Offence prosecuted on complaint and ex officio

Good to know

In general, violations of criminal provisions in copyright law will be prosecuted only by complaint by the injured party.

The right of the injured party to initiate a prosecution by bringing a complaint or to end the prosecution by revoking the complaint gives the parties an easier way to cease their dispute and find an agreement without judgement and without having long civil or/and criminal actions. After a well-prepared complaint, the offender will be asked to reach an agreement with the injured party on a civil law level to avoid a criminal conviction. It is often the case that the injured person will revoke the complaint after receiving reparation.

In contrast to bringing a complaint to initiate a prosecution, there are criminal acts which will be prosecuted ex officio. A complaint by the injured party or any other person is not necessary. If the prosecution authorities have knowledge of an illegal act, they have to initiate a prosecution. An explanation for that is the severity of those crimes which requires prosecution ex officio. E.g. all copyright infringements that are committed for commercial gain will be prosecuted ad officio (Art. 67 Para. 2 CopAArt. 69 Para. 2 CopAArt. 69a Para 2 CopA), although these provisions normally need a complaint by the injured party.