Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Swiss Copyright Reform Eyes Europe

Switzerland is working on a new copyright law, with a first draft expected at the beginning of 2006. One of the key issues will be the implementation of anti-circumvention legislation in accordance to Switzerland's obligations under the World Intellectual Property Treaty. Apparently the WIPO's provisions provide "no consensus on "how consumers are to be protected from the misuse of such control possibilities." The draft is now to be designed closer to European law", says this Heise article.

I'm not sure what that means. Are the Swiss searching for more consumer protection towards DRMs, and do they expect to find it in the European Copyright Directive (EUCD)? That is not the most enlightening example to follow. When it cones to protection of technology (article 6 EUCD) vs. the protection of consumer interests (article 5 EUCD) the EUCD does not live up to its statement in Recital 31: "a fair balance of rights and interests [...] between the different categories of rightsholders and users of protected subject-matter must be safeguarded." The EUCD is a rightholders centric piece of legislation, and unless the Swiss take some of the European consumer protection law into consideration, eyeing European law does not bring more protection against 'misuse of such control possibilities".

More noteworthy developments:

-There has been considerable opposition against the extension of levies beyond blanck CD's/DVD's (to, for example, computers). This extension might now be stopped.

-Under current copyright law downloading of copyrighted material is considered to be an act of private copying, while the unauthorized uploading of copyrighted material is deemed illegal. This is likely to be codified in future legislation.

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