Swiss to legalize downloads

A recent news article talks about a new law passed in Switzerland which makes the downloading of pirated software legal. The Swiss government pointed out many positive and interesting points which were backed up by evidence form a dutch research. This is a exceedingly sensitive topic when to think of both the downloaders and the corporations. On one hand their is the freedom of speech aspect that can be violated if to deny pirating as such and on the other hand organisations are supposedly losing revenue due to illegal downloads. The main question then is what to do with this issue?

The downloading of music, movies, games and other various types of software has become a quite common phenomenon nowadays. It is all thanks to the World Wide Web because earlier this type of sharing on such a wide scale was not possible. The Swiss law for downloading software says that downloading for personal use is permitted. This concept of downloading should be tolerated because if the person does not share it with others or try to profit from it then the damage is not that extensive. Also most people only pirate games and movies to see if they are any good or not. If a person really likes a game then it is more probable that he will buy it too rather than buy a game that he has never played and later on might not like. The same aspect was brought out in the article where the dutch research showed that frequent downloaders visit concerts more often and game-downloaders bought more games than those who did not download. I believe this concept really does work because nobody wants to but something they have never tried before. The same concept goes for food mostly. You don’t go into a supermarket and buy food randomly, you know what you want because you have tasted it before and liked it. Piracy also has the chance to make less-known bands famous because if more people download their music and tell their friends then the band itself has a bigger chance of becoming famous. So actually in a way piracy is contributing to the entertainment industry.

Now if to look at it form the organisations viewpoint then of course many negative aspects come into mind. First of all the companies and artists say that they are not getting enough revenue that piracy of their software is costing them too much money and they are afraid of going bankrupt. The Dutch industry of this proved otherwise. The negative aspect of this article though was that it said their is no solid evidence concerning this issue of lack of revenue but this can be the authors own opinion. Maybe the companies and artists are suffering some losses but I don’t think that they are so catastrophic that they are going to go bankrupt. In that sense I agree with the statement that the entertainment industries should adapt to the consumer behavior changes or die. It is very easy to whine about everything and do nothing but in the end those companies who discover the opportunities of how to use the internet to their advantage will be the ones to prosper. Thus I really do not think that the issue with piracy against these companies is that high.

All in all I believe that piracy does have its good and bad sides but in the end it all depends on the user and on the purpose of the download. Their are people who abuse this privilege quite heavily and there are those who appreciate it and pay their respects to the companies and authors later by spending money on the products. Companies have to be able to adapt or they will not make it. Piracy should not be prohibited when it is intended for personal use and if there is evidence that it is actually not demolishing the entertainment industries.