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Parliament gives green light for anti-piracy legislation

Journalist taking a picture with a mobile phone
Under the amended Swiss law, the copy right on photos as well as music will be extended from 50 to 70 years. © Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi

Providers of pirated content over the internet will face legal consequences in Switzerland after parliament amended the current copyright law.

The House of Representatives on Monday fell in line with the Senate to facilitate access for users to digital television, notably streaming services.

The reform is aimed at cracking down on Swiss-based hosting providers forcing them to remove illegal contents from their servers.

The amendments also seek to boost copyright protection for creative artists, including photographers, musicians and film producers.

The government argued that its proposal is a compromise between the artists and the consumers keen on downloading films, music or books electronically.

Critics argue that amended Swiss law falls short of punishing consumers violating intellectual property rights.

International treaties

In debates over the past few years, both houses fought over a number of details, including fees to be paid by libraries, the tourist industry, hospitals and prisons.

However, parliament put off a reform of rules for online platforms to check whether uploaded contents contain copyright material.

The European Union parliament approved a legal amendment 12 months ago, but it not clear how individual member countries will apply the regulation.

Approval of the latest reform by parliament on Monday paves the way for Switzerland to ratify two international treaties on intellectual property rights.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR