6. AND… responsibility and sanctions?

Who is held responsible if a copyright is infringed? And how?

If a copyright is infringed, the CopA stipulates two courses of action:

  • action in the field of civil law (Art. 61 et seq. CopA)
  • action in the field of criminal law (Art. 67 et seq. CopA)

Therefore, the person who has infringed the copyright may be alternatively or cumulatively subject to civil sanctions (e.g. they may be sentenced to pay compensation) or criminal penalties (e.g. a custodial sentence or monetary penalty).

The civil actions are:

● Action which aims to prevent/remedy the copyright infringement:

– for declaratory judgement (Art. 61 CopA)

– for prohibition (Art. 62 Para. 1 (a) CopA)

– for remedy (Art. 62 Para. 1 (b) CopA),

– for the provision of information (Art. 62 Para. 1 (c) CopA)

● Action for damages (Art. 41 SCO), satisfaction (Art. 49 SCO) and handing over of profits (Art. 62 Para. 2 CopA), the detailed conditions of which are stipulated in the Swiss Code of Obligations (SCO)

We will also address some other questions relating to the enforcement of rights in civil law:

● preliminary measures in civil law (Art. 65 CopA)

● the publication and notification of judgements (Art. 66 and 66a CopA)

The criminal actions are:

● infringement of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner (Art. 67 CopA)

● other infringements e.g. failure to indicate the source (Art. 68 CopA)

● forfeiture of the work which has caused the infringement