Swiss Government Opts to Keep Piracy Legal for Personal Use

As long as it's for fair use, people living in Switzerland have what amounts to a green light to download copyrighted music and movies without any repercussions. And as far as the Swiss government is concerned, copyright holders might as well go pound sand if they're not willing to adapt to the changing landscape. Piracy is, and will remain legal.

The Swiss government isn't being crass, but responding to a study it sponsored to determine the real impact of piracy and whether or not additional laws should be written up. Entertainment industries have long complained that piracy is a real problem that affects their bottom line, a claim that ultimately wasn't supported by the study.

"Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been 'abused.' This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use the new technology to their advantages and losers those who missed this development and continue to follow old business models," the report states.

In other words, either adapt or go cry in a corner, because hey, online piracy comes with the territory in this age of the Internet. And in fact, the report acknowledged that around one in three Swiss citizens over 15 years old pirates music, movies, and games from the Internet. However, those that steal copyrighted material aren't spending any less as a result because the amount of disposable income earmarked for entertainment stays pretty constant, according to the report. What's more, the money they end up saving ends up being poured into concerts, movies, and merchandising.

Do you agree with the study, or do you think the Swiss government is being too lax with online piracy?