentale – che riguarda Marco Zappa, e che ancora una volta in questo inizio di 2017 ripropone il cantautore bellinzonese al centro della cultura musicale della Terza Svizzera. Con un nuovo disco con 18 inediti – «PuntEBarrier» – e con un tour nazionale che inizierà il prossimo 14 marzo al Teatro Sociale di Bellinzona. Intervista/testo: Zeno Gabaglio

L’occasione è dunque imperdibile per incontrare Marco e fare qualche passo indietro, per farci raccontare com’è iniziato e come si è sviluppato il suo rapporto con la creatività musicale; in una regione – il Ticino – che dal punto di vista della canzone in lingua italiana non aveva mai offerto esempi illuminanti.

Marco Zappa: È iniziato tutto da mia madre, che mi vedeva come interprete-pianista in ambito classico. Abitavamo ancora a Bellinzona ed ero appena un bambino. Ho suonato due anni quasi per forza il pianoforte e mi ricordo che non mi piaceva: dovevo studiare ogni giorno ma avevo ben altre cose per la testa, a quell’età. Negli scout ho poi cominciato a suonare l’armonica a bocca, uno strumento che, a differenza del pianoforte, si poteva portare in giro e con cui si poteva condividere la musica. La sorella di mia madre suonava invece la chitarra, e fu lei a mostrarmi i primi accordi, proprio nel periodo in cui in Italia imperversavano Celentano e i primi “cantanti urlatori”. Mi sono subito appassionato e immedesimato, raccogliendo i miei compagni di ginnasio in un piccolo gruppo con cui suonavamo alle feste degli studenti.

Zeno Gabaglio: Che possibilità c’erano per chi voleva fare musica, e magari anche condividerla con gli altri?
Il bisogno di trovarsi attorno al fare musica effettivamente c’era, ma in genere si rivolgeva alla musica popolare. Anch’io ho passato diversi anni a cantare e suonare la Verzaschina, il Boccalino e le varie canzoni che oggi diremmo folk. Per la musica dal vivo in Ticino c’era però ancora una buona offerta di orchestre di musica leggera, cioè gruppi (di anche solo 4-5 elementi) che si esibivano in repertori tra il jazz, lo swing e la canzone; tornando a casa da scuola mi fermavo sempre ad ascoltarli davanti ai bar di Locarno in cui si esibivano, restando sempre affascinato dalla musica che facevano ed imparando accordi nuovi.

Ma quella delle orchestrine era comunque una musica «vecchia»! Cosa portò invece Marco Zappa sulla strada ben più moderna del rock?
La chitarra elettrica. Durante una serata in cui – con il mio gruppo – suonammo all’Oratorio di Minusio, il prete che organizzava l’incontro diffuse dall’impianto il brano Apache degli Shadows, con quei meravigliosi suoni iniziali di chitarra elettrica riverberata. Fu un colpo di fulmine, e poi, naturalmente, le canzoni dei Beatles! …

Quindi all’origine del percorso rock di Marco Zappa ci fu la modernità di un prete?
In un certo senso sì: di un prete illuminato! Ma contagiato così – all’improvviso – dal germe della chitarra elettrica, per noi giovanissimi rimaneva un problema: come trasformare i nostri strumenti per cercare di ottenere esattamente quel suono lì? Un amico elettrotecnico mi disse che dalla cornetta del telefono, svitando la parte inferiore (cioè quella in cui si parlava), si poteva ricavare un microfono. Così feci, togliendolo e incollandolo alla chitarra, collegai poi i due fili risultanti all’amplificatore della radio dei miei genitori e ottenni la mia prima chitarra elettrica. Ancora mi ricordo quando attraversavo la città con la vecchia radio legata sul motorino per andare a fare le prove …

Di lì a poco – con la band Teenagers – avresti cominciato a fare le cose decisamente sul serio, anche se il centro gravitazionale del tuo universo musicale lo avresti raggiunto qualche anno più tardi, passando dalla lingua inglese a quella italiana. Ci puoi spiegare questa tua fondamentale evoluzione?
Ero cresciuto ascoltando pezzi rock inglesi sul mio giradischi, ascoltando mille volte i 45 giri per imparare gli assoli di chitarra e memorizzare i testi. E se anche la conoscenza della lingua era per tutti approssimativa, si scriveva e si cantava in inglese proprio perché i nostri ascolti di quel periodo erano focalizzati sul rock britannico. Oggi paradossalmente critico un po’ quei musicisti che – pur essendo di lingua madre italiana – cantano solo in inglese, e credo di poterlo fare proprio perché anch’io, in fondo, ho cominciato così. I primi due LP li realizzammo in inglese, e l’orgoglio fu che a produrceli c’era la EMI (la casa discografica dei Beatles!) che senza l’inglese non ce li avrebbe mai prodotti.

«Le parole che scegli sono come le tue dita su una chitarra: devi sentirle tue, e se non è così il risultato musicale non sarà sincero.» – Marco Zappa

E l’italiano quando arrivò?
Il passaggio all’italiano è avvenuto nel 1979. Attorno a noi erano cambiati certi gusti musicali e certi rapporti con l’idea della canzone; ma soprattutto avevo maturato io una nuova consapevolezza: la lingua che usi è come uno strumento, che ti deve appartenere. Le parole che scegli sono come le tue dita su una chitarra: devi sentirle tue, e se non è così il risultato musicale non sarà sincero. Da allora se una storia la vivo in dialetto, non posso che scriverla in dialetto, e se la vivo in italiano, devo scriverla in italiano, e così per le altre lingue. Non si tratta di una scelta obbligatoria e a priori che mi impongo prima di scrivere qualcosa, ma è la stessa storia che voglio raccontare a portarmi sull’inevitabile strada linguistico-espressiva.

Infine la musica. Perché se è vero che ti sei presto allontanato dalla convenzione giovanilistica dell’inglese, altrettanto hai fatto da una visione musicale esclusivamente rock, andando a cercare soluzioni meno scontate e – indubbiamente – più ardite. Chi ti ha spinto in questa direzione?
Proprio per la svolta testuale in italiano scelsi una veste musicale inusitata: un trio con flauto e violoncello. Forse inconsciamente volevo fare qualcosa che piacesse anche a mia madre. La formazione sembrava classica, ma lo spirito era chiaramente rock, anche se per molti si poteva fare rock solo usando una Stratocaster con distorsione. Da allora ho sempre cercato di aprirmi a collaborazioni musicali con musicisti, strumenti e idee ogni volta diversi, e il principio è lo stesso che vale per il testo: è la storia da raccontare che suggerisce – a volte imponendole – soluzioni tecniche e poetiche differenti. Perché altrimenti se usi ogni volta gli stessi mattoni e ogni volta li sovrapponi allo stesso modo, il risultato sarà sempre lo stesso muro.

www.marcozappa.ch

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“Without an organisation like SUISA many songs would never have been created” The famous and popular musician Peter Reber has been a SUISA member since 1971. In a written interview, the composer, lyricist, artist and publisher explains, why his collective management organisation is important for him and why – from his point of view – it is not necessary that collective management organisations should be subject to a stricter supervision. Read more

 

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A story of 50 years’ success: The only sustained career in Switzerland in relation to the “canzone italiana” – in all its dimensions. An undisputed, and undoubtedly significant fact about the singer songwriter Marco Zappa from Bellinzona, who has become the focal point of music culture in the Ticino again at the beginning of the year. This comes with the release of his new album “PuntEBarrier” which contains 18 unpublished songs, and a tour across Switzerland starting on 14 March 2017 in the Teatro Sociale Bellinzona. Interview/Text by Zeno Gabaglio – La versione italiana del testo si trova sotto.

Marco Zappa: 50 anni di musica

Interview with Marco Zappa in the studio MarcoZappaMusic in Sementina. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

50 years of music: This is a great opportunity to meet Marco and cast a look back into the past. We asked...read more

20 years M4music – with SUISA in the midst of it

Over the last 20 years, the M4music festival has become an important get-together of the Swiss Pop music sector. In 2017, its anniversary, the festival offers numerous networking opportunities, information events, evening concerts as well as a showcase stage for young Swiss talents. Such a variety of activities enables the audience to catch a broader, sophisticated glimpse into current music affairs. Text by Erika Weibel

20 years M4music – with SUISA in the midst of it

More than 700 songs were sent in for the Demotape Clinic 2016. Veronice Fusaro (picture) were awarded the main prize “Demo of the Year”, and the “FONDATION SUISA Award” in the category Pop for the song “Come To Naught”. (Photo: Alessandro Della Bella)

SUISA has been involved in the M4music festival for years now. 2017 marks another year where music creators can benefit directly from the expert knowledge of SUISA staff members, and network during the annual ‘Professional-Apéro’ drinks. On top of that, SUISA supports the ‘Showcase Stage’ where Swiss newcomers can present their music to the festival audience.

FONDATION SUISA, SUISA’s charitable foundation for music promotion, is the main partner of the well-established Demotape Clinic, which takes place in the course of the M4music festival. The “FONDATION SUISA Awards” are granted to the best Rock, Pop, Urban and Electronic songs from among the submitted demos. Furthermore, the main prize “Demo of the Year” is awarded together with the Migros-Kulturprozent [Migros ‘Culture Percentage’]. The award show takes place on Saturday, 1 April 2017 at 7.00 pm in the ‘Box im Schiffbau’. At the same event, FONDATION SUISA, the Solothurn Filmtage (‘Film days’), and M4music jointly award prizes for Best Swiss Video Clips 2017.

All information events and performances on the Showcase Stage are free of charge for the audience.

Panels at M4music 2017 with SUISA participation

Friday, 31/03/2017, 14:45, Matchbox
Copyright Debate: Sampling, Remix, Mashup

Samples and remixes can be found all around in the music sector. Nevertheless, this issue often leads to emotional discussions and also triggers the question among professional musicians: What’s allowed, and what isn’t? Where do I have to obtain rights, from whom and when? Questions which have become acute again in the digital age. Can the current copyright legislation provide topical answers? The panel will be presented by SUISA.

Saturday, 01/04/2017, 17:45, Matchbox
Blockchain: More than a hype?

Blockchain is the technology watchword of the day. No other topic inspires the imagination of entrepreneurs, investors and IT strategists more than the concept borrowed from Bitcoin, the digital currency. The financial sector attributes the potential to the Blockchain that it could fundamentally change entire commercial sectors. The Blockchain allows for tamper-proof transactions at cyberspeed without intermediaries. This topic has also caused ripples in the music industry: Income could then be distributed automatically among rights owners and the balance of power in the music industry could shift dramatically. But how exactly does Blockchain work? At the event entry-level knowledge will be conveyed and discussions will be held about the opportunities and challenges for musicians and collective management organisations. Andreas Wegelin, CEO of SUISA, will be a contributor to this discussion at the event.

www.m4music.ch

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Over the last 20 years, the M4music festival has become an important get-together of the Swiss Pop music sector. In 2017, its anniversary, the festival offers numerous networking opportunities, information events, evening concerts as well as a showcase stage for young Swiss talents. Such a variety of activities enables the audience to catch a broader, sophisticated glimpse into current music affairs. Text by Erika Weibel

20 years M4music – with SUISA in the midst of it

More than 700 songs were sent in for the Demotape Clinic 2016. Veronice Fusaro (picture) were awarded the main prize “Demo of the Year”, and the “FONDATION SUISA Award” in the category Pop for the song “Come To Naught”. (Photo: Alessandro Della Bella)

SUISA has been involved in the M4music festival for years now. 2017 marks another year where music creators can benefit directly from the expert knowledge...read more

SUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overview

SUISA members whose works are performed, broadcast, reproduced or used online a lot can look forward to receiving remuneration at least four times per year for their work on lyrics or compositions or their publishing activities. In 2017, SUISA will continue with its quarterly distributions that it had successfully introduced previously. Minor modifications serve the purpose of distributing the income swiftly and cost-effectively. Text by Manu Leuenberger

SUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overview

During financial year 2016, 15,106 authors and 1,373 publishers received one or several settlements from SUISA. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA payments are a “bonus in June” for Sophie Burande and Léonard Gogniat of Carrousel, as mentioned in an interview, and “a recognition of the work involved in writing lyrics and composing music”. In another conversation with us, Camilla Sparksss alias Barbara Lehnhoff said that she considered SUISA settlements as a helpful and “lovely Christmas present each year”.

Whether Christmas present or “summer bonus”: The points in time where SUISA members can look forward to receiving their copyright royalties are connected to the SUISA settlement dates. Members who are due royalties on the basis of SUISA’s distribution rules, receive a payment on these dates.

The rhythm of payments to authors and publishers had been increased a while ago: From 2015 onwards, SUISA introduced quarterly settlements. As a consequence, the collected remuneration will be passed on to rights holders four times per year.

Quarterly distribution of collections to authors and publishers

In 2017, SUISA will continue with its quarterly distributions that it had successfully introduced previously. There are only minor modifications compared to the previous year. These few improvements are another step in the direction of SUISA’s goal to pay out the remuneration as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

The distribution category SRG TV is paid out more quickly: Previously, the distribution of collections from this category took place twice a year. From 2017 onwards, the relevant remuneration will be paid out four times per year in the course of the quarterly settlements. SRG is the biggest licensee, or customer, of SUISA. As a consequence, the remuneration amounts in category SRG TV that are now paid out more quickly to authors and publishers of the broadcast music are relatively high.

From 2017 onwards, advertising window settlements will no longer be run separately but as part of the 3rd quarterly payment in mid-September. The integration of this supplementary settlement into the quarterly distribution is a simplification of the handling process and thus saves costs.

Overview of SUISA’s 2017 settlements calendar

Settlement Date
Quarterly settlement 2017-1 15/03/2017
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (3rd quarter 2016)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio 3rd quarter 2016)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (3rd quarter 2016)
Reproduction rights online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Adjustments 2017, 1st settlement End of March
Settlements from abroad: Performing, broadcasting and reproduction rights 2017, 1st settlement End of May
Quarterly settlement 2017-2 15/06/2017
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: B, C, D, E, H, Hb, HV, K, Z (2016)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio 4th quarter 2016)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG TV, 2nd semester 2016)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG commercials 2016)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariffs: S, Y (2016)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (4th quarter 2016)
Reproduction rights, central licensing (2nd semester 2016)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Publishers’ pension benefits Beginning of July
Authors’ pension benefits Mid-July
Quarterly settlement 2017-3 15/09/2017
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (1st quarter 2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV, 1st quarter 2017)
Advertising windows (2015)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (1st quarter 2017)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)
Blank media levy (CT 4), settlement 2017
Sub-publisher shares cable networks, settlement 2017
Supplementary settlements
Adjustments 2017, 2nd settlement End of September
Re-recording rights settlement, 2017 End of October
Settlements from abroad: Performing, broadcasting and reproduction rights 2017, 2nd settlement End of November
Quarterly settlement 2017-4 15/12/2017
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (2nd quarter 2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV, 2nd quarter)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (2nd quarter 2017)
Reproduction rights, central licensing (1st semester 2017)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)

Further information is available on the SUISA website in the form of explanations of the SUISA settlement and a list of the private broadcasters included in the settlements.

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SUISA members whose works are performed, broadcast, reproduced or used online a lot can look forward to receiving remuneration at least four times per year for their work on lyrics or compositions or their publishing activities. In 2017, SUISA will continue with its quarterly distributions that it had successfully introduced previously. Minor modifications serve the purpose of distributing the income swiftly and cost-effectively. Text by Manu Leuenberger

SUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overview

During financial year 2016, 15,106 authors and 1,373 publishers received one or several settlements from SUISA. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA payments are a “bonus in June” for Sophie Burande and Léonard Gogniat of Carrousel, as mentioned in an interview, and “a recognition of the work involved in writing lyrics and composing music”. In another conversation with us, Camilla Sparksss alias Barbara Lehnhoff said that she considered SUISA...read more

SUISA expects significant rise in streaming collections

At the top of the agenda for the SUISA Board meeting in December 2016 was the budget for the following financial year. It was with satisfaction that the Board established a continuation of the positive developments from the past years in relation to the collections (+3.2%). Expenditure remains stable and the distributable amount increases slightly (+2.91%). Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

SUISA expects significant rise in streaming collections

The remuneration pot for streaming exploitations is expected to fill up for authors and publishers even more: In its budget for financial year 2017, SUISA expects an increase in the online sector income of +13.4% compared to the previous year. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The budget for financial year 2017 includes higher collections arising from broadcast and performing rights as well as compensation claims. An increase of approx. 11% is expected from tariffs CT 4i (smart phones) and CT 12 (set top boxes rental). A significant rise is also expected in the online sector, especially streaming (+13.4%). Due to the market developments, it is expected that reproduction rights are due to decrease (-3.8%). Regarding income from abroad, the amounts in the budget are also lower than previously (-4.5%).

Board and Management of SUISA also plan long-term: Apart from the roadmap for 2017, financial planning and strategy until 2020 were discussed. The Board discussed and ratified the drafts presented by Management.

Cost deductions stay the same

Another recurring agenda item for the end of the year are the cost deductions. The Board resolves which deductions will be taken in the subsequent year from collections in the current year. For Switzerland and the online sector, the percentages are between 10 and 15% just like in the previous year. An exception are the cost rates for the reproduction sector, in particular tariffs PI and VI which are subject to the Cannes Agreement (7.025% and 9.025%).

Furthermore, the percentage deducted from income from abroad in the last few years on the basis of reciprocal representation agreements was examined. Since various sister societies apply higher deductions, the pros and cons of an increase were thoroughly considered. The Board members decided, however, to keep deduction levels at 4%.

Benvenuti a Lugano

For the autumn meetings 2017, the Board members of SUISA will not travel to Lausanne, as they did before, but to Lugano instead. Why not hold the General Assembly in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland? In line with SUISA’s planning it could happen in 2021.

By-elections in the Distribution and Works Committee

Alex Kirschner, composer for advertising and film music, steps back from his post in the Distribution and Works Committee (VWK) in summer 2017. Jonas Zellweger – SUISA member since 2009 – applies for the vacant seat; he is active in the same music category. The Board is going to unanimously propose his candidature to the General Assembly for election.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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At the top of the agenda for the SUISA Board meeting in December 2016 was the budget for the following financial year. It was with satisfaction that the Board established a continuation of the positive developments from the past years in relation to the collections (+3.2%). Expenditure remains stable and the distributable amount increases slightly (+2.91%). Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

SUISA expects significant rise in streaming collections

The remuneration pot for streaming exploitations is expected to fill up for authors and publishers even more: In its budget for financial year 2017, SUISA expects an increase in the online sector income of +13.4% compared to the previous year. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The budget for financial year 2017 includes higher collections arising from broadcast and performing rights as well as compensation claims. An increase of approx. 11% is expected...read more