Pursuant to Art. 10 para. 1 CopA, authors have the exclusive right to decide whether, when and how their work is used. This refers to the author’s property right – only authors can decide on the (commercial) use of their work.
This right gives authors the opportunity to earn some money with their work, although they do not necessarily have to make a profit. By the same token, authors can use their work non-commercially (e.g. for social, cultural or church-related purposes). Finally, the fact that a work is used is what gives authors the opportunity to make their work available to a circle of users.
In contrast to the moral right, authors can assign this property right to third parties (Art. 16 para. 1 CopA).
But when is the work ‘used’ (or ‘exploited’)? The law does not provide an exact definition for this, but rather lists examples of different uses of a work (Art. 10 para. 2 CopA) that are available to authors:
As the uses of a work are technology-neutral, the law also covers new possibilities of use (that are not yet known).