Switzerland votes in favour of ‘Lex Netflix’ law

Swiss voters have provided their backing to the proposed ‘Lex Netflix’ law which would compel streaming services to provide funding for local content productions.

In a vote on Sunday, 58% of voters backed the proposal. As such, streaming operators such as Netflix and Disney will now have to reinvest at least 4% of their Swiss revenues into local content production, effectively bringing them in line with broadcasters in the country.

The investments can take the form of buying locally-made shows in addition to producing them, while streamers will also have the option of putting that into an investment fund.

Speaking at a press conference after the vote was cast, Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset said that “this result underlines the cultural importance of film-making in Switzerland.”

Similar laws have been implemented in Portugal (where streamers must pay 1% of their income to the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisuals), and in France and Italy where streamers must invest in European content. Denmark and Spain are both considering similar laws.

The Lex Netflix law was one of three referendums taking place on Sunday. The second referendum saw 72% of voters approve increased funding for the Frontex border security agency. In the third referendum, 60% of voters approved changes to organ transplant laws to make them opt-out.

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