- Basics of Copyright
- 1. WHERE... is the work used and which national law is applicable?
- 3. WHO... owns the copyright in the work?
- 4. WHICH... rights in the work are protected?
- 5. HOW... may other people use a work?
- 5b. HOW ... can other people use a work? - Contractual licenses
- 6. AND... responsibility and sanctions?
- 7. Copyright and social media
2.1.2 Individual character
The most difficult condition to determine for the copyright protection of a work is probably its individual character, because this always depends on the individual case. The work itself (and not the author) must show a certain degree of individuality or originality. This means it must stand out from what is considered usual and common. As a reference point, you should ask whether other people would have created something similar when given the same task. If this is the case, then there is a lack of individuality and the work does not fall under copyright protection.
For example, the creation of a telephone book – it generally lacks any individuality as phone books are structurally similar and do not require any creative "input"; this is also the case for the pharmacopoeia, a written record with legally prescribed medical and patient information – in this case, it does not have any individual character. If others had edited the pharmacopoeia, they would have designed it in a similar way, always in in accordance with particular scientific or medical regulations (cf. BGE 134 III 166, 172).
On April 1, 2020, the new Swiss Copyright Act (CopA) will enter into force and bring a number of changes. We will do our best to update this page as soon as possible.