back to article Swiss insist file-sharers don't hurt copyright holders

The Swiss government has ruled that downloading pirated copies of films, music and videogames for personal use will remain legal because it is of not detrimental to copyright owners. Last year, the Swiss Senate ordered an investigation into the impact downloading may have on society, in case further legislation was required on …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Plus 10 points for Switzerland

    Law based on actually studying a case properly rather than give in blindly to lobby groups! That is real old-school, man!

    1. N13L5
      Thumb Up

      there is apparently one sane country left in europe

      Looks like the Swiss do not wish to turn into a police state, and criminalize everything just to make large international cartels happy.

      Reminds me of Obama weighing in, saying he was fully behind the media mogul getting $230,000 per song from the parents of a 14 year old girl who shared ~24 songs a bunch of years ago.

      Lets see, maybe if they sell their house, that will pay for one song. for the other 23 songs, the family will be wiped out financially for the rest of their collective lives. Given that this was a full 2 CD's worth, it sounds overly lenient, I think the girl is lucky they didn't cut of her hands as a warning.

      Let me think what happens if a 14 year old actually steals 2 physical audio CD's at a store: 10 hours community service and a talking to by the local judge? Fines or fees: none.

    2. Dr. Mouse

      "Law based on actually studying a case properly rather than give in blindly to lobby groups!"

      I know, it's incredible!

  2. mamsey
    Thumb Up

    Go Switzerland...

    Might be a strange and quirky country, I know I lived there, but they do have some common sense and nice cheese.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    love it...

    Some sensible recommendations finally. Another plus for having left the nanny-state that the UK has become!

    Totally agree with this, I'm a "casual p2per", and only download TV episodes that I've missed on Sky (reception out here isn't that good) - I frankly don't see how anyone is loosing money, I've paid for Sky! Any films I download (rarely), I always have either a DVD or BD for it (and only because I can't be bothered to rip to my NAS), if studios made available a copy at high-res, problem solved.

    AC for obvious reasons.. :)

  4. PyLETS
    Thumb Up

    Sensible ruling

    Right to privacy lobby 1, Big media user behaviour controlling empire builders 0.

  5. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    My Word...

    ...is sanity finally breaking out?

  6. Steven Jones

    Convenient conclusion - for them

    Very convenient for the Swiss, not exactly known for having a lot of music, film or other such content which citizens of other countries might wish to download. Now, of course, should any other country want to break any of their companies' many patents, they might take a different line. In the meantime they will carry on acting as a convenient location for many a despot's ill-gotten gains and facilitating wealthy tax evaders.

  7. Chad H.

    Look I'm normally against this P2P blocking stuff

    But I really don't like this argument. Is it ok for me to steal food if I still buy as much as I did before I stole?

    1. Pete Spicer

      It doesn't work like that, and as such it's an invalid comparison.

      If you steal food, you are depriving someone else of a physical good.

      If you copy something, you are not depriving anyone else of a physical good. Therein lies the problem for the media companies: it's not like theft of a physical object has taken place, and a copy in no way diminishes the ability to share either...

    2. ratfox
      Angel

      Yes, as long as...

      You manage to steal food AND live it where it was at the same time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're equating copyright infringement with theft, and they are not the same thing (despite what rights-holders like to claim) .

      If you steal something from a retailer, you're physically depriving them of something that they can't then sell to anyone else. This obviously doesn't apply to copyright infringement.

      Assuming the evidence they've used is valid, I'm inclined to agree with the Swiss ruling - if the overall income to rights-holders remains the same, no-one is losing out, so why should anyone be punished?

    4. Captain Save-a-ho
      Boffin

      Apples and oranges

      Not exactly a good comparison, since food is a consummable and entertainment content is not. The argument has been that piracy represents sales that would have happened if not for the illegal distribution. In truth, the response to that argument is essentially confirmed by the Swiss study, that is that there wouldn't be any additional sales if piracy was prevented.

      I suspect the same holds true for non-entertainment content like Operating System and Office software, but there's obviously no hard data to back that up in the Swiss study.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, go ahead

      Don't be silly! Of course it's fine to steal food if you're doing it without taking anything away from the original owner.

      In fact, you should publish a paper on how you're doing that, I bet it would be worth a lot of money!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It would be perfectly ok...

      ... if you could make an exact copy of food from the original food thus creating double the amount of food than existed previously.

      In fact you'd probably win the Nobel prize.

    7. TimeMaster T
      Stop

      infringment NOT theft

      Please get your facts straight.

      Copyright infringement is NOT theft. Theft is defined as depriving someone of an item, copyright infringement is making a copy without the permission of the creator/owner.

      By claiming that downloading is theft you are showing that you are gullible and have been brainwashed by the media companies into thinking exactly what they want you to.

      To claim that downloading a perfect digital COPY of a DVD/BD is theft is like saying that you are stealing the Mona Lisa if you download a high-res digital photo of it.

      1. bigweeal
        Thumb Down

        You live in cuckoo land 2

        "To claim that downloading a perfect digital COPY of a DVD/BD is theft is like saying that you are stealing the Mona Lisa if you download a high-res digital photo of it."

        OK, lets say everyone decides to download their movies for free. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think you will still be able to go to the cinema to see the latest blockbuster?

        There would be no cinemas and there would be no blockbusters. Who's going to invest their money in making a movie? If we all have your mindset then every movie made would end up on youtube (or the likes) with pop up ads and 3 minute adverts every 10 minutes as this would be the only way the movie investors would be able to get a return on their investment.

        Sounds like a nice future.

        When that happens, let me know when someone brings out a program that can bin the adverts and put the films back together without them. You know, just like the way the movies used to be :-)

        But that is the problem and the industry (music and film) knows this. Because people can get it for free and are now so used to it, they think it is perfectly acceptable to do so as they are not harming anyone. You harm everyone involved in the industry. From the man cleaning the floors of the studio to the person who sells you a ticket at your local Odeon.

        1. fiddley
          Thumb Up

          Oh Sorry I forgot...

          ...music did not exist until big business was there to distribute it. And of course they are absolutely required in order to bring visual media to our eyes. If only there was some way that independent filmamakers could produce and distribute their movies directly to my telly tube, or your telly tube where the distribution has little to zero cost... mytube... yourtube... I'm sure somewhere in there there's some kind of business idea ;-)

          Big distribution is dead, it's no longer required and it's using it's death thoes to try and litigate anything and everyone.

          Well done Switzerland.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The END IS NIGH!

          > OK, lets say everyone decides to download their movies for free. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think you will still be able to go to the cinema to see the latest blockbuster?

          Yet, strangely, this never happened.

          Its like saying if everyone decided to stop watching movies the same problem will happen. The reality is hell will freeze over first.

          Oddly, your ability to miss what people are saying had led you to miss the comments above (and Swiss research) which allude to sharers going out and buying as much as they ever would. It appears that despite your placard waving predictions of the end of the world, 10 years of rampant filesharing didnt cause much of a dint in the production of films or music.

          Who'da thunk it?

      2. Trygve Henriksen

        Actually, you ARE depriving the copyright holder of physical goods!

        If you didn't download the song/film/game/whatever, you would have had to BUY it. That is, handing out some form of payment, which the copyright holder could have used to pay for food/clothes/singing lessons/a new car/bling...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          eh?

          > If you didn't download the song/film/game/whatever, you would have had to BUY it. That is, handing out some form of payment, which the copyright holder could have used to pay for food/clothes/singing lessons/a new car/bling...

          So by the same argument any products we DONT buy are depriving the copyright holder in the same manner.

          We should all be punished for failing to buy every new song, film, book, piece of art (etc) because anything else is depriving the copyright holder of their payment, therefore theft.

          Thank you.

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge
          FAIL

          This is your logical fallacy

          If I were to download the latest Twilight will-she-wont-she 'drama', there is a chance that I may watch it, maybe just the first 20 minutes...

          If I do not, there is no chance that I will pay to see it in any format.

    8. sisk

      There's a difference

      When you steal food, someone looses something. After you steal the food the store can not then sell it to someone else and has therefore lost a sale. That's not the case at all with filesharing.

      When you download a song, there is nothing to prevent the producer from selling the same song to someone else. As study after study after study has show, the vast majority of file sharers would not (and truely, in most cases, could not) pay for the content that they download. So the sell to the pirate would never have happened anyway (and therefore is not lost) and the sell to a paying customer is not prevented (and therefore is not lost). Therefore, nothing is lost and the content owner is in no way harmed. The same holds true with pretty much every other form of frequently downloaded media. That's why filesharing is not theft. Which is not to say that it's not immoral - that's a seperate discussion (and one I suspect you and I would agree upon judging from your comment here). However laws should not be based upon morality. Morality is too subjective to make a foundation for law, unless you like the idea of laws preventing the sale of liquor on Sundays or bans on gay marriage (both the products of morality based law). Harm, however, is much more testable and verifiable and makes a much more firm basis for law.

      1. bigweeal
        Thumb Down

        You live in cuckoo land

        "As study after study after study has show, the vast majority of file sharers would not (and truely, in most cases, could not) pay for the content that they download. So the sell to the pirate would never have happened anyway (and therefore is not lost) and the sell to a paying customer is not prevented (and therefore is not lost). Therefore, nothing is lost and the content owner is in no way harmed."

        So with that same mind set it is perfectly acceptable to steal a car from a dealers as you cannot afford one and you have no intentions of ever buying one but the dealer is ok as they would never have sold one to you in the first place. It is theft and it ALWAYS affects someone.

        I don't like mars bars but i'll just pop down to the Mars factory and blag one as the factory would never have got me to buy one in the first place and its ok as they have an unlimited amount of them.

        Were you one of the ones out rioting? If not, you missed out on that one as it was a free for all. Just like p2p.

        I do not know what you do but I sincerely hope it does not end up online one day and becomes a downloadable commodity because if it does, your fecked, your boss is fecked and so are all his suppliers as long a people have the same mind set as your good self. It is theft and it always affects someone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Cloud Cuckoo Reading Fail

          > So with that same mind set it is perfectly acceptable to steal a car from a dealers as you cannot afford one and you have no intentions of ever buying one but the dealer is ok as they would never have sold one to you in the first place. It is theft and it ALWAYS affects someone.

          You appear to have read the post you were responding to, and even have this in your quote block "and the sell to a paying customer is not prevented (and therefore is not lost)" yet you failed to realise this and continued with a completely broken analogy.

          Copyright infringement is only theft if you redefine theft to mean copyright infringement. If it were already theft then we wouldnt need copyright legislation to combat it.

          Your analogy would only work if by stealing the car you left an exact copy with the dealer that they could sell to someone else. As everyone else has said, if you can do that you bigger things to think about than driving your shiny new Aston (and the money your invention is going to bring in will let you legitimately buy thousands.)

          Its good that you carried on this false analogy though and conflating P2P filesharers with rioters was pure genius. All fail, but genius nonetheless.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @bigweeal

          Do you also think that if someone steals your identity it means you can no longer remember your own name?

          The fact that people have decided to start calling some acts "theft" doesnt make them the same as traditional thefts - it is more down to the need to shock people which has led to this bastardisation of language, which in turn leads to people making completely inappropriate analogies to prove a point.

          Notice, the one thing it doesnt do is make it right.

        3. sisk

          "I do not know what you do but I sincerely hope it does not end up online one day and becomes a downloadable commodity because if it does, your fecked, your boss is fecked and so are all his suppliers as long a people have the same mind set as your good self. It is theft and it always affects someone."

          That comment is ironic in the extreme given that I'm a web developer.

          But I digress. Had you bothered to read my post in it's entirety you would have noticed two things:

          1) Copyright infringement is, in my opinion, an immoral activity. I do not condone it, I mearly don't like seeing it called something it isn't. Calling file sharing theft is like calling a severe but non-sexual beating a rape. It is sensational and dishonest, but the beating was still wrong.

          2) When a file is downloaded the owner can still sell that file to legitimate customers, which is why it is not theft. In order for theft to occur, someone must loose something. You would have noticed this had you even bothered to read the part of my post you quoted.

          Now to your points:

          When you steal a car, the owner of that car looses something (the car). Therefore theft has occured. Now if you were able to somehow produce an exact copy of that car out of thin air and drive off with it, then the owner of the car would still have the original and would not have lost anything. That is infringement.

          The equating of P2P with rioting is hyperbole at best and stupidity at worst. As I have pointed out and logically proven, infringement is a different beast than theft, and last time I checked file sharing has never resulted in bodily injuries.

          And as I said, I'm a web developer. If my stuff isn't downloadable there's something terribly wrong.

    9. AdamWill

      bad comparison

      Food is a physical item in the world which actually costs a significant amount of resources to produce. Imagine you steal a side of beef - there is a substantial innate physical value in that side of beef, and you have denied it to someone else.

      This does not at all pertain to the case of a single digital copy of some piece of data. By taking a copy of it you're hardly denying a copy to anyone else, and the actual cost involved in generating that copy is so small as to be unquantifiable.

      You just can't compare the cases, *economically*.

      Morally? Maybe. But the entertainment lobby tends to emphasize the supposed 'economic consequences of piracy', and that's the point this argument is concerned with.

    10. JarekG
      WTF?

      No it's not OK to steal food. If you steal food, the money that the company would make are gone (you took the item with no option to make any money).

      If you download movie, the movie that you don't buy...well someone else will....

    11. Zack Mollusc
      Facepalm

      No, it isn't. But then that has got nothing to do with filesharing. You should instead ask 'is it ok to cook from recipes faxed to me from someone else's cookbook?'

    12. LaeMing
      Facepalm

      provided

      you can think of a way of stealing food such that there is no less food left on the shelf for everyone else after you stole your portion, than I guess so.

    13. eforce
      Pirate

      Copy = Stealing?

      Wow I never knew that.............................

    14. spencer
      FAIL

      Incorrect analogy

      Your analogy is wrong sir.

      Allow me:

      "Is it ok for me to borrow a copy of some food if I still buy as much as I did before I copied"

      Makes no sense, does it.

    15. Raumkraut

      > Is it ok for me to steal food if I still buy as much as I did before I stole?

      Only if by "steal food" you mean "perfectly replicate food, without depriving anyone else of said food"

    16. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Their argument really only works because the product is digital.

      Since stealing the copyrighted "product" does not result in the merchant's inability to sell that "product", then if the same amount of money is being spent on that "product" then nothing has been lost. The food analogy is nice, but doesn't work unless the supermarket can still sell the food that you stole. Otherwise, they're out the value of the food.

      Essentially, the ruling is that the merchants have not lost any of their stock of "products." Nor have they lost any of their income. Thus, we should conclude that the merchants still have what they would have had if there was no downloading occuring. And if nothing has been lost, then we can't reasonably say that a crime has occurred.

      More interesting is that their study implies that people are downloading CDs and using the money they didn't spend on music to buy games instead. It would be interesting to see whether that's the case or if people don't feel they get as much value from a CD or something else. So there could be an argument that the recording artists and companies are losing out to the video game companies. Then, the recording companies might have a leg to stand on, but they'd actually need some supporting evidence for that.

    17. Chad H.

      For the "Depirvation" arguments

      The "owner" of the food is being denied something - the value of that good they would have gotten for selling it. You would have had to have paid for the food - even though there is an exact duplicate there you are denying them of the money you rightfully should have paid.

      1. AdamWill

        once more for the cheap seats

        once more for the cheap seats: the issue is not whether copyright infringement is 'okay', economically, morally, or ethically. The issue is whether it is the same thing as theft, with the same consequences.

        It is trivially provable that copyright infringement is not the same as theft, and that's what the arguments above are about. The question of whether copyright infringement is legally/morally/ethically acceptable does not come into it. The issue is that it is simply incorrect and unhelpful to refer to copyright infringement as 'theft', because it is _not_ theft. Even the pretzelish argument that copyright infringement 'deprives' the copyright holder of the money you would theoretically otherwise have paid for the copyrighted material does not make copyright infringement theft, because the argument is not whether anyone potentially loses out in any way, but whether copyright infringement is actually equivalent to theft. It isn't.

  8. Pat 11

    they say that now...

    But wait until they become the p2p seedbox / vpn / shell account centre of the world. It'll be like stoners to Amsterdam.

    True though, all this missing money only exists in the whistful private jet, coke and hookers dreams of the execs of a fading industry.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steven Jones and Chad H.

    The Swiss are not great protectors of thier patents anyway in most cases you will find. They patent for the process of documenting rather than suing people's arses.

    Secondly and most importantly the thing that is not mentioned here is that any storage media that is bought in the country is taxed especially to pass on to the media industry, so it is more like getting the content that you want to fill the media up that you have already paid the media companies for.

  10. bigweeal
    WTF?

    Unbelievable. As an owner of one of the last remaining independent dvd rental outlets in the UK, i can categorically state it IS detrimental to my income, my distributors income and that of the film studios and it is now detrimental to the cost of $Billions annually. It really DOES affect normal peoples lives.

    "The percentage of disposable income spent on consumption in this area remains constant,"

    Of course it stays the same you feckin @rseholes. They only ever have so much money. Now instead of buying music and renting movies, they blag it all leaving their pennies to buy more games. If they did not get online life time bans for chipping their consoles, they would be blagging their games as well.

    We never see a teenager in our shop now, unless it's to rent a game and when they come in you hear them stating, seen that, seen that, seen that and this is with the weeks new releases that have just hit the shops that day.

    Yes, i know it is all going online now and i do not have a problem with that, but i would really like to see an "age study" to see the average age of someone paying to download from btvision, blinkbox etc. I bet it has to be 35+ as the majority below 30 have the mentality if i can get it for free i will.

    When we close down, i'm off to letmewatchthis.com as well. :-)

    1. Nick L

      sorry for you, but...

      I'm sorry that your business is not doing well, but how much of your downturn can you place on the shoulders of copyright infringement, or have people simply stopped renting DVDs because... well... there's better options, many of which are legal?

      I don't download films, but I haven't rented in 5 years now. Yes, I used to...

      Lovefilm or similar subscription based postal rental? iTunes or other immediate download sites? Supermarkets selling new release DVDs for £9?

    2. Denshi

      "As an owner of one of the last remaining independent dvd rental outlets in the UK, i can categorically state it IS detrimental to my income, my distributors income and that of the film studios and it is now detrimental to the cost of $Billions annually."

      Can you though? Cite sources, reference research, produce statistics. The Swiss have done this and concluded that whilst particular aspects of the industry change, the overall economy remains the same. Or do you feel that legislation to preserve individual jobs that cannot compete on the free market is a good trend?

      I didn't stop renting DVDs because Piracy was easier, I stopped renting DVDs because the competitive difference between rental (say ~£3, two nights only, limited selection due to finite floor space, and requires me to go to to the rental store) and owning the media (£3-£7 and can be picked up during my foodshop at the local supermarket) shifted against you as my disposable income increased as I got older.

      You might as well blame Tescos for having a cheap DVD aisle.

    3. ClassicalD
      Mushroom

      Intuitively there is an impact

      Despite bigweeal's post being a minority opinion, it is correct. Nobody can be intellectually honest and believe that unfettered copying of media, games, music, etc. doesn't affect the sales. No way is it the 1-to-1 sale loss that software/media people claim...that's retarded. But it isn't zero, either.

      Autodesk doesn't loose $7,000 when some high schooler copies Maya. But some percentage of high schoolers would have purchased a CD or rented a movie had the copy not been available.

      We can talk about "how big of an impact", but to say "there isn't any" puts you in the same lying sack-o-#### camp as the media weasels.

    4. Mark 65

      "We never see a teenager in our shop now, unless it's to rent a game and when they come in you hear them stating, seen that, seen that, seen that and this is with the weeks new releases that have just hit the shops that day."

      They could have been to the cinema - old school, I know. Another issue with DVD rental outlets is often the combination of price and time since cinema release and the experience is not heightened by scratched and generally fucked discs. You'd have though you'd just be able to go into a place and get a DVD quality file dumped on a flash drive by now. If you think that'd aid piracy I can tell you that DVD quality USB file vs DVD ripping really is no issue at all. Also, have you ever considered that your business has been eaten by iTunes? I hear the youth use it and others like it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Market Forces

      > Unbelievable. As an owner of one of the last remaining independent dvd rental outlets in the UK, i can categorically state it IS detrimental to my income, my distributors income and that of the film studios and it is now detrimental to the cost of $Billions annually. It really DOES affect normal peoples lives.

      You cant categorically say this - unless of course you have the appropriate research - what you mean is that you have formed this opinion based on your available evidence.

      What you are experiencing is the crush of changing market forces. Like it or not, some business models cease to become viable and no amount of "its not fail" will change that.

      Despite your assumption that your economic woes are down to the EVIL FILESHARING KIDDIES this may not be the case. For example, I am 24 and while I do not download movies, I dont rent them either.

      The video, sorry DVD, rental market had a golden age in the 1980s but by the 1990s the writing was on the wall and it wasnt because people wanted to share grainy crap on 28.8k modems.

      Rental *shops* (in the physical sense) are competing with dirt cheap DVDs from supermarkets (I can go to Tesco and buy a DVD for little more than the rental cost), Sky Movies / Virgin / BT showing HD films on demand and the crippling blow is the likes of Lovefilm - which not only has a great way of sending out physical copies but allows me to stream movies on demand.

      Filesharing *may* be part of the problem, but even if you magically made that go away, the physical rental shop is doomed to history - along with dozens of other jobs that time and technology have crushed.

    6. Fuh Quit
      Thumb Down

      I see your point

      but let's face it, DVDs were a quality hop from VHS yet, with the speed that the world is changing, are dead. BluRay? Yes, I have 8 discs.

      I live in Switzerland and would buy Dexter from last night if they would sell it to me. Nope, not possible - but I am empowered and go get it.

      These media firms need to recognise and react - just like the music industry has. Give me what I want when I want it and don't treat me like a 3rd world consumer. Because I am not and I will resolve my own problem.

      Plus I'll play what I want on what I want. DRM is bollocks.

      Thanks for listening :) And sorry but you need to find a new business because it's not just piracy killing it - it's pricing and distribution models too.

  11. plrndl

    (Un)Common Sense

    Wow! A government that collects evidence, analyses it, then acts on the result! I don't remember the last time I was impressed (positively) by politicians.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ chad h

    the argument in food terms is more like - "is it ok for me to grow seeds from food I buy, thereby making a copy, if that food species has been patented"

  13. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    WooHoo!

    Some sense in a GubberMint finally.

    And off course nobody will be able to touch them our else they will burn all that stolen Jewish money or report all the tax avoiding corporations.

    I think if this fight comes down to who has the bigger bag of cash then my money is on the Swiss.

    I'm not a Pirate, I'm just not happy with Big Business ruining the Internet.

    Sing a Michael Jackson Song = 5 Years ---------------------- Kill Michael Jackson = 4 years - Go figure

    1. My Opinion

      I'm curious...

      ...what specific incident are you referring to in your "Sing a Michael Jackson Song = 5 Years" comment?

      1. Anne-Lise Pasch

        I think SOPA:

        http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/mzwia/under_sopa_you_could_get_5_years_for_uploading_a/

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much free legal media...

    Firstly there's only so much 'media money' in anyones budget. Then take into account digital tv with massive choice and multiple movies and music channels, digital and internet radio streaming music to your tastes at all times. Physical movie and music stores are obviously drawing their last breaths.

    It's actually surprising that with the constant over saturation and choice of free tv, movies and music that people even find the need or time to fit a pirated movie or cd in!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the stuff just isn't available to buy where I am...

    ...is it still wrong to make a COPY?

    I wouldn't/couldn't have bought it anyway.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    err...

    The Swiss are hardly a good example when it comes to financial matters - and this is a financial matter.

    Who would have thought that the tax haven with anonymous banking didn't really care about rights issues. Also the Swiss are a very rich people and shouldn't really be taken as a benchmark for the rest of the world.

  17. Mooseman Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Can I just say...it's LOSE not LOOSE.

  18. Keep Refrigerated
    Holmes

    Representation

    A lot of thanks probably needs to go to the Swiss' style of representative government.

    Laws rarely change in Switzerland because:

    (a) laws rarely need to change - everyone works and lives to a high personal accountability and standard (sometimes a little too high and some would say neurotic - but that's another story) and

    (b) Any new law that is proposed always has to go through the people via a referendum, therefore they want to make absolutely sure it's necessary before they do that.

    The Swiss are nothing if not technically precise and painfully honest. They don't have career politicians that need to make deals with lobbyists to keep themselves afloat. They don't feel the need to feed lies and spin to people either. Finally, despite their high level of multiculturalism and mix of languages, their level of patriotism would make an American blush - protectionism isn't a dirty word, it's a privilege.

  19. Turtle

    Enriching the rich (& IP Conventions)

    Here's one very pernicious effect of the Swiss position:

    While they claim that the total amount of money spent on entertainment remains the same (and who really knows what "study" they used, or how accurate it is) it is nonetheless certain that the pattern of spending changes. If less money is spent of DVD's or CD or legal downloads but more money spent on live concerts, then that money is, obviously and by definition, *not* going to artists who can not afford to tour; rather it will be going to groups and performers that *can* afford to tour in the first place - and these are rarely independent artists, considering the cost of touring. How far wrong would it be to say that this Swiss policy deprives 99.999% of all recording artists the opportunity and the *right* to earn money from their work? Money saved by illegally downloading an independent film made by a director who went into debt to finance it and who can not get "big league" distribution, is spent on expensive film-industry productions.

    The ultimate effect is that new voices in the arts and the entertainment industry are starved of funding, while the most popular performers and productions get richer. Rather like the Swiss banking industry, the idea seems to be to expropriate the poor for the sake of the wealthy. (While not as bad as, for example, having $5bn in Kim Il-Jong's Swiss bank accounts while North Koreans starve to death, or are used as slave labour, it would seem to be part of the same mindset.)

    It is not the case that any dollar spent on any given item of entertainment has the same effect as if it were spent on any other item: it can matter greatly; especially when that money is being channeled from the low-income to the high-income class.

    Is there anyone here so stupid as to be unable to understand the effects that this will have on culture and the arts?

    I seem to recall that the copyright and IP conventions stipulate that, should a country fail to respect copyrights and other forms of IP, then that country forfeits the right to have their copyrights and IP protected.

    I would *love* to see all Swiss IP de-protected as a result of this.

  20. lemmac
    FAIL

    If you could magic food out of thin air...

    "Is it ok for me to steal food if I still buy as much as I did before I stole?"

    You really didn't think that through did you?

    1. Chad H.

      Yes I did

      And you're making that false "I didn't deprive the owner of anything" argument - except of course you *ARE* depriving the owner of something - the money you should have paid.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Steven Jones

    As Switzerland's main languages are German, French and Italian, they actually export a lot of music and other media around the world. Swiss rock music is very popular in much of Europe, for instance.

    As for your claims about Switzerland being a convenient place for despots and tax evaders to store money, perhaps you should have a good look at the UK's new corporate tax rate of 5.75 percent that was brought in last March, which was characterised at the time by the economist Richard Murphy as offering the lowest rate of corporate tax available anywhere in the European Union or in the member states of the OECD.

    In summary, you are a big idiot with mouldy ears and a brain made of gloopy fartsplatter :P

  22. T J
    Thumb Up

    Civilization!

    Civilization! It exists!

  23. Fuh Quit
    Thumb Up

    What it fails to state is this

    The Swiss market would gladly pay for a modern, flexible system of distribution. It's a multi-cultural society with 3 (4) main languages across the country and many, many foreigners (I'm one of them).

    If those providing content moved to a modern distribution system matching what the consumer wants (not what the cable and other companies want) then the 33% would largely begin paying for what they consume. We're talking about getting the latest Dexter episode on the same day around the globe - for something like 99 cents per episode.

    I've effectively replaced my DVR with downloaded shows. I'd be happy to not have to download them but stream them and pay as I consume. But, alas, I'm somewhere in the 3rd tier of consumer bands and frankly this means waiting (not acceptable in today's age) and paying lots for one or two things. Hell, I want to build my own channel - it's what I was doing for years with Sky.

    I actually rarely watch live TV now. Kids' shows, mainly (no, not for me) and football. And I'm fairly typical of my expat friends and colleagues.

    This does not mean that the Swiss law system supports a perceived "theft" but rather tolerates it if the offender is not making money from doing so. If I started burning out DVDs of things I downloaded and sold them, their stance would change. It's not the lawless society some think (looking at posts) nor is it a haven for evil dictators and their billions. For example, September 12th 2001 saw the whole bin Laden family no longer able to bank with Swiss banks - before then, they were fine.....until you're proven guilty of a crime, you're considered innocent.....does that happen anymore in the UK?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "....making it virtually impossible to prosecute the casual P2P user"

    I would have thought the fact that it isn't illegal would be far more effective in that regard.

  25. The Original Ash

    What's wrong with the place?

    Sensible file copyright / file sharing laws, awesome skiing / snowboarding close by, non-involvement in questionable wars.

    How do I go about emigrating?

  26. Chris Purcell

    Preventing copyright violation => more money?

    So the industry which has most successfully defended against copyright violation* now gets the largest chunk of consumer's spare income, while those least able to defend themselves** see their income dwindle.

    Wait, how does this match the conclusion?

    * Dynamic content is easy to protect: just put enough of it on your servers that reproducing it all takes a lot of time and effort. Even a couple of weeks is long enough to make lots of money.

    ** Static content is nigh-on impossible to protect: if you can *see* it, you can rip it.

  27. Turtle

    Interesting Point Left Out Of Register Article.

    Let me copy something from this link: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2011/111204switzerland#g7MCpeRRrn24FoLUtRGCLA

    "[...]Swiss cultural output is unlikely to be affected, which is really what matters to the Swiss government. 'This mostly affects foreign production companies,' the report conclusion continues. 'But they need to adapt to shifting consumer behaviors.'"

    In other words, for the particularly slow and dense, the Swiss government has decided to essentially legalize copyright infringement and content theft because the livelihoods being destroyed are not those of Swiss voters. You wouldn't think that the Swiss government would feel that it has the right to make all the world's intellectual and creative work a free gift to its citizens, but you would be wrong.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021