The blank media levy is a freedom-based system and has been working well since 1992. Thanks to the levy it is possible to make private copies of CDs, MP3 files, films, books or photos. Authors and rights holders get paid on the basis of the blank media levy for the copies made.
90% of the collections made on the basis of the blank media levy are paid to rights holders. In other words, about 9 of 10 collected Swiss Francs are paid to artists. These collections are an important part of the income for domestic creatives. Furthermore, a part of the money (about CHF 1.3m each year) is used to support social funds for artists and to promote Swiss culture.
In the digital age, both artists and consumers benefit from the blank media levy. It is the technology companies that need to pay the remuneration. In other words: the manufacturers who make their money by selling devices or storage media which enable consumers to save and play copyright protected works.
“The basic principle that musicians also get paid whenever someone else earns money with our music must not be challenged”, says Christoph Trummer in the video. His beliefs do not just extend to music but include all types of creative performance. The principle applies for books, films, video, acting, dance, painting, photography, cabaret, theatre, opera and the entire diversity of Swiss art which is being created by the 3,200 signatories of the open letter.
Questions and answers on private copying / blank media levy can be found on the joint website of the Swiss collective management organisations