Tag Archives: International settlement

Overall, a positive financial year 2018

The SUISA Board and its Committees for Tariffs and Distribution as well as for Organisation and Communication met for their regular spring sessions on 9 and 10 April 2019 at the SUISA head office in Zurich. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Overall, a positive financial year 2018

Apart from the Cooperative Society SUISA, there is now also a SUISA group, which includes the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing and the 50% holding in the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services AG. (Photo: Natalie Schlumpf)

The most important topic during the spring meeting are traditionally the resolutions concerning the financial statements of the past year for submission to the General Assembly. SUISA publishes two financial statements in accordance with the Standard Swiss GAAP FER from this year onwards, one for the parent company, the Cooperative Society SUISA, and one consolidated financial statement for the SUISA group. The group comprises the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing with headquarters in Vaduz (FL) and the 50% holding in the company Mint Digital Services AG, Zurich, a Joint Venture by SUISA and the American organisation for music rights, SESAC.

The annual financial statements of the group as well as of the parent company show an overall positive picture. Total collections reached a new high of CHF 160.8m. Income from the licensing of the online music business surpassed CHF 10m for the first time and contributed to this result.

Unfortunately, the secondary income was much lower last year. The reason for this is the bad investment year. Securities income only reached CHF 0.6m in 2018. In 2017, this amount still stood at CHF 3m. As a consequence, this difference now lacks in terms of covering expenditure for 2018. Nevertheless, cost coverage deductions taken from the settlements to members should not increase. The Board therefore decided to use more money from the liabilities that became available for the financing of the costs, and has subsequently reduced the supplementary distribution from 7% to 5%.

Preparations for the General Assembly

Additional topics were the preparation of other business for the General Assembly: the analysis of the organisation’s risks, the resulting management report and the approval of the entire annual report for submission to the GA. Lastly, nominations for two retiring Board members had to be decided upon, and documents relating to the investment policy and the compensation of Board members that had become necessary due to the new Articles of Association had to be resolved.

The Board took notice that Executive Committee was making efforts and got involved with the relevant departments to collect remuneration from abroad. In this context, it is important to take into consideration that the laws, tariffs and distribution rules are different at our sister societies and that SUISA cannot be held responsible for that. The Board therefore rejected the claim for a settlement of a member which held the view that it had not received enough remuneration for usages abroad.

Finally, the Board had to say farewell to executive assistant Dora Zeller, who is going to leave SUISA in order to retire. President Xavier Dayer expressed his thanks in the name of the entire Board for the turntable-like function that Dora Zeller had mastered with distinction throughout the last 10 years, and wished her well for the next, ‘third’ phase in her life.

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The SUISA Board and its Committees for Tariffs and Distribution as well as for Organisation and Communication met for their regular spring sessions on 9 and 10 April 2019 at the SUISA head office in Zurich. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Overall, a positive financial year 2018

Apart from the Cooperative Society SUISA, there is now also a SUISA group, which includes the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing and the 50% holding in the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services AG. (Photo: Natalie Schlumpf)

The most important topic during the spring meeting are traditionally the resolutions concerning the financial statements of the past year for submission to the General Assembly. SUISA publishes two financial statements in accordance with the Standard Swiss GAAP FER from this year onwards, one for the parent company, the Cooperative Society SUISA, and one...read more

Positive figures for the 2018 financial year to date

The Board meeting held the day before the General Assembly in June 2018 had a multi-layered agenda to handle. In addition to preparing for the General Assembly, the meeting also reviewed the course of business for the year to date. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Positive figures for the 2018 financial year to date

Satisfactory revenue and distribution results for composers, lyricists and publishers: SUISA’s 2018 financial year got off to a good start in terms of results. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

Key figures for the start of the 2018 financial year are positive: domestic revenues totalled CHF 60.3 million as at 31 May 2018, exceeding the budget by 8% and the prior year by 7%. The amount distributed in the second-quarter settlement in mid-June was CHF 43.8 million. At CHF 13.2 million, expenses were within budget.

Review of business activities

The Board approved the comprehensive report and explanatory notes to the 2017 financial statements prepared by the Auditor. These are part of the documentation that SUISA is required to file with the Federal Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) each year for its review of SUISA’s business activities.

Following changes in the Financial Market Infrastructure Act and its implementing ordinances, SUISA had to amend its investment regulations, in particular as regards due care rules for derivatives trading. The Board laid down clear guidelines regulating SUISA’s activities on the investment market. SUISA is also required to submit any amendments to these regulations each year to the IPI, the competent regulatory authority.

Satisfactory income and distribution results for year-to-date 2018

For the year to date as at 31 May, revenues increased for all classes of rights compared both with the budget and the prior year. The growth in revenues from online uses – plus 174%, or CHF 4.7 million – was particularly noteworthy. When preparing the budget, it had been expected that all online contracts would be transferred to SUISA Digital Licensing or Mint Digital Services, and that the corresponding revenues would flow into these companies. However, negotiations with the online service providers are taking longer than expected. Until the new contracts are signed, the corresponding revenues will continue to flow to SUISA, the parent company.

Initial distribution results for 2018 are also positive. The remuneration collected under most tariffs is meanwhile distributed to rightsholders following a quarterly schedule. The first quarterly settlement comprised 8,879 individual settlements representing a total distribution of CHF 13.8 million; the second, in mid-June, comprised 11,800 individual settlements and a total distribution of CHF 43.8 million.

With regard to revenues from abroad, thanks to a new IT application, we managed to distribute a larger number of settlements from our foreign sister societies than ever before at this time of the year. Remuneration totalling CHF 4.1 million was distributed to SUISA members. Moreover, starting in autumn 2018, foreign revenues will also be distributed on a quarterly basis. This means that the second of the three foreign settlements for 2018 will be distributed in mid-September. The third settlement will then be made in mid-December.

Sponsoring commitments and distribution rules

Figures aside, on to sponsoring: SUISA is making itself seen and heard with a number of actions in the framework of various musical events. The overriding aim is always to inform the public about the purpose and activities of our Cooperative Society and to attract well-deserved attention and esteem for the creative work ofour members. In this context, the members of the Committee for Organisation and Communication learnt about SUISA’s commitment in support of the Walo Prize and the organisation of the successful Songwriting Camp. Other events (co-)sponsored by SUISA include a day of concerts in the “Offen für Neues” (“open for the new”) series at the Festival Murten Classics in August, as well as “Label Suisse” in mid-September in Lausanne.

At the meeting, the Board also spent considerable time debating the amendment of the Distribution Rules. The amendments proposed by the Executive Committee are first examined by the Distribution and Works Committee. They are then referred to the Committee for Tariffs and Distribution before being sent to the Board. Finally, the amendments must be submitted to the IPI and the Liechtenstein Office of Economic Affairs. The amendments come into force once they are approved by both institutions, and the document is published.

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The Board meeting held the day before the General Assembly in June 2018 had a multi-layered agenda to handle. In addition to preparing for the General Assembly, the meeting also reviewed the course of business for the year to date. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Positive figures for the 2018 financial year to date

Satisfactory revenue and distribution results for composers, lyricists and publishers: SUISA’s 2018 financial year got off to a good start in terms of results. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

Key figures for the start of the 2018 financial year are positive: domestic revenues totalled CHF 60.3 million as at 31 May 2018, exceeding the budget by 8% and the prior year by 7%. The amount distributed in the second-quarter settlement in mid-June was CHF 43.8 million. At CHF 13.2 million, expenses were within budget.

Review of business activities

The Board...read more

SUISA settlement dates 2018 – and one improvement

SUISA shall stick to its established settlement dates in 2018. They comprise, in the main, four quarterly settlements as well as various supplementary settlements spread across the coming year in analogy to the previous year. From the 2nd semester of 2018 onwards, settlements of international collections shall be switched over to a quarterly distribution frequency. Text by Wolfgang Rudigier and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA settlement dates 2018 - and one improvement

Always staying on top of their copyright remuneration: SUISA members get online access to their settlements via the portal “My Account” and can take a look by simply clicking their way through. (Photo: Denis Nata / Shutterstock.com)

The first settlement for international collections shall be paid out at the usual date, at the end of May, in 2018. Later on, after the 2nd semester, the payment of the remuneration from abroad will be switched over to quarterly settlements: Thanks to this improvement, two dates for international settlements will be added in September and December instead of the previous November pay-out.

Another enhancement in terms of international settlements had already been introduced successfully with the recent settlement of November 2017: By way of a new application, the settlements for the remuneration from abroad now also reflect the variety of usage categories of the works (e.g. live, radio, TV, sound recordings, downloads, streaming etc.). Moreover, further usage details (such as online provider, radio channel etc.) are now visible. This requires that such details have been passed on to SUISA by its sister society.

SUISA settlement dates 2018 – an overview

Settlement Date
Quarterly settlement 2018-1 15/03/2018
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (3rd quarter 2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV 3rd quarter 2017)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (3rd quarter 2017)
Reproduction rights online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Adjustments 2018, 1st settlement End of March
Settlements from abroad: Performing, broadcasting and reproduction rights 2018, 1st settlement End of May
Quarterly settlement 2018-2 15/06/2018
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: B, C, D, E, H, Hb, HV, K, Z (2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV 4rd quarter 2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG commercials 2017)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariffs: S, Y (2017)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (4th quarter 2017)
Reproduction rights, central licensing (2nd semester 2017)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Publisher’s pension benefits Beginning of July
Author’s pension benefits Mid-July
Quarterly settlement 2018-3 15/09/2018
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (1st quarter 2018)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV 1st quarter 2018)
Advertising windows (2016)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (1st quarter 2018)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Settlements from abroad: Performing, broadcasting and reproduction rights 2018, 2nd settlement Mid-September
Blank media levy (CT 4), settlement 2018 Mid-September
Sub-publisher shares cable networks, settlement 2018 Mid-September
Adjustments 2018, 2nd settlement End of September
Re-recording rights settlement, 2018 End of October
Quarterly settlement 2018-4 15/12/2018
Domestic performing rights, tariffs: D, K, Z (2nd quarter 2018)
Domestic broadcasting rights, tariff: A (SRG Radio & TV 2nd quarter 2018)
Reproduction rights, tariffs: PA, PI, PN, VI, VN (2nd quarter 2018)
Reproduction rights, central licensing (1st semester 2018)
Reproduction rights, online (Downloads & Streaming)
Supplementary settlements
Settlements from abroad: Performing, broadcasting and reproduction rights 2018, 3rd settlement Mid-December

Further information on the SUISA settlements can be accessed at:
www.suisa.ch/settlementdates

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SUISA shall stick to its established settlement dates in 2018. They comprise, in the main, four quarterly settlements as well as various supplementary settlements spread across the coming year in analogy to the previous year. From the 2nd semester of 2018 onwards, settlements of international collections shall be switched over to a quarterly distribution frequency. Text by Wolfgang Rudigier and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA settlement dates 2018 - and one improvement

Always staying on top of their copyright remuneration: SUISA members get online access to their settlements via the portal “My Account” and can take a look by simply clicking their way through. (Photo: Denis Nata / Shutterstock.com)

The first settlement for international collections shall be paid out at the usual date, at the end of May, in 2018. Later on, after the 2nd semester, the payment of the remuneration from abroad...read more

New distribution key for performing and broadcasting rights

The SUISA distribution key for performing and broadcasting rights will be changed from 01 January 2017 onwards. For works with an original publisher, the share of the author shall be 66.67% and that of the publisher 33.33%. The distribution rules are thus adapted to the CISAC key which is applied at international level. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

8/12 for authors, 4/12 for publishers: SUISA will adapt its distribution key for performing and broadcasting rights to European standards again. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The majority of SUISA’s European sister societies apply the so-called “CISAC key” when it comes to originally published works in the performing and broadcasting rights sector. CISAC is the international umbrella for collective management organisations (Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs). The shares of the distribution key recommended by the umbrella organisation for performances and broadcasts amount to 66.67% for authors and 33.33% for publishers.

SUISA’s distribution key

SUISA’s distribution key had deviated from the internationally established CISAC standard in the past. Up to now, SUISA distribution rules provided that the shares for originally published works for performing and broadcasting rights was 65% for authors and a maximum of 35% for publishers. Regarding the production of sound and audio-visual recordings, the composers receive 60% and the publishers 40%.

In the case of works with a sub-publisher, the author has an entitlement as per the distribution rules to receive 50%, and the publisher and sub-publisher to claim the remaining 50% for performances and broadcasts. Regarding the production of sound and audio-visual recordings, the composers receive 40% and the publisher and sub-publisher share the remaining 60%. In this context, it is worth mentioning that SUISA usually adopts the contractually agreed split between the publisher and the sub-publisher in the case of sub-published works. Only in the absence of such agreed splits will SUISA apply the keys established by the distribution rules.

Alignment with the European CISAC standard

The distribution keys by SUISA will now be adapted in the case of originally published works in the performing and broadcasting rights to European standards. The keys relating to the production of sound and audio-visual recordings (mechanical reproduction rights) shall remain unchanged in the distribution rules. Strictly speaking, the application of the CISAC key of 67% for authors and 33.33% for publishers is nothing new, but rather a re-introduction of a previous provision.

The key applied on a Europe-wide level is actually expressed in fractions 8/12 (author’s share) resp. 4/12 (publisher’s share). When SUISA began working with IT systems back in 1962, the aim was to avoid decimal places after the decimal point. As a consequence, SUISA changed the key, and rounded it to 65%, resp. 35%. The majority of the other European societies kept the translated fractions i.e. 66.67% and 33.33%.

Effects of the changed distribution rules

Thanks to the adaptation of the distribution keys, authors will be remunerated with the share that is deemed as standard in the European area. While the publisher share will be decreased by 1.67%, they will, together with the authors, benefit from positive effects which the changes bring about.

Apart from the harmonisation with other European societies, the (re)introduction of the CISAC key for originally published works entails further significant advantages:

  • Important increase in efficiency during work registration: Processing of SUISA works with international contributors will become simpler. Difficult conversions in the case of joint productions with international authors become redundant.
  • Processing distributions of the sister societies will be significantly simplified: The matching distribution keys will facilitate the processing of distributions by international sister societies to a great extent.

Validity of the changes to the distribution rules

Both the SUISA Board of Directors as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) have agreed to this change. The new distribution keys will come into force from 01 January 2017 without any retroactivity. This means, that all works declared after 01 January 2017 will be registered with the new distribution key. In the case of works that had been registered before that date, the distribution key in place shall remain valid. These works will not be changed.

The decision of the IPI dated 28 July 2016 is published at the SUISA website.

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The SUISA distribution key for performing and broadcasting rights will be changed from 01 January 2017 onwards. For works with an original publisher, the share of the author shall be 66.67% and that of the publisher 33.33%. The distribution rules are thus adapted to the CISAC key which is applied at international level. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

8/12 for authors, 4/12 for publishers: SUISA will adapt its distribution key for performing and broadcasting rights to European standards again. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The majority of SUISA’s European sister societies apply the so-called “CISAC key” when it comes to originally published works in the performing and broadcasting rights sector. CISAC is the international umbrella for collective management organisations (Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs). The shares of the distribution key recommended by the...read more

Dual memberships: SUISA, and what else?

SUISA manages the rights for its members globally. You should carefully review and consider the relevant effort and income if you wanted to become a member of several authors’ societies. Text by Claudia Kempf and Manu Leuenberger

Dual memberships: SUISA, and what else?

It is not a problem for rights management to deal with members of several collecting societies who are playing the same band. One example is the Swiss-German pop duo Boy, shown during a live performance at the SiriusXM studios in New York City on 03 April 2013. Valeska Steiner (r.) is a SUISA member, Sonja Glass (l.) is registered with a sister society abroad. (Photo: Rob Kim / Getty Images)

SUISA has entered into reciprocal agreements with over 100 sister societies globally. These agreements provide SUISA members with a big advantage: They can exercise their musical activities outside of Switzerland – the payment of the relevant copyright remuneration is made in the usual manner by its trusted society, SUISA.

If you live outside of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein, you can also become a SUISA member. Last but not least, it is also possible to be a member of another collective management organisation in addition to your SUISA membership. The following FAQs are intended to summarise what you need to consider when contemplating a so-called dual membership:

What should I consider before applying for dual membership?
If you become a member of a sister society abroad – on top of your SUISA membership – you have to expect an additional administrative effort. In the case of dual memberships, you need to deal with the regulations and formalities of several societies.
You also need to consider the extra cost: Some societies charge admission fees, respectively annual membership fees. Furthermore, some sister societies’ services may be fee-based, whereas at SUISA, they are covered by the general administration cost deduction from distributions. We recommend that you thoroughly analyse any one-off and regularly recurring costs of memberships with other societies.
Furthermore, you should consider any potential effects on the pension payments from SUISA: In the case of dual memberships, you receive your remuneration directly from other societies. This reduces the level of the remuneration distributed via SUISA, which, in turn, may have an influence on the calculation of the relevant income for your pension entitlement which you have as a SUISA member from your 63rd birthday onwards. Find more information on SUISA’s pension scheme here.

What is the use of a dual membership anyway?
In the case of a dual membership, remuneration for usages from a specific territory are not distributed via SUISA but via the respective society based abroad. An author whose works are performed or broadcast a lot in Argentina could become a direct member of the Argentinian society (Sadaic). Due to the dual membership with Sadaic, the respective royalties would be paid out more quickly after the performance, resp. broadcast, since Sadaic does transfer the payment directly to the author rather than to SUISA in the first place. SUISA has, however, recently created a new distribution schedule for payments from abroad and harmonised the settlement dates better with the dates of the sister societies so that the remuneration can be paid out more quickly.
In the case of a dual membership, members must clarify any queries relating to settlements, pay-outs and formalities directly with the society abroad. The only difference in the level of remuneration is that SUISA takes off a cost deduction of 4% when distributing royalties from abroad. In the case of rights being managed abroad, the tariffs and distribution rules prevalent in the respective territory are applicable. The cost deduction of 4% thus does not apply in the case of a direct membership with a second society, but only for its own “home territory”, in the case study of Sadaic, this would mean for Argentina (only). The society based abroad would, however, take off a cost deduction for all other territories, just like SUISA would.
It is therefore recommended to review and consider the effort and income carefully. This applies especially against a background of territorial limitations dissolving in the online sector, and SUISA being able to manage the online rights for its members across all of Europe (and other countries) directly, i.e. without any intermediate steps via a sister society. Please also refer to the next FAQ.

Does it make sense to assign online rights to several societies?
Since August 2013, SUISA has been licensing online rights at a pan-European level. This means: SUISA collects its members’ remuneration from iTunes, for example, for all of Europe. For SUISA members, this means that they receive their income from the online sector directly (without any intermediate step via sister societies) and thus more quickly. A dual membership for online rights makes no sense in this case.

Do I have to change society if I move to another country?
If you have not excluded any territories from your Administration Agreement with SUISA, then SUISA manages the rights of its members globally, irrespective of its members’ residence. You can therefore be a SUISA member irrespective of where you are a resident or where you are relocating to.

What do I have to consider when I change societies?
We recommend that you check the membership admission conditions of the new society up front. All details and documents for a SUISA membership can be accessed on the SUISA website, both for authors and publishers. Only when you are sure that your admission with the new society has been successful, should you terminate your relationship with your former society. You should follow the same procedure if you wish to become a member of an additional society just for a specific territory.
Another item to consider: periods of notice. At SUISA, it is possible to give 6 months’ notice for individual territories per the end of a year (31st December). Furthermore, it is important to know that certain societies abroad manage performing and broadcasting rights only, or mechanical rights only. Before you withdraw rights from a society, you should check whether the new society really manages all rights – as is the case with SUISA.

What happens in terms of double taxation in the case of dual memberships?
You should also establish tax-related matters in the case of dual memberships. Detailed information on the topic of double taxation would go way beyond the scope of this article. It might be useful to consult a tax advisor in this context. SUISA has collated some information on the fact sheet “Notes on double taxation” which can be accessed at www.suisa.ch/urheberdokumente.

What happens to my IPI number when I change society?
The IPI number is an international identification number of an author or a publisher. The number is unique and remains unchanged, irrespective of the society you are a member of. Further information on the IPI number can be found on our website in the section law & guidance, or in our members’ magazine SUISAinfo, edition 2.12 (in German, PDF, 3.2 MB).

Does it make sense to become a SUISA member if my works are exclusively used in a territory abroad?
If the entire repertoire of an author is exclusively used in one single country outside of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, it might make sense to apply for membership with the relevant society in that country. It does, however, always depend on your individual situation. It pays back to get good advice, not just in this case: Our members of staff of the SUISA members’ department are happy to help with any queries relating to (dual) membership and changing society:

Author(s)
d/e: authors(at)suisa(dot)ch, 044 485 68 28
f: authorsF(at)suisa(dot)ch, 021 614 32 32
i: autori(at)suisa(dot)ch, 091 950 08 28

Publishers
All languages: publishers(at)suisa(dot)ch, 044 485 68 20

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SUISA manages the rights for its members globally. You should carefully review and consider the relevant effort and income if you wanted to become a member of several authors’ societies. Text by Claudia Kempf and Manu Leuenberger

Dual memberships: SUISA, and what else?

It is not a problem for rights management to deal with members of several collecting societies who are playing the same band. One example is the Swiss-German pop duo Boy, shown during a live performance at the SiriusXM studios in New York City on 03 April 2013. Valeska Steiner (r.) is a SUISA member, Sonja Glass (l.) is registered with a sister society abroad. (Photo: Rob Kim / Getty Images)

SUISA has entered into reciprocal agreements with over 100 sister societies globally. These agreements provide SUISA members with a big advantage: They can exercise their musical...read more

A worldwide network for the rights of SUISA members

Music doesn’t know any boundaries. Not just literally but also geographically: Once you have managed to make it abroad, a well-functioning network of local support can be of great use. This applies particularly for the administrative work and therefore also for types of copyright which cannot be paid out in cash there and then. SUISA has a global network and is engaged in activities, in cooperation with its foreign sister societies, to manage the rights of SUISA members as comprehensively as possible. Text by Irène Philipp, Director

A worldwide network for the rights of SUISA members

Bastian Baker, singer-songwriter from Lausanne, who has been a member of SUISA since 2011, performed in the Hard Rock Cafe in Santiago, Chile, during his Latin America tour in spring 2015. With a SUISA membership, authors can have their rights managed by a network made of more than 100 foreign sister societies. (Photo: Lorena Weber)

SUISA has entered into reciprocal agreements with over 100 sister societies abroad. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein it thus represents the repertoire of about 2 million authors and publishers from all over the world. At the same time, those agreements form the basis that SUISA members benefit from copyright fees collected abroad.

Cooperation between collective management organisations

The basic principle of international cooperation between collective management organisations is illustrated by the following example: For concerts in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, SUISA collects money for the copyright on the performed works from the event organiser. If the composers of the works are members of a foreign society, SUISA passes on the collected royalties to the relevant societies. These societies, in turn, pay the royalties in line with their own distribution rules to their members who have participated in the work.

Thanks to the reciprocal agreements, the money flow also takes place in reverse: For concerts abroad where works of SUISA members are performed, the local society of the relevant country collects the money, passes it on to SUISA which distributes it to the SUISA members entitled to receive a payment.

It does not matter where the musical activity or usage takes place: By means of this global network, SUISA can manage its members’ rights nearly everywhere. All it takes for this to happen is for creators to enter into a rights administration agreement with SUISA. By means of a rights administration agreement, authors assign their rights to SUISA, usually on a worldwide basis.

Rights Administration Agreement with SUISA

The rights administration agreement, in connection with the general administrative terms and conditions (AWB) is the most important link between SUISA and its members. With the conclusion of this agreement, SUISA is instructed to manage important pecuniary copyrights in Switzerland and abroad (via the sister societies) on a fiduciary basis.

It is also possible to limit the territories for which the rights are assigned to SUISA. Membership in several societies is an option, e.g. to have another society cover a specific geographic area. Both options are, however, linked with disadvantages: In the case of limiting the territorial scope, the authors have to manage their rights themselves or entrust another society with them. In the case of multi-society memberships, formalities of several societies have to be met – especially with a view to work registrations – and members would have to deal with questions such as double taxation, different distribution rules, statutes etc.

SUISA recommends not to make any exceptions to the rule, unless a member is particularly successful in another territory in the long run. Further information in the article “Play abroad, communicate with SUISA at home” in the section “Good to know” The advantage for members is that they have only one contact and don’t need to delve into all the different terms, conditions and rules. Finally, by entering into a rights administration agreement with SUISA, the rights are already managed on a global level as far as possible.

Rights management abroad

When it comes to copyright royalties arising from international musical activities, SUISA depends on the collaboration with its sister societies abroad. It is important to note that collections and distribution of the royalties vary from country to country and are subject to different rules.

It follows that the rights management via sister societies abroad is based on the regulations, tariffs, distribution rules and contracts valid in the respective country. Each sister society determines its modus operandi autonomously. SUISA can therefore not guarantee a 100% coverage of rights management and not be liable for the activities of its sister societies abroad. SUISA is not obliged to actively pursue copyrights abroad. If there is more than one sister society in a country, SUISA is going to enter into one or several reciprocal agreements with the sister society or sister societies of its choice.

SUISA can transfer royalties to its members once it has actually received them from the sister societies. Known uses abroad should be declared to the society in charge. We therefore recommend to inform SUISA if you take your activities up abroad. It is well worth it to use the global network to manage the rights of SUISA members.

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Music doesn’t know any boundaries. Not just literally but also geographically: Once you have managed to make it abroad, a well-functioning network of local support can be of great use. This applies particularly for the administrative work and therefore also for types of copyright which cannot be paid out in cash there and then. SUISA has a global network and is engaged in activities, in cooperation with its foreign sister societies, to manage the rights of SUISA members as comprehensively as possible. Text by Irène Philipp, Director

A worldwide network for the rights of SUISA members

Bastian Baker, singer-songwriter from Lausanne, who has been a member of SUISA since 2011, performed in the Hard Rock Cafe in Santiago, Chile, during his Latin America tour in spring 2015. With a SUISA membership, authors can have their rights managed by a network made...read more

Play abroad, communicate with SUISA at home

How do I get access to my copyright remuneration for my concerts abroad? What do I need to consider when registering works with SUISA if the co-author of my song is a member of a foreign collective management organisation? Important and frequently asked questions on international musical activities are answered in the following. Text by Claudia Kempf, Wolfgang Rudigier and Manu Leuenberger

Play abroad, communicate with SUISA at home

Snapshot of the trip to the concert abroad: The Bernese band Da Cruz on its way to Canada for their performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in summer 2014. (Photo: Peter Hertig)

A concert tour abroad. Airplay on radio stations outside Switzerland. Collaborate with composers beyond the country’s borders. The often mentioned dream of international musical activity becomes reality for SUISA members.

SUISA receives more and more inquiries in relation to copyright licence fees from abroad and work declarations for international collaborations. The most important and most frequently asked questions related to activities abroad or the cooperation with foreign composers shall be answered in the following.

Settlements from abroad

How are usages abroad distributed to SUISA?
Our foreign sister societies usually distribute the relevant copyright remuneration automatically to us, based on their tariffs and their distribution rules.

When do I receive my remuneration from abroad?
A sister society usually distributes the remuneration for the relevant usage in the following year. Example: Remuneration for a concert that takes place today in another country is paid to SUISA during the year 2016. As soon as a distribution to SUISA has taken place, the remuneration is distributed at the next possible date for settlements from abroad to the entitled SUISA members.

What shall I do if a usage from abroad has not been paid out to me?
If royalties from abroad have not been paid in the year following the respective usage and you wish to ensure that the sister society checks such cases, you can notify SUISA of such usages.

Which type of information does SUISA require when I submit usage notifications?
In the case of concerts: Date of the performance, address of the concert venue, address of the event organiser, and programme of the played works.
In the case of broadcasts: Date of the broadcast, list of the broadcast works, as exact contact details as you can provide as possible for the radio/TV stations.
In the case of sound recordings: Date of the publication, list of the used works on the sound recording, exact contact details for the producer of the sound recording (in most cases, the label).
In the case of internet usage: Link for the usage of the work, date since when the work has been available online, details on the provider.

How can I directly notify the collective management organisation of the country where the usage took place of the usage?
It has been agreed among sister societies that queries or notifications from members always have to be made via the society where the author or publisher is registered as a member. SUISA members therefore have to always contact SUISA for information about concerts abroad. It is pointless to directly contact collecting societies abroad.

My songs are often played by “smaller” radio stations. Why do I rarely get a remuneration for such broadcasts?
Programmes of most private radio stations abroad are not analysed down to each actual work usage. The reason for this is that the administrative effort for a detailed programme analysis would exceed the income per individual broadcast by far. In such cases, most sister societies apply a so-called ‘sampling’ system. In the sampling process, the programme of the relevant radio station is only analysed in detail on specific days each month. The works broadcast on those days shall be included in the distribution. Work performances on other days which are not subject to the sampling, are not included in the distribution.

If you have any questions related to settlements from abroad, we are happy to answer them at:
intdistribution(at)suisa(dot)ch

Works registration in the case of international cooperation projects

Who is responsible for registering a work if it has been composed by several authors and the involved parties are members of other collective management organisations than SUISA?
A work only has to be registered by one of the involved parties with their own society, in principle. After that, such a registration is visible to the other collecting societies in an international works database. The best way forward, however, is to declare the work with the society in whose territory the main exploitation of the work takes place.
This means for instance: A SUISA member collaborates with a well-known German author. The production of the sound recording arising from the cooperation is published in Germany for the first time. It thus makes sense that the German co-author registers the work with the German society GEMA.
After the registration of the work has been logged with a foreign society, it is visible in the international works database “CIS-Net powered by FastTrack”. If remuneration from abroad for works not registered with SUISA reach us, we check the international database and update the documentation for the work for the correct distribution in our system.
This process may take some time. It is helpful for a prompt registration in the SUISA systems, to send a short written notification to us. An e-mail, indicating the work title and the collecting society, where the work has already been registered, is sufficient. We can extract the remaining details for the work from the international works database and document them for the distribution in line with the SUISA distribution rules.
In the case of published works, the works are usually registered by the publisher and its sub-publisher.

What do I have to consider specifically when registering works with SUISA where members of other collective management organisations are involved?
In order to ensure that your co-authors who are members of collecting societies abroad also receive their due remuneration, it is important that the co-authors are clearly identified. For this, we require either the IPI number or the birth date of the co-authors, and the name of the collective management organisation the co-authors are members of in addition to their complete names when you register the work. The same applies for the opposite case: If one of the co-authors takes over the registration of the jointly written work with a collecting society abroad, you absolutely ought to tell them beforehand what your IPI number and birth date are and that you are a member of SUISA.
Please also clarify up front whether the shares of the co-authors are published and provide the names of any involved publishers when you register the work, if possible provide the publishers’ IPI numbers, too.

I have noticed that the co-author has not registered the work, despite our agreement for him to do so, with a collective management organisation abroad. What shall I do?
You can directly register the work with SUISA. It is recommended that you do this by means of an online work registration: If you choose this option, you do not have to obtain signatures of all involved parties for the works registration form, something that is rather difficult in retrospect in the case of international cooperation projects.

Which distribution key is applied for works where authors of different collective management organisations are involved?
Works where SUISA members are involved shall be documented by SUISA based on the SUISA distribution rules. The foreign society of the co-author usually registers the works on the basis of their own distribution rules. The SUISA distribution rules allow for the authors to enter into an arrangement where they freely determine their shares. This option is not available with all societies. It is therefore possible that a work is registered with a different distribution key at another society abroad than the key it is registered with at SUISA.

If you have any questions regarding membership and works documentation, please contact our members’ department:
Authors
d/e: authors(at)suisa(dot)ch, 044 485 68 28
f: authorsF(at)suisa(dot)ch, 021 614 32 32
i: autori(at)suisa(dot)ch, 091 950 08 28
Publishers
All languages: publishers(at)suisa(dot)ch, 044 485 68 20
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How do I get access to my copyright remuneration for my concerts abroad? What do I need to consider when registering works with SUISA if the co-author of my song is a member of a foreign collective management organisation? Important and frequently asked questions on international musical activities are answered in the following. Text by Claudia Kempf, Wolfgang Rudigier and Manu Leuenberger

Play abroad, communicate with SUISA at home

Snapshot of the trip to the concert abroad: The Bernese band Da Cruz on its way to Canada for their performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in summer 2014. (Photo: Peter Hertig)

A concert tour abroad. Airplay on radio stations outside Switzerland. Collaborate with composers beyond the country’s borders. The often mentioned dream of international musical activity becomes reality for SUISA members.

SUISA receives more and more inquiries in relation to copyright...read more

Musik, ein internationales Geschäft! Auch für SUISA-Mitglieder?

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