VUT-Kommentar zum Bericht des Schweizer Bundesrates zur unerlaubten Werknutzung über das Internet
In response to Swiss Council of States Postulate 10.3263 “Does Switzerland need a law against the illegal downloading of music?” dated 19 March 2010, the Federal Council (Swiss government) commissioned a report from the Swiss “Institute of Intellectual Property” (Institut für Geistiges Eigentum (IGE)), which was published 30 November 2011.
The IGE is the federal “Center of Competence” (Kompetenzzentrum) for intellectual property matters (Art. 29 para. 1 OV-EJPD). Under a service agreement with the Federal Department of Justice and Police, it also advises the Federal Council. The report was written by Emanuel Meyer und Hansueli Stamm of the IGE.
The Berlin-based association of independent music companies VUT e.V. represents more than 1,200 medium-sized, small and micro music enterprises. These include labels, publishers, producers, distributors, and an increasing number of self-marketing artists. VUT obviously has an interest in the matter at hand. It does however not represent the interests of multinational media corporations, but witnesses the existential problems which arise particularly for young artists from uncompensated use of music in its daily work.
Research on economic aspects of uncompensated music usage and the resulting political consequences affect the livelihoods of millions of artists, entrepreneurs and employees in the creative industries. Whatever the findings, such research must meet high scientific standards.
The report confirms “a considerable proportion of the worldwide distribution of these goods takes place via free-riders…who made no investment in the manufacture of the goods…and therefore have no need to write off any costs” (p. 2), “many instances of failing markets for (…) cultural goods” and the duty of the state “to reduce such market failure to a minimum“ (p. 4)...