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Why are there provisional works in my works database?

Why are there provisional works in my works database?
If works carrying the reference “provisional” pop up in the online database, it is worth taking a closer look.
Photo: Pavel Ignatov / Shutterstock.com
Text by Claudia Kempf
Time and again, works are performed, broadcast or reproduced before they have been registered with SUISA. Such works are stored as provisional works. What do you need to consider for these works whose documentation is incomplete?

Works we first learn about through reports on music use are registered provisionally in our database based on submitted programme schedules or broadcast lists. In the login area of our online database these works are displayed with the reference “provisional”. On the work lists, the “Doc status” shows “2=incomplete” or “9=provisional for licensing”.

For these works, 100% is attributed to the person listed first; however, this has no effect on the distribution. The revenue allocated to the works are only settled and paid out via back payments once the works have been registered and fully documented. The provisional registration of works is a means to ensure that revenue for non-registered works is not lost. This income is deferred for a maximum of five years.

However, it is generally advisable to register the works before they are published, especially if you are planning to exploit them online on digital platforms. In the online sector, SUISA can only issue invoices for works that have been registered and documented.

Be proactive and check your provisional works

You can check whether provisional works have been assigned to you in “My account” in the works database section. You have the option of searching for all provisional works assigned to you or only for works with revenues amounting to more than 50 Swiss Francs. The amount of at least 50 Swiss Francs consists of all income attributed to a work over the last five years.

 

Provisional works are usually stored in the works database without a publisher. If you want to search for provisional works as a publisher, you must switch from “My” works to “All” works in the search function and include authors in your search.

This provisionally stored work was not created by me. Why am I listed on it?

All details for provisional works are taken from the submitted usage reports such as set lists or broadcast reports. It is possible that the work has been written by a namesake or you may have played this work live as a performer. Or another person has assumed that you are the author of this work and noted this accordingly on the programme schedule or list.

I have already registered this work. Why is it listed as a provisional work?

Provisional works are created if we cannot assign titles from usage reports with certainty. Example: A work is registered with us with the title “Es Burebüebli mag i ned”. [“The farmer’s lad, I do not like him”] It was later published under the title “Es Buresöhnli” [“The farmer’s son”] and the rightsholders did not inform us of the changed title. Or performers name the song on the setlist “S’Büebli mah-n-i nid” [“The lad, don’t like ‘im”]. Especially in the case of dialect titles or titles with abbreviated words, it is often not possible to clearly assign them due to the different spellings.
When you register works, it is advisable that you also indicate previous working titles already used for live performances, for example, as alternative titles.

What should I do if such works appear in my list of works?

  • The work was not created by you: Please let us know if this is the case. If you have played the work as a performer and know who the author is or which other well-known performers have this work in their repertoire, please let us know.
  • The work is yours, but you have not yet registered it: Please register this work with a note in the comments field that a provisional work already exists under the corresponding number.
  • The work is yours, but it is already registered under a different or similar title: Please let us know which registered work it is. You do not need to carry out a work registration to do this – a message via “My account” (General inquiry/Work documentation) or an e-mail to repertoire (at) suisa (dot) ch is enough. The provisional work will then be linked to the correct work.

Checking the list of provisional works in the online works database in “My account” regularly more than makes sense as it really can pay off. If you do not yet have a login for “My account”, get one now: www.suisa.ch/my-account

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