The Swiss government has ignored warnings from the entertainment industry, and has declared that the downloading of media for personal use is legal in all normal circumstances. The decision is a blow to the entertainment industry’s attempts to persuade governments to prosecute citizens for unauthorised downloading.
According to a study commissioned by the Swiss government, the impact of unauthorised downloading is negligible to the entertainment industry. Naturally, the industry does not agree, and has managed to force changes to the law in almost every country in the developed world. Switzerland is holding out, however, and others might now be inspired to take the same approach.
Despite the entertainment industry’s warnings, a number of studies have shown that services like Limewire actually encourage people to make purchases. The gist of this research is that people still pay for the content they always paid for, but that they use unauthorised downloading in order to get a taster of a much wider range of content before they make a decision.