5. HOW… may other people use a work?
The author of a work basically has the exclusive right to their work (Art. 9 to 11 CopA). They are ‘master’ of their work and may decide what is to happen with it, in particular how others may use it. This means that another person (the user of the work) may in principle not use a work without the author’s consent.
However, that is not in the general public’s interest and is also not at all practical in real life. It is almost impossible for works to be used in this way because every use – even something as basic as reading a book or copying a newspaper article for private use – would presuppose the need to seek the author’s consent on every occasion. On the one hand is the perception of a work, which refers to just looking at, reading or listening to a work; it is not a copyright-relevant process at all and is also not regulated under copyright law. The perception of published works is therefore readily permissible. On the other hand, the law provides exceptions to the exclusive right of the author. These exceptions are known as limitations or limiting provisions as they limit this exclusive right.
The Copyright Act recognises several limiting provisions (Art. 19 to 28 and Art. 11 para. 3) which serve the various needs of the general public (list in accordance with Hilty, Urheberrecht, 2011, 191 et seq.):
- For the free use of works where possible; for example, the copying of music (private use in the personal sphere or in a private circle, private use for educational purposes, and professional use Art. 19 CopA, temporary copies temporary copies Art. 24a CopA)
- For the free flow of information; for example, when quoting scientific works (in particular exception of quotation Art. 25 CopA, museum, exhibition and auction catalogues Art. 26 CopA, works on premises open to the public Art. 27 CopA, reporting current events Art. 28 CopA)
- For the safe-guarding of cultural and social values; for example, the copying of written works in Braille (permission to create parodies Art. 11 para. 3 CopA, archive and backup copies Art. 24 CopA, use of works by disabled people Art. 24c CopA)
With the exception of the compulsory licence for the manufacture of phonograms (Art. 23 CopA), the limiting provisions are also referred to as statutory licences, as the right to use the protected work is granted by law. Therefore, users of works do not need the author’s consent.