According to Article 10 para. 2 lit. a of the CRA the author has the exclusive right to produce work reproductions. This right also includes the digital storage of a work. The right of reproduction basically also includes each reproduction within the frame of the use of the internet and online-use respectively of a work, thus in particular the up- and downloading (Ivan Cherpillod, in: Hilty [Ed.], Information Highway, Bern/Munich 1996, p.262 et seq.; Martin Wirtz, in: Bröcker/Czychowski/Schäfer [Ed.], Praxishandbuch Geistiges Eigentum im Internet, Munich 2003, p. 627 et seq.).

As an exception to this right of reproduction reserved to the copyright holder the CRA rules that disseminated works may be used for personal use (see Article 19 CRA). Personal use shall mean any use of works in the personal sphere and within a circle of persons closely connected to each other, such as relatives or friends (Article 19 para. 1 lit. a CRA). Only natural persons may rely on the right to personal use in the narrow sense. Personal use in the broader sense means any use of works by a teacher for teaching in class (Article 19 para. 1 lit. b CRA) or the copying of work reproductions in undertakings, public administrations, institutes, commissions and similar institutions for internal information or documentation (Article 19 para. 1 lit. c CRA). Persons entitled to personal use may also have reproductions made by third parties; libraries that make copying apparatus available to their users shall also be deemed third parties within the meaning of this paragraph (Art. 19 para. 2 CRA). The following shall not be permissible outside the private sphere:


  • the complete or practically complete copying of reproductions which are commercially available
  • the reproduction of works of fine art
  • the reproduction of graphical recordings of musical works
  • the recording of lectures, performances or presentation of a work on phonograms, videograms or data carriers. (Article 19 para. 3 CRA).


In other words, the complete or practically complete copying of commercially available reproductions is allowed within the private sphere in the sense of para. 1 of Article 19 CRA. However, this article shall not apply to computer programs (Article 19 para. 4 CRA; further information on Software Protection).