Monday, 05 December 2011 12:23

Swiss govt decides to keep file-sharing legal


The Swiss government has, after a parliamentary study, decided to make no change in its copyright laws which means that downloading for personal use will continue to be legal.

As in many other countries, the film and music industry in Switzerland has been complaining about a dramatic loss of revenue due to online downloads, claiming that this could bring about a crisis in Swiss cultural industries.

As a result, the upper house of parliament was asked to investigate whether measures were needed against copyright infringement.

While the panel found that one in three Swiss over the age of 15 downloaded copyrighted material from the internet, it concluded that despite numerous media reports and awareness campaigns if was extremely difficult to know which downloads were legal and which were not.

The investigation found that the percentage of personal income that was spent on these industries had not changed over time. Whatever was saved by downloading was spent on cultural activities - on films, music or attending live events.

The report advised production companies, especially the large foreign-owned ones, to adapt to changed consumer behaviour. It said their fears were unfounded and were based on their refusal to change.

Due to this, the investigation concluded there was no need for any change in the copyright legislation.

(Babelfish translation of the parliamentary press release is here.)

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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