Swiss government says it’s OK to pirate movies and music
Date added: 02 Dec 2011
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The European country has made a major contribution to the file sharing cause by investigating how much does piracy really influence in the big companies' profits. And guess what? Not only illegal downloading hasn't a negative effect on their economy but q
It might have sounded like a joke to most copyright devotees but this is oh so very true. Switzerland, one of the most developed countries in the world, has dismissed the entertainment industry complaints over their allegedly dramatic profit losses in the hands of digital pirates.
Given the country’s current trend (which indicates that one in three people over 15 years old downloads pirated contents), the Swiss government decided to look more closely into the matter by conducting a study that was going to decide whether legal changes were needed. It turns out they weren’t.
The existing legal framework is sufficient
With more and more countries deciding to tighten their controls and harden their laws against copyright infringement, it seemed as if the entertainment industries were winning the battle against piracy (not by reducing the number of illegal downloads, mind you, but by progressively restricting Internet use). But Switzerland set an example that’s hard to ignore.
The results from the study shows that, in spite of the complaints over losses, the percentage of disposable income spent on the consumption of entertainment products remained constant. That means that, although people are downloading unauthorized materials from the Web, they are nonetheless investing their money on entertainment.
United researchers from Europe
The Swiss study comes to add yet another pro-download layer to the “piracy cause”. Last year, the Dutch government conducted a similar study on the effects of file sharing on the economy. That investigation arrived to similar conclusions to the ones got by the Swiss government: downloading videos and music from illegal sources helped in spreading cultural goods while serving as samples of those artistic commodities.
In plain terms, people who pirate music are more frequent concert goers and those who download games illegally are more likely to end up buying it. Such mechanism works in two ways: it not only allows for a wider cultural distribution and impact but it also helps in keeping the entertainment-related economy rolling.
The Swiss report even make it clear for companies that they should take advantage of this new distribution form. According to the government, adapting to the consumer’s habits would be essential to benefit from the possibilities the Web has to offer.
Don’t even think in repressing
Finally, one of the most valuable lessons this study teaches the big companies and copyright holders is that, no matter how repressive the anti-piracy laws are, there will always be some way to by pass them. And that without even mentioning the violation to freedom of speech some measures such as ISP blocks would mean.
So, basically, Switzerland is telling the entire entertainment industry to get it together and start working for their customers instead of against them. All in all, such people are the ones that support their businesses and they can decide to shut them down in any minute, just by avoiding their products and abandoning them for a more open-minded alternative.
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