Switzerland realises that punitive anti-piracy measures actually hurt content creators

Switzerland has looked into the issue of internet “piracy” and has decided to keep its law the way it is, apparently permitting the downloading of copyrighted works for personal use. Why? Because, the government’s report found, “downloading has no proven negative impact on the production of national culture”:

The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change…

“Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been ‘abused’. This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use the new technology to their advantages and losers those who missed this development and continue to follow old business models,” the report notes.

The government report further concludes that even in the current situation where piracy is rampant, the entertainment industries are not necessarily losing money. To reach this conclusion, the researchers extrapolated the findings of a study conducted by the Dutch government last year, since the countries are considered to be similar in many aspects.

The report states that around a third of Swiss citizens over 15 years old download pirated music, movies and games from the Internet. However, these people don’t spend less money as a result because the budgets they reserve for entertainment are fairly constant. This means that downloading is mostly complementary.

The other side of piracy, based on the Dutch study, is that downloaders are reported to be more frequent visitors to concerts, and game downloaders actually bought more games than those who didn’t. And in the music industry, lesser-know bands profit most from the sampling effect of file-sharing.

Punitive anti-piracy legislation hurts ordinary citizens and hurts the creators of content. Sure, parasitical management goons in Los Angeles might feel threatened when consumers can get around their self-destructive gate-keeping, but it’s actually a benefit to the community as a whole. Which is, after all, the justification for the creation of “copyright” laws in the first place.

(Via LGWS)

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4 responses to “Switzerland realises that punitive anti-piracy measures actually hurt content creators

  1. narcoticmusing

    Indeed I’d argue that many of the anti-piracy practices lead people to piracy.

    For example, a book not available in Australia for the kindle. Do the publishers really think it is not available or just not available for purchase? Consider that books, via libraries, have always been freely accessible. So when person wants to buy it and can’t for NO REASON where does that leave them? (the book is purcahsable in hard copy and there are no formatting/ect restrictions on differing jurisdictions kindles…)

    This is one example of many.

  2. Or people who want to play a game without installing the nasty spyware that certain companies – cough, EA, cough – insist on installing on their systems.

  3. narcoticmusing

    Or those stupid anti-piracy videos you can’t skip on the DVD/Blue-Ray you paid for. All I think of is, if I pirated this, it wouldn’t have this stupid bit.

  4. Splatterbottom

    The copyright owners are in a mess of their own making. They have failed to keep up with the technology and seem to have a very limited understanding of how to make money in an online world.

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