Allowed: The downloading of copyrighted data containing texts, pictures or music is allowed for the personal use. According to the predominant opinion of the doctrine in Switzerland, the download for personal use is allowed, even if the offered data („Upload“) was illegally uploaded. Such download of music or other data (e.g. motion pictures) is free of charge for the private user (see Article 20 para. 1 CRA) and subject to the terms of the provider respectively. According to the law, any person who manufactures or imports blank cassettes or other phonograms or videograms suitable for the recording of works (e.g. also CD-R) shall be requested to pay a remuneration to the author for the use of works for the personal use (Article 20 para. 3 CRA). However, the importer will regularly pass on the amount paid as remuneration to the consumer and consequently the private user pays his use.

Allowed: It is basically allowed to transmit lawfully copied music data or song texts and other copyrighted data, as long as such transmission happens in the personal sphere and within a circle of persons closely connected to each other, such as relatives or friends (personal use; see Article 19 para. 1 lit. a CRA). The relationship to these persons may not exist just or only because one was contacted for the purpose of file transmission or sharing. Otherwise any deliberate contacting with so-called „Internet-Pirates“ would legally be considered as close connection permitting unlimited copying.

Allowed: As a rule it is allowed to upload copyrighted song texts, music and picture data etc. to a protected area in the Internet (e.g. protected by a password), to which only persons have access who are personally closely connected to the uploading person (personal use).

Allowed: In any case it is allowed to upload and download for example music data or song texts, provided that the copyright holder agreed to such use. Copyright holders may be the authors (composers, songwriters), the interpreters, the producers of phonograms and videograms and, inasmuch as broadcasting is assumed, also the broadcasting company according to the predominant opinion of the doctrine. Those who acquired (especially by agreement) the rights from the aforementioned original beneficiaries, may also be copyright holders. Should the mentioned copyright holders set up conditions for the use outside of the personal sphere, they are to followed. In the event that complete songs or phonograms are offered for individual downloading („Music on demand“) the provider needs a license for this purpose.

Allowed: It is allowed to burn CD's/DVD's etc. for the own personal use as well as for the purpose of giving them to close relatives or friends.


Not allowed: It is not allowed to upload copyrighted music data or song texts to an area in the Internet freely accessible for everyone (cf. decision of the criminal court of the city of Basel dated 31 January 2003, published in: sic! 2003, p.960 et seq.; cf. also decision of the Swiss Federal Court dated 11 August 1999, published in: sic! 1999, p. 635). This is also valid for other data like pictures or texts. It is thereby irrelevant, if this illegal upload was done with or without the intention of commercial profit.

Not allowed: Without a license from the copyright holder allowing such activity, it is not allowed to copy by transmitting a file to a database freely accessible beyond the private circle (cf. Criminal decision of the District Court of Bremgarten dated 27 May 2003, shown and reviewed by Elvira Huber, sic! 2004, p. 170 et seq.).

Not allowed: Without a license from the copyright holder allowing such activity, it is neither allowed to burn CD's/DVD's for their (sale) distribution, nor for the purpose of giving away such CD's/DVD's to persons outside the circle of persons closely connected to each other. It is further not allowed, according to the predominant opinion of the doctrine, to „hand on“ for free CD's or DVD's to „colleagues“ (i.e. not friends) in school nor against payment of the price of the blank CD/DVD (e.g. CHF 1.00).