The Swiss government wants to crack down on providers of pirated content over the internet while ensuring that consumers of such offers would continue to go unpunished.
Presenting a proposed amendment to the copyright law, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the planned revision was aimed at boosting the interests of creative artists and the culture industry, including research projects and libraries.
“It is primarily aimed at those who have been operating commercial platforms with pirated content and play cat and mouse with the music industry,” she told a news conference on Wednesday.
She acknowledged that the latest proposal was the result of years of talks to find an acceptable compromise between producers and artists, on the one hand, and users who are keen on downloading films, music, video or books electronically.
“It wasn’t easy,” she said. “And I’m sure it will be a much-debated topic in parliament.” She added a hope that other countries will also fine tune their legislation to combat piracy.
However, critics say the bill is only seeking to regulate the bare minimum and could only target Swiss-based hosting providers.
During the consultation procedure for the bill, a United States trade agency put Switzerland on a watch list in a bid to speed up and tighten anti-piracy legislation.
Washington was particularly keen to see consumers who violate intellectual property rights punished and for strict measures to be put in place to protect the rights of intellectual property owners.