Why not let one fly?

Downloading movies and music will stay legal in Switzerland. On 30th of November Swiss government turned down entertainment industry appeals to ban Internet piracy. It has created a lot of discussion since as some claim “stealing” has been made legal. In order to decide whether the Swiss decision was positive or negative its reasons and consequences need to be analyzed.

“Downloading copyrighted material for personal use does not hurt the entertainment business” says the Swiss government. In their study they found that the users who downloaded pirated files were more likely to go to concerts, cinema and buy CDs than those who did not. From this it can be concluded that stealing from the entertainment business via the Internet does not actually mean that the industry loses money but vice versa makes more money. It can be therefore said that if made piracy was made illegal and the users would have been attacked by the government all parties would have lost money. Therefore it is correct to say that by downloading copyrighted material for personal use one does not negatively affect the entertainment business.

Making legal downloading for personal use will increase the number of pirates. It is a general opinion when making something deemed as “bad” legal will increase the number of people who start using the “bad” thing. At the moment the most discussed would be the legalizing of marihuana. In essence legalizing piracy and marihuana are very similar as both of these do not actually have negative effect on the parties who are against legalisation. Both of these instances are legalised in Netherlands but the fact that they are legal have saved the government a lot of money and human resources. Also the number of drug users has decreased rather than increased as the public awareness has increased. According to the Swiss government the introduction of the Hadopi law in France cost them 12 million and it did not help too much in the war against piracy as it brought up a lot of other issues. The same is true for drugs as in Mexico and US thousands of people die annually due to the drug wars and millions of dollars are spent on it. Legalising them would actually prevent the enormous losses and bring peace to the society.

Legalising piracy would give room for illegal distribution. As was seen from the last paragraph the number of pirates does not increase when the action is legalised. Therefore it means that the number of people illegally distributing the software will also remain the same. It can although be argued but by legalising piracy the buyers of illegal copies would also decrease as the consumers would switch to direct piracy. This is because they think that by buying something cheaper means they will not be legally prosecuted and are therefore scared of pirating. But being sure that nothing will happen when they pirate they are prone to use it. This means that they save money and stop supporting the illegal distributors. This will eventually mean that the latter will be put out of business and their consumers will have more money which they are likely to spend on the products coming from legal distributors.

Swiss government’s decision might seem harsh for the entertainment industry but as was seen from the previous paragraphs it would actually be beneficial to all parties aside from the illegal distributors. The latter are actually the ones who harm the entertainment business and thus it can be concluded that the Swiss decision of making “stealing” in Internet legal helps everyone. Therefore legalising piracy will save tax payers money and the society will be more peaceful. At the end of the day everyone wins.