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A collection of 3500 films – documentaries and fiction – on international relations and development

Film Distributors in Switzerland

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Screening a Film

Films are protected by copyright and as such, permission must be obtained for any screening.

There is an exception for private screenings (family, friends) – art. 19 al. 1 let.a LDA.

Educational institutions benefit from a legal authorisation (educational purpose) – art. 19 al. 1 let.b LDA.

Apart from these two cases, screenings (film clubs, theme evenings, association screenings, etc.) must be authorised.

Authorisations must be requested from the right holders (producers, distribution companies, etc.)

How to obtain (written!) authorisation to screen a film

- Consult the following websites to identify the film's distributor: Swiss Films, Association suisse des distributeurs de films ASFD, Cineuropa, Cinélibre.

- Write to the distributor indicating: title of the film, place and date of the public screening, type of event, number of seats, price if applicable, contact details of the organiser.

- Contact the SUISA management company for the payment of music rights.

- Wait for the written agreement before advertising the screening.

The fact that admission is free or paying has no bearing on the authorisation to be requested or not.

Allowed, not allowed?

What can be done without asking permission

  • Showing a film during a class (educational purpose)
  • Copying a DVD borrowed from a library for private use
  • Removing or bypassing an anti-copy device from a protected DVD disc for private use
  • Downloading a film from the Internet for private use
  • Recording a TV programme – not a film – and making it available in the library

What can be done with authorisation from the right holders

  • Showing a film to several classes together
  • Screening a film in an educational institution during an evening event
  • Showing a film as part of a film club
  • Screening a film in an association
  • Making a film available on the internet

What is illegal

  • Copying a DVD to sell or offer for non-private use
  • For libraries, copying a DVD so that you do not have to buy several copies
  • Sharing files from a computer (peer-to-peer)
  • Making files available to download or upload
  • Digitising a film from the library's collection and uploading it to a website