File-sharing Remains Legal In Switzerland

File-sharing Remains Legal In Switzerland

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Following a comprehensive study, the Swiss government has ruled that sharing games, music and movies is actually beneficial to copyright holders.

With one in three Swiss citizens sharing media online, the Swiss government recently found itself under immense pressure from media conglomerates to do something, anything to stem the tide of piracy. Nodding sagely, government officials commissioned an unbiased study to finally figure out exactly how piracy affects media sales.

The study's findings were released late last week and not only did it find that file-sharing under the current Swiss copyright laws (in which downloading media for personal consumption is legal) does not damage the income of copyright holders, it claims that file-sharing actually increases the amount of cash people are willing to spend on music, movies and games.

TorrentFreak reports:

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.

Additionally, the study looked at how other countries have implemented anti-piracy measures and deemed the amount of cash spent on trying to prevent file-sharing is simply not worth it. In effect, governments have been spending money attempting to fight an inevitability, and the Swiss study claims that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

By far the best bit of the study though is toward the end. In closing the report suggests that the same media firms that pressured the Swiss government into conducting the study should stop wasting their time complaining about piracy and instead find ways to adapt to changing market conditions created by the mass adoption of internet-based technology.

As a result of the study's findings, Swiss copyright law will remain unchanged, and the people of Switzerland are free to download whatever sort of music they listen to.

Is it death metal? They seem like a death metal crowd.

Source: TorrentFreak

Permalink

And yet, American corporations are doing their damnedest to make both the internet and the country itself into a totalitarian state, mostly in an effort to completely eradicate piracy.

Oh no, piracy is not the ultimate evil destroying all entertainment industries and a government refuses to bend down to corporate lobbies. Is this the Earth shattering before my eyes?

Oh Switzerland, how I love your usually evenhanded views. I'm not sure how long they can maintain that position since pressures from media conglomerates will probably be increasing with these findings, but who doesn't love a government taking a sensible view for once?

The Grim Ace:
Oh Switzerland, how I love your usually evenhanded views. I'm not sure how long they can maintain that position since pressures from media conglomerates will probably be increasing with these findings, but who doesn't love a government taking a sensible view for once?

Hah, occasionally, I really like my government. Classical Swiss pragmatism. Or maybe it's just laziness. We really don't like change.

Now we just need a decent national anthem, and we'll be aaaalllllright!

Oh good, now pirates will be throwing this around to justify them not paying for content that they have no right to use/play/watch/ect.. Great.

Not trying to defend the big publishers/corporations. Hell no. But it's kind of hard to side with the person who pirates stuff so he/she doesn't have to pay for it.

Kevlar Eater:
And yet, American corporations are doing their damnedest to make both the internet and the country itself into a totalitarian state, mostly in an effort to completely eradicate piracy.

...while criticizing China for doing the same thing...while China is largely unsuccessful in doing so.

Why don't you go with a death metal anthem? That way, when you get gold in the Olympics, people WILL KNOW which country has won.

Fat_Hippo:

The Grim Ace:
Oh Switzerland, how I love your usually evenhanded views. I'm not sure how long they can maintain that position since pressures from media conglomerates will probably be increasing with these findings, but who doesn't love a government taking a sensible view for once?

Hah, occasionally, I really like my government. Classical Swiss pragmatism. Or maybe it's just laziness. We really don't like change.

Now we just need a decent national anthem, and we'll be aaaalllllright!

You live in Switzerland? :D
How expensive is it? Hows the job market? Are there cheap apartments?
Are internet speeds decent?

I wanna know so i can get out of a country putting itself in debt, believing everything that big corporations say and trying to pepper spray its citizens to death for speaking their mind.

OT: Ive been saying this since piracy became such a big issue. Torrenting games doesnt effect how much people buy, it effects how much people can play. I just bought MW3, Skyrim and soon Saints Row: The third. I could have pirated all of them, but i have the money to own them, so im going to own them!

Ah Switzerland how I love you so.

Also, I appreciate your lack of change, as it means that for the most part Switzerland has not obliterated all that natural beauty that inspires sickeningly sweet musicals.

weirdguy:

Kevlar Eater:
And yet, American corporations are doing their damnedest to make both the internet and the country itself into a totalitarian state, mostly in an effort to completely eradicate piracy.

...while criticizing China for doing the same thing...while China is largely unsuccessful in doing so.

Why don't you go with a death metal anthem? That way, when you get gold in the Olympics, people WILL KNOW which country has won.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

America and China are basically the same thing!

kouriichi:
You live in Switzerland? :D
How expensive is it? Hows the job market? Are there cheap apartments?
Are internet speeds decent?

I wanna know so i can get out of a country putting itself in debt, believing everything that big corporations say and trying to pepper spray its citizens to death for speaking their mind.

Expensive: Very. Wages are of course somewhat higher, but this doesn't change the fact that many things, even necessities like food, are totally over-priced when compared to our neighbors.
Job Market: It's okay, we haven't been hit as hard as a lot of other countries. I think we're at about 2.5% unemployment rate at the moment.
Cheap apartments: Depends where you want to go. Zürich: Forget it. Bern or Basel should be easier. Geneva is pretty expensive too. But public transport is good almost everywhere, so you don't have to live right in the center of the cities.
Internet speeds are pretty good, where I live anyway. Swisscom has started putting fiber optic cables everywhere, so it should only get better.

If you're serious about moving to Switzerland, just be 100% sure you can get a good job. There just isn't room here for people without a decent education which is actually needed in the job market. We get loads of people from countries like Serbia and Albania, who simply can't get jobs. It's becoming a real problem.

weirdguy:
Also, I appreciate your lack of change, as it means that for the most part Switzerland has not obliterated all that natural beauty that inspires sickeningly sweet musicals.

Not totally true, unfortunately. Yeah, the Alps are still nice, but at 7 million people, this place is getting seriously overpopulated. Urban sprawl is really swallowing up huge areas of land, and you can't stick a lot of people into mountain passes.

...man, I'm making my country sound so depressing. I actually really love living here, it's a great country.

Earnest Cavalli:
File-sharing Remains Legal In Switzerland

As a result of the study's findings, Swiss copyright law will remain unchanged, and the people of Switzerland are free to download whatever sort of music they listen to.

Is it death metal? They seem like a death metal crowd.

Permalink

Nope, it's black metal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_Frost

OT: Whatever ones views is on piracy, you have to admit, it's impossible to fight it. I'm not sure legalizing it is the best way to deal with it, but restricting access to the internet like several internet providers, and governemnts, do, isn't the way to do it. Switzerland dealt with drug-abuse the same way. Instead of arresting people, they gave free heroin to people who were addicted, and it worked.

Scypemonk:
Whatever ones views is on piracy, you have to admit, it's impossible to fight it.

If "We haven't been able to stop/do [X] thus far therefor it is clearly impossible to defeat/do." was a valid argument, I think the Medical, Law Enforcement, Scientific and Internet Security Departments/Industries would have packed their bags long ago.

Didn't the Lightbulb have around 200 failed designs before they came up with the right one? Maybe they should have given up around failure 2-3?

Aeshi:

Scypemonk:
Whatever ones views is on piracy, you have to admit, it's impossible to fight it.

If "We haven't been able to stop [X] thus far therefor it is clearly impossible to defeat." was a valid argument, I think the Medical, Law Enforcement, Scientific and Internet Security Departments/Industries would have packed their bags long ago.

Well, i should have said almost impossible, anyway i'll clarify.

People who pirate software, are getting things conveniently from the internet with little hassle, and (usually anyway) completely free. While it's illegal, cases were people get charged for it (at least here in Denmark), are extremely rare, and then it's only people who make a living from cracking software. And when people put defenses in place to prevent piracy, they get bypassed almost instantly.

So realistically the only thing that keeps people from piracy, are their guilty conscience, or insistence to support developers, musicians, etc. I always buy my games, but i know several people who pirate them (or rather almost none that don't), and while some are idiots who only does it because it's free, some do it because it's a much better service.

So the best way (in theory) to fight piracy is probably to embrace it, and make downloading everything free, and instead introduce a tax or fee, that you pay on a certain basis. Then the creators of this software receive payment based on downloads, or perhaps user recommendations. The people that handle this could be either internet providers or the government, depending on what would be most practical.

That last part may need some rethinking, but my point remains, that it's pretty pointless to fight piracy the traditional way, because all defenses put in place, eventually will be bypassed.

EDIT: Corrected some spelling mistakes.

Irridium:
Oh good, now pirates will be throwing this around to justify them not paying for content that they have no right to use/play/watch/ect.. Great.

What's the matter? Don't like the truth? Switzerland has scientifically disproved the theory that piracy is destroying the entertainment industry.

Irridium:
Not trying to defend the big publishers/corporations. Hell no. But it's kind of hard to side with the person who pirates stuff so he/she doesn't have to pay for it.

I'm not siding with the pirates either. I'm siding with the legit users who don't like draconian DRM. I'm siding with citizens who would rather not see billions in tax dollars flushed away fighting a crime that is happening anyway. I'm siding with with judges who would probably rather judge cases that actually matter. I'm siding with the developers who would rather not see a cool feature in a game sacrificed to free up resources for a new DRM scheme which will be cracked within days anyway.

Up until now my position has been "piracy is a horrible thing but it's gonna happen anyway so just roll with it, yo". Now that position has officially been mythbusted. Piracy is a largely harmless thing that companies and governments are spending billions fighting.

Omechron:

Irridium:
Oh good, now pirates will be throwing this around to justify them not paying for content that they have no right to use/play/watch/ect.. Great.

What's the matter? Don't like the truth? Switzerland has scientifically disproved the theory that piracy is destroying the entertainment industry.

Irridium:
Not trying to defend the big publishers/corporations. Hell no. But it's kind of hard to side with the person who pirates stuff so he/she doesn't have to pay for it.

I'm not siding with the pirates either. I'm siding with the legit users who don't like draconian DRM. I'm siding with citizens who would rather not see billions in tax dollars flushed away fighting a crime that is happening anyway. I'm siding with with judges who would probably rather judge cases that actually matter. I'm siding with the developers who would rather not see a cool feature in a game sacrificed to free up resources for a new DRM scheme which will be cracked within days anyway.

Up until now my position has been "piracy is a horrible thing but it's gonna happen anyway so just roll with it, yo". Now that position has officially been mythbusted. Piracy is a largely harmless thing that companies and governments are spending billions fighting.

Yes, they have proven that piracy really isn't that much of a problem. For very large companies. In Switzerland. But Switzerland isn't the entire world. Not to mention that Switzerland isn't exactly these companies' main consumer base, so even if the whole of Switzerland pirated everything, it wouldn't mean much for the large companies that could take it.

But for the smaller musicians/filmmakers/game developers who try to make a living making music/movies/games, piracy is a big issue.

I'm not saying you're wrong, and I agree that companies and governments should spend the money on better things. Yes companies and governments are pretty ignorant of this whole thing and are going about it in insanely stupid ways.

But what I'm saying that people who are downloading someone else's work without paying for it when the creator wants/needs payment is wrong.

Irridium:

Omechron:

Irridium:
Oh good, now pirates will be throwing this around to justify them not paying for content that they have no right to use/play/watch/ect.. Great.

What's the matter? Don't like the truth? Switzerland has scientifically disproved the theory that piracy is destroying the entertainment industry.

Irridium:
Not trying to defend the big publishers/corporations. Hell no. But it's kind of hard to side with the person who pirates stuff so he/she doesn't have to pay for it.

I'm not siding with the pirates either. I'm siding with the legit users who don't like draconian DRM. I'm siding with citizens who would rather not see billions in tax dollars flushed away fighting a crime that is happening anyway. I'm siding with with judges who would probably rather judge cases that actually matter. I'm siding with the developers who would rather not see a cool feature in a game sacrificed to free up resources for a new DRM scheme which will be cracked within days anyway.

Up until now my position has been "piracy is a horrible thing but it's gonna happen anyway so just roll with it, yo". Now that position has officially been mythbusted. Piracy is a largely harmless thing that companies and governments are spending billions fighting.

Yes, they have proven that piracy really isn't that much of a problem. For very large companies. In Switzerland. But Switzerland isn't the entire world. Not to mention that Switzerland isn't exactly these companies' main consumer base, so even if the whole of Switzerland pirated everything, it wouldn't mean much for the large companies that could take it.

But this is also true the Netherlands because

Earnest Cavalli:
the researchers extrapolated the findings of a study conducted by the Dutch government last year

and most of the western countries (countries trying to fight piracy)

Earnest Cavalli:
Additionally, the study looked at how other countries have implemented anti-piracy measures and deemed the amount of cash spent on trying to prevent file-sharing is simply not worth it. In effect, governments have been spending money attempting to fight an inevitability, and the Swiss study claims that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

fighting other battles or making file sharing legal seems to be better for everybody

and also about those

Irridium:
smaller musicians/filmmakers/game developers who try to make a living making music/movies/games

please read the article more thoroughly

Earnest Cavalli:
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.

gunner1905:
snip

Alright, fair enough. Still feels weird to me, but I guess I'll just have to live with it.

Irridium:

gunner1905:
snip

Alright, fair enough. Still feels weird to me, but I guess I'll just have to live with it.

It is weird because even though the data shows it beneficial, we've always been taught that nothing is free, and someone getting something for free that you paid for will never seem fair.
I just don't care if somebody pirates or not anymore, publishers can do what they want with DRM, as long as I can play the game normally I just buy the games I want.
Except those MAFIAA with SOPA, those guys are just fucking crazy and paranoid.

So TL;DR is Piracy wins? Way to go Switzerland.

Next time I hand in a homework assignment that I can't find the answer to I'll tell the teacher after trying it a few times that nothing works and the problem is unsolvable.

LOL! the Swiss told Lars Ulrich to go F!@k himself!

Creamygoodness:
LOL! the Swiss told Lars Ulrich to go F!@k himself!

How will he afford the solid gold mini bar now?

America's idea of an unbiased study is anything that makes pirates seem like professional puppy kickers.

Europe, overall, does have better educated citizens than America. Maybe if their schooling were a little better, so many people wouldn't be so quick to fall for their "unbiased" studies.

I know that the Escapist is not a Swiss site... but does this mean the Escapist will change its forum policies on piracy, or will the mods still be dishing out unfettered punishment?

Earnest Cavalli:
Following a comprehensive study, the Swiss government has ruled that sharing games, music and movies is actually beneficial to copyright holders.

Good news everyone : i want to live on this planet more !

Aeshi:

Scypemonk:
Whatever ones views is on piracy, you have to admit, it's impossible to fight it.

If "We haven't been able to stop/do [X] thus far therefor it is clearly impossible to defeat/do." was a valid argument, I think the Medical, Law Enforcement, Scientific and Internet Security Departments/Industries would have packed their bags long ago.

Didn't the Lightbulb have around 200 failed designs before they came up with the right one? Maybe they should have given up around failure 2-3?

Lightbulbs aren't people. Pirates are.
"Piracy is wrong" movement is not doing its job right. It's impossible to change people by threatening them or punishing. It's as simple as that.

WOW! In these SOPA-and-similar-ridden days I really didn't think governments were capable of something like this. I love you, Swiss government and need to live in your country, like... yesterday.

Wow. Governement NOT trying to screw you over. Will wonders never cease. Cheers to the Swiss.

Switzerland gets it. When everyone has the choice to do what's right and what's "wrong", people are more likely to do right.

Make the "wrong" illegal, and it's the forbidden fruit that more people want to try.

Irridium:
Oh good, now pirates will be throwing this around to justify them not paying for content that they have no right to use/play/watch/ect.. Great.

Not trying to defend the big publishers/corporations. Hell no. But it's kind of hard to side with the person who pirates stuff so he/she doesn't have to pay for it.

Did you even read the study in question.

They concluded that pirates purchase more legitimate copy of games in general then non-pirates do, period. This means the pirate community controls a larger chunk of the legitimate game users then non-pirates. Yet you still argue that these companies are losing money because of us?

We pirates actually purchase more games, on average, then non-pirates! This means the 'pirate demo effect' is something we really have to consider as a legitimate economical driving force. Without the means to sample a product before we purchase it, humans are less likely to purchase said product unless you create a situation where. Unless you are producing bad products, this sampling should not be considered a threat to your product at all.

This is slightly off topic but I can't figure where to put this:

It is my personal belief, but I don't think I am wrong here, that one of the biggest reasons game companies support SOPA is because it would kill 'Let's Play' reviews. These reviews are only protected by the fair use act, which SOPA butchers, and run by the average Joe so they wouldn't be able to afford the court fees that would come fighting a SOPA battle. Effectively, this piece of legislation would remove the sole process that allows us to review a bad game before we decide not to spend money on it.

I can't help but shake the feeling they want to get rid of anything that might prevent us from purchasing a bad game prior to actually giving them real money.

JesterRaiin:

Lightbulbs aren't people. Pirates are.
"Piracy is wrong" movement is not doing its job right. It's impossible to change people by threatening them or punishing. It's as simple as that.

Gabe has stated it best and I can't quote so I will paraphrase:
The best way to stop piracy is to produce high quality goods for a fair price.

It is very easy to beat pirates when it comes to quality. Pirates are ripping off your product which means they can't top your quality. In doing so introducing massive amounts of bugs and lower quality. DRM simply reduces quality, you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

Digital downloads, making it easier to download the legitimate copy then find and download a pirate, ensures that you do not have worry about the supply problems. Making it so we do not to have to get off our fat arses and travel anywhere to get a physical copy always helps. That is easily done, but please don't try and include DRM with it.

The only real question is how much do you over-price something before the customers come to the conclusion those bugs are less frustrating then the loss of money compared to the game cost?

Good products, lower costs and making them downloadable to start with = win over pirates!

Jinx_Dragon:
Good products, lower costs and making them downloadable to start with = win over pirates!

Gaben knows what he is doing.

I still wait for a new platform that will allow to download any game from its store for a monthly fee.
You pay some $$$, you download whatever you are in mood to play - big hits, indie games and simply play them without any DRM, without threats and remorse. Gaming channel - it's simple at that.

I am strongly convinced that this whole "omg stop the piracy" war is a cover for some shady corporations and organizations to change international laws and gain control over people and their data. It's the war for freedom of Internet, nothing else.

It isn't sinister gesture, it is human nature. People are slow to change when they encounter something new and problems are no different to that. Encounter a problem, go full steam ahead because what has worked in the past has to work in the future. Of course, the real world does not work that way.

The people running most of the groups for things like SOPA and anti-piracy are just old thinkers that are not willing to look at the problem differently. If you ask me, the core of their problem is the fact we no longer need their distribution and marketing networks to function. The internet has provided a faster way to distribute products and the ultimate in the 'tongue' version of marketing... just ask ocean marketing how powerful our internet is.

However, the developers have invested a great deal of money into the marketing and distribution networks. Now they need to justify this decision and do so by denying their is a problem while focusing on what they have done all along... marketing and distribution. This clearly isn't working so instead of taking a closer look at the core of the problem, they look for 'leaches' to blame.

Used sales, bad reviews, piracy, other gaming companies undermin... wait, no that company was refusing to pay another, don't worry. You get the idea, any set back is because of something another person had to have done and not because they need to justify why they are staying full steam ahead when it clearly isn't working.

Over-haul the gaming industry by taking a look at the requirement for marketing over virtual space and viral campaigns. Pass the savings onto the consumers. Look at the digital distribution networks and consider working with companies already well established at supplying products. They can get it into many hands cheaply, offer a store front that will be advertised internally and might even throw in other incentives like hats in their games. Nothing drives up sales like virtual goodies that also cost you nothing to manufacture.

As for your idea, it is great but sadly it would involve these older thinkers too much. They would clearly demand a royalty for every sale based on some bizarre and inflated numbers. Make it too pricy to get all the big names involved, which will cause it to fail. This is why rental companies still use hard copies, which the developers hate so much by the way.

Aeshi:

Scypemonk:
Whatever ones views is on piracy, you have to admit, it's impossible to fight it.

If "We haven't been able to stop/do [X] thus far therefor it is clearly impossible to defeat/do." was a valid argument, I think the Medical, Law Enforcement, Scientific and Internet Security Departments/Industries would have packed their bags long ago.

Didn't the Lightbulb have around 200 failed designs before they came up with the right one? Maybe they should have given up around failure 2-3?

Funny you should mention lightbulbs, considering that Tesla invented them and Edison abused the copyright system to get away with all the honor(and money) and was the biggest example of the flaws of the copyright system until Walt Disney came along and changed it from "blatantly unfair in favour of rule-lawyers" to "blatantly unfair in favour of rule-lawyers and you can also throw money the the government to have it made even worse"

 

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