Swiss Government Says Copyright Enforcement Rules Sufficient

Switzerland has completed a major government study on whether new measures are need to address online copyright infringement. The study concludes that no new legislative action is needed, citing the high costs and negative effects of three strikes and you’re out policies.  It is noteworthy that Switzerland participated in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations and has enacted digital lock rules that link circumvention to copyright infringement.

Switzerland formally enacted legislation to ratify the WIPO Internet treaties in 2008. Article 39a(4) includes a full exception for circumvention of TPMs for legal purposes, providing “the prohibition of circumvention can not be applied to People who are primarily circumventing for the purpose of a legal use.” This broad approach, which effectively preserves all exceptions in the digital environment, provides further evidence that linking circumvention to actual copyright infringement meets the adequacy standard required in the WIPO Internet treaties and is precisely the technical amendement that dozens of groups in Canada are calling for in Bill C-11.


  1. Swiss Supreme Court
    I would like to link to another article by torrentfreak in which is stated that the Swiss Supreme Court decided last year, that Logistep – an anti-p2p company – must not log the ip adresses of suspected filesharers as this is a violation to he Swiss Privacy Laws ( )

    In essence in Switzerland there’s now the situation that:

    – downloading material is legal
    – uploading material is illegal
    – but the ruling by the Swiss Supreme Court makes it (almost) impossible to hunt/extort suspected filesharers
    – and the Swiss government sees no necessity to change laws

  2. They’re upholding the completely valid assertion that an IP address does not equal a person. It forces the industry, and rightly so in my opinion, to go after those facilitating the sharing (Pirate Bay, ISOHunt, etc) rather than arbitrarily using extortion tactics to try and scare end users in to paying settlements based on nothing more than an IP address…a very unreliable piece of information.

    Well done Switzerland!!

  3. IamME:

    If I read it right, the Swiss Supreme Court did decide that an ip adress can be used to identify an account holder from an ISP. Because of this link between a person and the IP address the privacy laws are applicable which state, that someone collecting personal related information must disclose the reason to do so. Anti-P2P companies do act like filesharers yet their intention is to log the IP addresses in order to extort money. So they do not disclose the real reason and that is considered a violation of the privacy laws. At least that’s my understanding.

  4. @SJ
    Thanks, for the clarification…and it makes perfect sense that way. Still an IP is easily spoofed and wireless easily hacked, so whatever the reason it’s nice to see a country standing up for it’s peoples rights. For instance, I could send you e-mail and make it’s origin IP address be from pretty much any country I want…my home IP would not be displayed nor traceable. In any case, the end result is the same. Protection of the end user from copyright trolls.

  5. Who needs ACTA
    …if you have the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

    And there’s still the Global Copyright Police SOPA/PIPA that affect us too.

    “Instead of beating you up, robbing you, then killing you, I’ll agree to just robbing you”
    “Oh gee, thanks, now it’s all in balance! I’ll support that! Go ahead and please take what’s mine!”

    Yeah, right.

  6. One-in-three
    The linked .ch government site (justice and police department) has another interesting tidbit:

    “Demnach legen bestehende Untersuchungen zum einen nahe, dass in der Schweiz bis zu einem Drittel der über 15-Jährigen Musik, Filme und Spiele herunterladen, ohne dafür zu bezahlen. ”

    This says up to 1 in 3 of Swiss, 15 years or older, download music, movies and games without paying.

    This is what I have been saying all along. Strength is in numbers, and eventually politicians can get all the money they want from Big Content, but what in the final analysis counts are nothing else but votes. Once the large block of Old And Grey no longer votes, the wind will be blowing from a different direction in Canada, too.

  7. …”Once the large block of Old And Grey no longer votes, the wind will be blowing from a different direction”

    As a member of that “Old and Grey”, I can say you are both right – and wrong.

    The under 35 crowd needs to become more politically active, which includes voting. In the past, this demographic has been almost silent, but things are starting to change.
    The “Old and Grey” are generally basing their vote on their understanding of the way the world worked when they were younger. That too changes, but at a much slower pace than the rate of society change. When the young make their views known, becoming active, the “Old and Grey” do listen.

    If you are hoping that waiting for the “Old and Grey” to stop voting is the answer, you will be waiting until you are old and grey yourself.

  8. pat donovan says:

    and given the amount of electorial meddling of late ( seen sask new party, the one that doesn’t want to tax?)

    I’m betting that only an oil discovery would get a new government there (in Switzerland) faster.
    than annoying hollywood.

  9. If an IP address is a valid ID, can I use it instead of a passport to enter US? No? How comes?

  10. Missing the point?
    The study cited by the Swiss shows that piracy has little to no effect on media purchasing, so why police it? Piracy may even increase spending!

    Yes, it sounds counter intuitive but it holds up in many analysis. Certainly the high cost in money, resources and ill will that comes from big media could be better spent. I have heard it said that $200 million was spent on lobbying for SOPA alone (I have not seen proper accounting of this though).

    There is the ‘moral outrage’ factor that is sometimes bandied around by stronger copyright proponents, but is salve for bruised egos worth the all collateral damage?

    I do wish there was less take and more give from all quarters, I think there could be if everyone would step back and take a few deep breaths. The way forward is neither by larceny or punishment, but mutual respect and positive reciprocity.

  11. Switzerland is one of the best countries!
    I am not much aware of law, but as I have spent some years in Switzerland, I can say that this is the country with most strict laws about everything, all aspects of life are completely organized!Moving