Infos for work users

General information

Do you want to present, broadcast, make available, copy or distribute a work which has been created by authors who are represented by SSA? Welcome – this section is dedicated to you. SSA is also here for you to personally guide you through this process.

The law requires that any user of a work must acquire an authorisation from the authors involved. These authorisations can be obtained from SSA if it represents the authors and manages their rights. This shall also apply for adaptations, translations, recordings of works publicly performed, reproductions (copying), making available and further types of usage, such as digital uses.
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In fact, authors can freely choose  whether or not to assign their rights to a collective management organisation such as SSA, which will then act on their behalves vis-a-vis the work users (voluntary collective management).

In general, each type of use must be the subject of a specific authorisation. It does not matter whether access to the work is against payment or free of charge for the public. An authorisation is required and remuneration for authors’ rights must be paid in both cases.

In the case of  mandatory collective rights management or a potentially extended collective licence, a different set of modalities shall apply.

Work usage by theatres, theatre groups and event organisers

Performance venues or theatre groups planning to show an existing piece must dispose of an authorisation by the author(s). SSA issues such a licence after consulting its member(s), bearing in mind that SSA’s minimum tariffs must be observed. The distribution of the respective rights remuneration shall be made by SSA. It supports the users with their research of the rights owners (authors, publishers, arrangers, translators etc.) and also with the necessary steps surrounding the process of obtaining the authorisation/licence. Amateur theatres and school theatres also need to obtain an authorisation/licence.

Work usage by broadcasters (radio and television)

Broadcasters usually enter into a general licence agreement with SSA. Such agreements safeguard that the respective works may be used and with little administrative effort. The relevant tariffs are determined by contract and therefore do not have to be negotiated case-by-case basis, making the budgeting process easier for the broadcaster.
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Work usage by audiovisual producers

Producers and authors of treatments, screenplays etc., as well as (film) directors and rights owners of pre-existing lyrics enter into individual agreements. These must contain a rights reservation clause regarding the broadcasting rights, the public performance, the making available rights (“on demand”) and the reproduction rights, as SSA manages these rights based on the mandates granted by its members.
It does not matter whether the work is intended for cinema, television, video-on-demand, virtual reality, transmedia or whether it is exclusively destined for web-only (“web native”) use, the principles remain the same.

Work usage by publishers

Contracts concluded between publishers and licensors must take any rights assignment from the authors to SSA into account. In general, the publisher owes the remuneration to the authors; SSA handles the invoicing process.
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Work usage via internet, social networks and mobile devices

The Internet is a form of technology: work usages can take many forms. In particular, a distinction has to be made between simulcasts, webcasts, live streaming, making available “on demand” and the sale of digital copies of the works. Usage of protected works via digital networks is subject to the same principles as any other categories of use: an authorisation has to be obtained from the rights owners prior to use. It is possible to delimit the territories where internet users will be able to see or listen to the work, and to restrict access to a limited audience in general by using the appropriate technologies.

Social networks and video sharing platforms are special cases, not to mention applications for mobile devices. This is a rapidly evolving area and new contexts regularly call for new legal solutions, which differ from one territory to another. In some cases, authorisation (licensing) and remuneration of authors are subject to complementary legal regimes. In Switzerland, for example, this was the case of video-on-demand following a recent legislative change.