5a.11 Reporting current events

In particular, where it is necessary for reporting current events, the work perceived in doing so may be fixed reproduced, presented, broadcast, distributed or otherwise made perceptible (art. 28 para. 1 CopA). Moreover, for the purposes of information about current affairs, short excerpts from press articles or from radio and television reports may be reproduced, distributed, broadcast or retransmitted. In this case full reference must be made to the relevant excerpt as well as the source. Where the source refers to the name of the author, the name must also be cited (art. 28 para. 2 CopA).

It must be noted that only a work that has been already published for the first time (Art. 9 para. 3 CopA) with the consent and in the manner desired by the author is considered within the scope of the exception.

Using a protected work in connection with an event

The first paragraph of art. 28 CopA deals with the possibility of using a protected work in connection with an event.  In order to report on a current event it might be necessary to use one or more specific works.  However, the event in question must not consist in the presentation of the work itself.  For example, a reportage on a vernissage of works cannot contain a documentation of the works exhibited as such, but only report on what is around it, that is on the event as such including the inauguration, presentation, public, criticisms, etc. The works are shown ancillary to the statement of the event. Therefore, it is excluded under art. 28 CopA that a work can be shown as the object of the report.

The author of a work must be mentioned if the work is the object of the event (for example, vernissage) on the other hand, if the work is also ancillary to the event itself (for example background music) it is considered in principle not necessary to mention the author. The mere diffusion or streaming of an event is not sufficient: the exception provided by art. 28 CopA needs a reporting necessity. Therefore the diffusion of the event must be completed, for instance with a statement, a comment, a critic or a résumé for the public.

The permitted uses are all those described in particular in art. 10 para. 2  CopA. The work in question must have been perceived during the event for which it is necessary to report. The event can be either “live” or already past, provided it is still current.  An event is considered “current” when it still provokes reactions from the public (e.g. public debate). This is typically the case when the event is mentioned or can be considered important by the media or the public.

Exploit reports already created by third parties

Pursuant to the second paragraph of art. 28 CopA, when reporting on a current  affairs, it is not only possible to use the work object of the event in accordance with what explained above, but it is also allowed to exploit reports already created by third parties on the same event.  For example you can use short extracts from newspaper articles, or radio or television reports.

However, the use has to be limited to short extracts, that are essential and in a relationship and connection with the current event on which we want to report. In this case it is always necessary to mention the source and the author and the short extract must be recognizable with respect to the rest of the statement or report.  For example, you can use quotation marks to mention an article or to distinguish the radio or television extract from the rest of the report.

Finally, different than for the private use for educational purposes, it is not necessary to pay a fee for the use of a work granted by exception “reporting on current events” (art. 28 LDA).


5.11-1 Is it possible for a journalist to report an entire novel of a book, which is part of an exposition where different books are exposed, on his cultural blog?

Pursuant to art 28 CoPA to report current events, the works perceived in doing so may be fixed, reproduced, presented, broadcast, distributed or otherwise made perceptible. In this case, it is not clear if the book is presented itself or not. If it is not presented (e.g. reading an excerpt, or presenting the cover to the public), the book cannot be reproduced in the blog of the journalist. On the contrary, if the work is perceived somehow during the exposition, then art. 28 CoPA applies.

5.11-2 Is it possible to reproduce a work of art which will be object of an exhibition starting in three months on the cultural blog of a journalist?

In principle no. This is because the exception of art. 28 CoPA is valid only for current events, which means events that are in course or just finished. The situation could be different if there is something new about this future event, which makes it “current”, for instance the organization phase started: nonetheless, only works that are perceived at this phase can be reproduced under art. 28 CoPA.

5.11-3 I want to report on the official event (barbeque on the lake shore) organized two days ago by the University for its administrative staff, on my blog. Can I use some videos reporting on the event found on local information websites?

In principle yes, you are allowed to use the excerpts of some videos found on local information websites to report on the event organized by the University, under the condition that the event is still current and interesting for the public I reach with my blog. In this case, full reference must be made to the relevant excerpt as well as the source.