Tag Archives: Works database

Changes to the SUISA organisation chart

In the course of the retirement of our Head of the International Documentation Department, the Executive Committee decided several modifications of SUISA’s organisation chart , taking effect from 1 March 2021. These modifications also entail changes in terms of staff responsibilities. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

Changes to the SUISA organisation chart

Brigitte Küng (image taken during a management seminar in 2012) worked for SUISA for nearly half a century and her last position was that of Head of the International Documentation Department. (Photo: Günter Bolzern)

After more than 48 years at SUISA, Brigitte Küng took her retirement at the end of February 2021.

In 1972, she started her apprenticeship with SUISA and stayed true to SUISA for nearly half a century! Her first role included the distribution of licences for sound recordings in the then MECHANLIZENZ, from 1973 she continued her task after the merger with SUISA. She continued to work in the International Documentation and finally took over the helm of said department which she led successfully up to the date of her retirement.

Brigitte Küng was also responsible for the global database of the “Compositeurs, Auteurs and Editeurs (CAE)” which is nowadays known as IPI (Interested Party Information) and reflects all interested parties in the copyright world. She became a very highly appreciated contact for documentation queries among colleagues around the world. With regards to new collective management organisations, Brigitte Küng held courses for the build-up and maintenance of documentation data. She was travelling several continents to fulfil this task.

We thank Brigitte Küng very much for her many years of loyalty and her excellent work for SUISA!

Wolfgang Rudigier takes over the International Documentation Department

Brigitte Küng’s valuable work is continued by Wolfgang Rudigier. From 1 March 2021 onwards, he has taken over the responsibility for the International Documentation in addition to the Distribution Department. Due to his long-term experience as Head of the Distribution Department, he also holds a well-founded knowledge regarding the documentation sector. Thanks to these skills, synergies can be created, not least because documentation and distribution go hand in hand from a process perspective.

Claudia Kempf now in charge of the Domestic Settlement Inquiries team

In parallel, the group referred to as Domestic Settlement Inquiries which had been located under the Distribution Department was shifted across to the Members Department and therefore to Claudia Kempf from 01 March 2021. The Members Department can, as a consequence of this organisational change, provide a comprehensive service and support and advise SUISA members both in terms of the rights administration agreement and work registrations and distribution queries.

Hansruedi Jung looks after IPI

The IPI (Interested Party Information) was integrated into the IT Department and is now in the remit of Hansruedi Jung, Head of Systems Technology. The IPI is our international database of authors and publishers which reflects member agreements from all over the world. The technical infrastructure of the IPI belongs to SUISA. It issues an invoice to collective management organisations which are using the system for this service provided to them by SUISA each year.

New organisation team leaders

These changes in the SUISA organisation chart also led to re-organisations at team leader levels: Simon Klopfenstein holds the team Domestic Settlement Inquiries from 01 March 2021 and thus changed across to the Members Department.

Eva Bisaz continues to be in charge of the group International Distribution and Settlement Inquiries (sister societies) within the Distribution Department, but has also taken on the group Domestic Broadcasting Distribution from 01 March 2021 onwards.

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In the course of the retirement of our Head of the International Documentation Department, the Executive Committee decided several modifications of SUISA’s organisation chart , taking effect from 1 March 2021. These modifications also entail changes in terms of staff responsibilities. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold

Changes to the SUISA organisation chart

Brigitte Küng (image taken during a management seminar in 2012) worked for SUISA for nearly half a century and her last position was that of Head of the International Documentation Department. (Photo: Günter Bolzern)

After more than 48 years at SUISA, Brigitte Küng took her retirement at the end of February 2021.

In 1972, she started her apprenticeship with SUISA and stayed true to SUISA for nearly half a century! Her first role included the distribution of licences for sound recordings in the then MECHANLIZENZ, from 1973 she...read more

Online licensing activities require early work registrations

From a sales perspective, online music distribution provides enormous opportunities. With little effort, music can be made available to a global audience within an instant. The distribution of copyright royalties, however, is complex when it comes to online usages. This is also due to the fact that the processes differ from those for performing and broadcasting rights. The most important advice is: First, register the work with SUISA as early as possible, then publish it online. Text by Andreas Wegelin and Manu Leuenberger

Online licensing activities require early work registrations

If you distribute your music via an online provider, it will be advantageous if you stick to the following rule of thumb: First, register the work with SUISA, then publish it online. (Photo: Anutr Yossundara / Shutterstock.com)

When it comes to the internet, trade activities are not halted by national borders. Especially in cases when the goods are not physical but only purely digital in terms of their transport from the provider to the customer – as is the case for music. Online music providers such as Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube take their products directly to the audience via streaming or download: On its journey between the internet platform and the playback devices of the listeners, the music product does not pass customs, nor are there any intermediaries (apart from the telecoms provider of the internet access).

The following is decisive in this chain of commerce: When it comes to online music-distribution, territorial limitations have not only been lifted to a great extent for the consumer but also with regards to the licensing of the copyright. The distribution process differs fundamentally from the existing practice in the “offline sector”, i.e. for performing or broadcasting rights or the licensing of sound recordings. SUISA only issues licences for the territory of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein in the offline sector, but for all works that have been used, including those of the members of our sister societies abroad. Reciprocal representation agreements ensure that the members of other sister societies obtain the share in the works that have been used in Switzerland. The same also applies vice versa: If works by SUISA members are performed abroad, the sister society in charge for the territory in question collects the remuneration and passes it to SUISA for onward distribution to its rightsholders.

This works differently in the online sector. Another practice has established itself since the Recommendation of the EU Competition Commission from 2005, according to which more competition should be created during the online exploitation of copyright. The corresponding EU Directive which was determined five years ago states that each rightsholder can choose for their online licences whether they want to issue them directly or whether they wish to instruct a partner such as a collective management organisation of their choice to manage them across Europe (also known as pan-European).

SUISA active since 2012 for online direct licensing

The major music publishers have assigned the rights management for the shares in their works on a cross-border basis 10 years ago. This type of licensing is called direct licensing. In the field of cross-border usages, rightsholders, i.e. publishers or collective management organisations, specifically account the royalties for their repertoire directly with the “Digital Service Providers” (in short: DSPs) such as Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube. This means: If users abroad listen to works by SUISA members on platforms by the online music providers, SUISA collects the remuneration for such usages directly from the provider. There are no more “intermediaries” between SUISA and the Digital Service Provider as it exists in the traditional offline sector by way of a foreign sister society.

Many societies in Europe have already transitioned to this global direct licensing practice of their members’ works. Since 2012, SUISA has been licensing the rights of its members not only for Switzerland but also for other territories on a cross-border basis, and that with a constantly increasing number of online music providers. In the beginning, these included the European countries, since 2018, more and more territories are added outside of Europe. In the meantime, SUISA is usually issuing global licences to the DSPs with the exception of the following: USA, Canada, South America, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Syria and Australasia. There are plans, however, to expand into these territories in the future.

Direct licensing has had the consequence that SUISA could only issue licence invoices for works for which it had the relevant documentation, since it is the individual work share that is now relevant, not just the fact whether an author is a SUISA member or not.

Nevertheless, it happens often that Digital Service Providers receive invoices from several collective management organisations for shares in the same work. This leads to so-called “overclaims” or “underclaims”. Such overclaims or underclaims (in terms of rights) result from a lack of clarity among the societies issuing the invoices who can claim the remuneration for which shares in a work in which territory for their principals. There is often also a situation of “no claims” i.e. when no society issues an invoice.

This has led to a scenario where the providers paid rightsholders more than the agreed remuneration in the case of “overclaims” and too little or nothing in the case of “underclaims” or “no claims”. There are also Service Providers which withhold the payment in the case of “overclaims”. If thus the claims of all invoicing collective management organisations for a work exceed 100% (shares), no royalties are paid as long as it is not defined who is actually permitted to invoice for which share.

Invoicing process with online music providers

A working group of the collective management organisations, major publisher and the most important online music providers has taken care of this issue and agreed to the following solution:

Issuing invoices to a DSP happens in several steps. The collective management organisation receives usage data from the DSP. Based on these usage reports, which contain a period of one or three months, the provider receives an invoice for all work shares in titles for which the society holds the usage rights of an author or a publisher. If the invoices that have been issued by various collective management organisations do not match for one work title, so-called “disputes” arise.

The societies have 18 months to resolve such conflicts of claims. Within said period, SUISA checks the data of the usage reports once more and compares it with the updated SUISA work documentation. If, during this search, new correlating entries are detected, they will be invoiced retroactively. Whatever has not been resolved after 18 months shall fall under the so-called “residuals”; this is the licensing remuneration for work shares which have not or only partially been invoiced (“underclaims” and “no claims”).

The “residuals”, the remuneration that has not been claimed from the DSP from “underclaims” and “no claims” shall be paid out by SUISA as a supplement to the works used in the same distribution period. A work that has not been registered at that point could therefore not receive a supplement.

Register the work first, then publish it online

The most important advice for SUISA members who make their compositions available via online music distribution channels, is: First, register the work with SUISA as early as possible, do not publish it online before!

If you follow this rule of thumb, you create a basis whereby works can be detected from the beginning in online usage reports and can be invoiced to the Digital Service Providers. The distribution process with the online music providers is subject to deadlines and the attention of the audience on the internet is often rather ephemeral. When you register works too late, there is the risk that usages are not detected and royalties cannot be allocated.

If the work registration takes place before the first recording of the work is published for streaming or downloading, SUISA can claim the work shares with the Digital Service Providers from the very beginning. In order to enable a simple automatic identification, the metadata of the works registration should be the same as the data which the DSP has for the work.

Metadata is additional information and particulars which describes other data in more detail. Thanks to such additional information, it is possible to determine and thus find individual elements during searches within big data volumes. A musical work title ideally comprises, apart from the usual details on composer, lyricist, publisher etc., information on the performer(s), and, if applicable, alternative work titles of versions in other languages as well as remix/edit versions, such as “song title – radio edit” or “song title – extended version”. Complete and correct metadata provides a great advantage when it comes to finding a concordance during the automated matching of the usage reports with the works database.

These requirements are vital for a work to be correctly distributed in all of the territories directly licensed by SUISA and with all of the online music providers directly licensed by SUISA.

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  1. Claire Chalut says:

    Vous ne parlez que de “Apple Music”, “Spotify” et “Youtube” (cette dernière plateforme touche surtout la VIDEO et quid ? de “Soundcloud” (destinée à l’audio). Qu’en est-il avec “Soundcloud” ? (qui est beaucoup utilisé), avez-vous des relations avec eux ??? ET, comment ?? Merci de votre réponse.

    Autre remarque (qui n’a rien à voir avec cet article) : comment se fait-il que l’on ne retrouve pas les oeuvres déposées dans votre banque de données (souvent il est réponde “inconnu” ou “pas trouvé”, etc.

    C. Chalout

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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.

Your email address will not be published.

From a sales perspective, online music distribution provides enormous opportunities. With little effort, music can be made available to a global audience within an instant. The distribution of copyright royalties, however, is complex when it comes to online usages. This is also due to the fact that the processes differ from those for performing and broadcasting rights. The most important advice is: First, register the work with SUISA as early as possible, then publish it online. Text by Andreas Wegelin and Manu Leuenberger

Online licensing activities require early work registrations

If you distribute your music via an online provider, it will be advantageous if you stick to the following rule of thumb: First, register the work with SUISA, then publish it online. (Photo: Anutr Yossundara / Shutterstock.com)

When it comes to the internet, trade activities are not halted by national...read more

Always on top of things thanks to “my account”

More than 14,000 members are already using our member portal “my account”. More than half of all new registrations of original works during 2016 were done online. Why do more and more members regularly use “my account”? Text by Claudia Kempf

Always on top of things thanks to “my account”

Via our online portal “my account”, members enjoy personalised access to SUISA matters – via a single keystroke (Foto: Manu Leuenberger)

Thanks to the password-protected members’ area “my account”, our members keep an overview of the most significant SUISA matters such as settlements and work registrations.

Settlements always to hand as navigable PDFs

All settlements of the past five years can be accessed online at any time. The settlements in PDF format are user friendly as our members can navigate their way around in settlements that span several pages simply by using their mouse. Upon clicking on a work title in the table of contents, the respective detailed list of the work usages will be displayed, whereas a click on the SUISA number leads to the sound and audiovisual recordings’ list.

The total distributed amount for a year is shown in a cumulated way. It is visible at a glance which amount was paid out by SUISA over a year. Members who have access to “my account” can, in future, renounce on the paper dispatch of settlements. If a new settlement becomes available, a notification will be sent to members in future.

Access to personal data at any time

In the user profile, personal data such as postal addresses and payment addresses can be accessed. This area is currently being expanded so that members can amend their details directly in their profile section. Registered pseudonyms and relating IPI numbers are also included in this area. For publisher members with sub-editions or several main publishers, all information can be accessed via a login.

My account works database

With a personal user account, SUISA members can specifically search online for provisional works via the portal “my account”. (Photo: Screenshot www.suisa.ch)

Optimised search functionalities for provisional works

Users have the option to search specifically for provisional works in our works database. Provisional works come into existence when they appear on reports on music use submitted to SUISA by users and the work has not been registered with SUISA at all or under a different title. The income generated for such provisional works is, however, held back from payment until the works have been registered and/or been linked to existing works. Read more about provisional works in the article “Why are there undocumented works in my works database?” (article in german) in SUISAinfo issue 3.12.

Efficient registration of works and sub-publishing agreements

Online work registration is simple. Since 2017, the IPI number of SUISA members can be searched within the registration process and be implemented into the notification. Publishers have benefited from the option to register sub-publishing agreements via the portal since spring this year. Thanks to the link to the SUISA systems, online registrations are processed more quickly and efficiently.

Mobile-friendly and future-proof

Of course, our SUISA platform is compatible with mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. The membership portal is therefore available and accessible at any time and from anywhere.

We continue to expand our service range offered and to add new functionalities and services. We shall keep you informed on any related news via SUISAblog.ch, suisa.ch or in our SUISAinfo magazine.

Access to “my account” is open to every SUISA member. Request a login or your personal online user account at:

www.suisa.ch/my-account

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SUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overviewSUISA 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. Read more
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More than 14,000 members are already using our member portal “my account”. More than half of all new registrations of original works during 2016 were done online. Why do more and more members regularly use “my account”? Text by Claudia Kempf

Always on top of things thanks to “my account”

Via our online portal “my account”, members enjoy personalised access to SUISA matters – via a single keystroke (Foto: Manu Leuenberger)

Thanks to the password-protected members’ area “my account”, our members keep an overview of the most significant SUISA matters such as settlements and work registrations.

Settlements always to hand as navigable PDFs

All settlements of the past five years can be accessed online at any time. The settlements in PDF format are user friendly as our members can navigate their way around in settlements that span several pages simply by using their mouse....read more

Right in the middle of it and in full swing to improve the service range offered to members

A glance on the service range offered by SUISA for its members shows: During the last few years, there have been innovations which brought about more efficiency and quality. Among these are more detailed settlement statements, the web portal “my account” and the digitisation of member files. These improvements signify a continu-ous process with SUISA right in the middle of it – and in full swing at it, as the follow-ing outlook shows: New: quarterly distributions. “My account” is undergoing further development. We are modernising the technology of our works database. Our member services are also subjected to a fundamental review. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

Irène Philipp Ziebold has been managing the “Member Services and Distribution” Division since July 2010 as its Director. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

Since 2016, SUISA has been paying out the majority of its income on a quarterly basis. With the new quarterly distributions in March, June, September and December, SUISA has been paying out copyright royalties to its members more quickly. The transparency within the set-tlement statements has also been increased. Thanks to the combination of various distribution categories, it has also been possible to reduce costs.

Online services for members

Our strategy relating to the online service range offered to our members is based on three pillars: Firstly, our websites form the foundation (www.suisa.ch and www.suisablog.ch). We publish a variety of information on these sites. Secondly, we have been developing online forms for a more efficient notification and registration process. Thirdly, we offer our members electronic access to their data and distributions via “my account”.

The web portal “my account” is going to be developed further over the next few years. The plan is to provide members with the option to update their membership details themselves, raise online usage queries, generate statements of account at any time and to offer additional distribution functionalities in future.

In the course of the new IT strategy, the SUISA works database is also going to be migrated to a modern technology. That way, we will obtain a better performance, but avoid various media gaps and thus reach a complete integration into the IT target architecture. All of this is going to significantly improve efficiency.

Member services under scrutiny

Last but not least, we are going to review our member services. As for any of our efforts to improve our service range, it is always a balancing act between quantity and quality. With membership numbers nearly doubling over the last 10 years, and five times as many work registrations during the same period, without collections having increased at the same rate – that’s a challenge for SUISA regarding its member services which we have to meet afresh every day.

Quality must be right and the costs need to be under control! For 2016, we have launched a project with the aim to create a service range catalogue showing the conditions applying to our service range for our members in future.

Right in the middle of it and in full swing: We have already left certain milestones behind, and we’re ready to tackle the next ones. Many thanks for placing your trust in us!

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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.

Your email address will not be published.

A glance on the service range offered by SUISA for its members shows: During the last few years, there have been innovations which brought about more efficiency and quality. Among these are more detailed settlement statements, the web portal “my account” and the digitisation of member files. These improvements signify a continu-ous process with SUISA right in the middle of it – and in full swing at it, as the follow-ing outlook shows: New: quarterly distributions. “My account” is undergoing further development. We are modernising the technology of our works database. Our member services are also subjected to a fundamental review. Text by Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

Irène Philipp Ziebold has been managing the “Member Services and Distribution” Division since July 2010 as its Director. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

Since 2016, SUISA has...read more