We will change the way you do business!

Recently a law was passed in Switzerland, which states that downloading illegal multimedia such as music, movies and games will be legal. Although the decision provided good grounds for illegal downloaders, also referred to as “pirates”, it still leaves many questions to be answered. Both sides of the contract – the casual “pirates” and large entertainment companies present various ideas about why the law is or isn’t practical and ethical. Some of the arguments are discussed and analyzed as follows.

When the Swiss government passed the law that allows for illegal file sharing, large media companies were outraged. Why should a government support illegal activities? The companies that make money off of selling their products are tricked into believing that the law can be justified.

Firstly, the government claims that according to various research it can be seen that people acquiring illegal copies do not actually save money off the act, on the contrary. It was found that “pirates” spend as much or even more money on other media entertainment, founding the companies through other resources. The claim suggests that even If an industry loses money due to legalized “illegal activities” they have the chance to compensate for the loss by turning to other methods. In general, the idea of such a mandatory last resort is an outrage because it is just not ethical to block a company’s income.

Secondly, the government explained that it would be impossible to imply the 3 strike rule (3 registered offences concerning illegal file sharing will result in the loss of internet connection) as the United Nations has declared internet access as a human right. In my opinion, the fact that internet may not be prohibited should lead to other methods of punishment such as fines and reparations that one has to pay when 3 offences have been made. This would eliminate the unethical issue concerning company money loss and still motivate people to buy multimedia in a legal fashion.

Lastly, the legalization of piracy could on the other hand prove to be beneficial. This, in the sense that film and video game industries would have to create even better and better content to appeal to larger crowds. This includes adding thrilling multiplayer content or optional extra content to people who have bought the game. This would lead to a more immersive multimedia experience and enhance the sector as a whole.

Overall, even if it can merely be justified why the passing of the law was a correct deed, the general gesture of an arrogant middle finger to the industries remains. It is just unethical not to take into consideration the work and labor of companies, mainly because the expectations of getting paid through the created product hang about. The question whether it was necessary to legalize “stealing” does nothing but raise chaos and misbelief towards the government and its ability to reasonably pass laws. All aside, the “pirates” of Switzerland can rest because as of now, the work of multimedia producers, according to some, needs no appreciation.