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The board meetings of June 2023
The day before SUISA’s 100th anniversary celebration, the SUISA Board met for its June meetings.
Photo: Martin Bissig
Report from the Board of Directors by Noah Martin
On 22 June 2023, the day before the SUISA AGM and its 100th anniversary celebration, the board members met in Zurich. Four sessions in one day had to be juggled. And not only the agenda items exhibited quite some depth, but also the farewell of three long-time board members.

Rainer Bischof, Irene Kunzelmann and Marie Louise Werth participated in the Board meeting for the last time. The next day, their seats on the SUISA Board were reassigned via election by the General Meeting. Nevertheless, it was not this topic, but the following items, among many others, were on the agenda of the Committees and the full Board.

The other annual cycle: At the end of March, the Mint fiscal year ended

It was six years ago that the SUISA Cooperative joined forces with its American sister society SESAC to create the Mint joint venture. This company promotes the exploitation of copyright beyond Swiss borders in the online sector and is also open to foreign rights holders and sistersocieties. In connection with the annual accounts of the joint venture, in which SUISA and SESAC each hold a 50% stake, the Board of Directors again approved a subordination on SUISA’s receivables from the set-up costs of Mint. The Mint fiscal year is expected to end with a profit for the second year in a row. As at 31 March 2023, Mint still owes SUISA a total of CHF 7.673m (previous year CHF 7.775m) for services received. The subordination agreement from last year had to be adjusted to the current, lower amount. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the subordination.

Changes in the distribution rules

Until 1 January 2023, Common Tariff 9 (CT 9), together with Common Tariff 8 (CT 8), regulated the companies’ own use of copyrighted works. While CT 8 related to so-called paper copies or hardcopies in businesses, the CT 9 covered so-called digital copies. On 1 January 2023, CT 9 was integrated into CT 8, so that since then hardcopies and digital copies in businesses have been covered together by CT 8. In addition, there is another tariff, CT 7, which regulates hardcopies and digital copies in the school sector. The regulations for the distribution of revenue for hardcopies and digital copies in the school sector were previously exactly the same as those for the distribution of revenue from the previous CT 8 and CT 9. Since the distribution provisions of CT 7 are identical to those of the previous CT 8 and CT 9, the revenues were distributed to SUISA members by ProLitteris under the title “Settlement CT 7”. It has now become necessary to make editorial adjustments to SUISA’s Distribution Rules, namely amendments to Articles 5.1 and 5.2 as well as the deletion of the provisions on the distribution of revenues from CT 9. After the members of the Distribution and Works Committee had unanimously approved the proposed revision at their meeting on 19 April 2023 the Board unanimously approved the changes to the distribution rules in its meeting. The amendments to the distribution rules shall enter into force upon approval by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and the Office of Economic Affairs in the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Focus on IT costs

A year ago, in June 2022, the Board of Directors had set the strategic course for an IT project aimed at renewing and optimising SUISA’s processing workflows: In the background of the work interface for employees as well as the web-based interface for the business cases with customers and members, the task since then has been to replace an older business process software with an even more powerful one. The budget requested a year ago for this purpose was increased.

Election of the FONDATION SUISA Board

As of 1 January 2024, the Board of FONDATION SUISA will be newly formed. The Nomination Committee convened for this purpose had the task of finding five suitable candidates who would be willing to serve on the Foundation Board in an honorary capacity. The Nomination Committee, consisting of Marco Neeser, Kathrin Renggli, Marc Savary, Urs Schnell and Xavier Dayer, found what they were looking for and proposed to the Board of Directors that Zeno Gabaglio (Member of the Board, SUISA), Andreas Wegelin (CEO, SUISA), Philippe Savoy (Director of the Haute Ecole de Musique Fribourg), Désirée Meiser (former Director of the Gare du Nord Basel) and Anicia Kohler (musician, cultural mediator) be elected to the Board of FONDATION SUISA as of 1 January 2024. The Board of Directors followed this proposal unanimously. At the behest of the President of the Board Committee Organisation & Communication (O+K), they also decided to convene a Committee that will deal with the future strategy of FONDATION SUISA.

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