On June 29, Le Matin published an article by Alexandre Haederli, “La Suisse accusée d’être un havre pour les pirates about the USTR (United States Trade Representative) 301 Report, where he not only omitted to mention that Switzerland isn’t mentioned in the USTR watch lists, but also attributed to the USTR communique accompanying the report a comparison between Spain and Switzerland where Switzerland was presented unfavorably. Digitale Allmend asked where this communique made this comparison, because it is not in the original USTR communique. The journalist recognized that the comparison was not in fact in the USTR communique, but in a press release by RIAA (Recording Industry Association America) about the report. The RIAA is an american organisation representing the record industry. They do not represent a government and there statement should not be taken as without specific interest for there own benefits
Unfortunately not an uncommon mistake in the heated debate on copyright. In particular due to the increased lobby efforts in recent months of the music industry and its lobbyst, who like to claim that Switzerland is seen abroad as a pirates’ lair. See e.g. Ms Géraldine Savary’s declaration in “Les musiciens suisses manifestent leur mécontentement face au téléchargement illégal” (RTS.ch 19:30 news bulletin, March 8, 2012) or Markus Naef’s interview in the NZZ, “Inakzeptable Laissez-Faire-Haltung des Bundesrates – Pirateninsel Schweiz im Fokus der Rechteinhaber.”
Journalists however should stick to the facts and have to ask critical question about the many poorly funded claims or inprecise statements of those actors.
On July 15, Le Matin accordingly published a “rectificatif” in its paper edition. However, the online version of Mr Haederli’s article remains unchanged. As the “rectificatif” is not online, we publish it here:
“La Suisse est accusée d’être un havre pour les pirates” (“Le Matin Dimanche” du 1er juillet 2012), nous expliquions que la gestion du droit d’auteur en Suisse était mise en opposition avec la situation prévalant en Espagne. Ce communiqué de presse a été publié par la RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) et non par l’USTR (United States Trade Representative) comme indiqué par erreur. Nos excuses. LMD”