This last weekend I discovered that downloading movies , music and games in Switzerland is legal. It turn out that One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. Instead of doing nothing, the Swiss government conducted a study into the impact of downloading on society. Last week the findings were presented.
After going through the report the Government decided that downloading for personal use will stay completely legal. At the same time they think that the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.
Well well well so many things came in my mind after reading that.. if you read the post i did last week here, then you realized that I am against software piracy and i fully support the effort of Kenya Copyright Board and Microsoft curbing the vice. Check out the new website by Microsoft buygenuine.co.ke/. One question that came in my mind after reading that story is , could legalizing piracy be it software or music or movies be the best way to fight the piracy? This has reminded me about my days in primary when we used to have several nick names for people..those who try hard to fight the their nick names, had them stick and they became like their official names while those who did not care about the names end up with people using their real names. Some sort of reverse psychology.
I also went back to my phone to check my music play lists and realized that i have so many music many of which i can’t even remember how i got them in the first place … Most of the songs i got from friends who generously shared with me, and at that time i did not check how they got them. One thing is clear most people download movies/music etc for there personal use and lend it to people for free. the talk here is about personal use and not those who are selling.. For those who are selling , there is no debate , you just have to buy genuine, music or movies.
Back to the report
Around a third of Swiss citizens over 15 years old download pirated music, movies and games from the Internet. However, these people don’t spend less money as a result because the budgets they reserve for entertainment are fairly constant. This means that downloading is mostly complementary.
Mmmmh..are Kenyans doing the same?
Then there is another hurdle when comes to music.. the distribution channels. Recently Nanjira asked a sound question on a blog post Digital Music Distribution: Are We Willing To Embrace It?. The clear lack of local distribution channel is a problem to the local artists who have to rely on the foreign solutions like iTunes and amazon which do not work well here.
Before i sign off, the Kenya Copyright Board amnesty period for those using and selling pirated software to come clean is coming to an end in the next one week or two . So now is the time to clean your act, in case you have not done so.
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