Swiss copyright report on time

The Swiss Government has just completed a new copyright report where the overall conclusion is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.

As Cory Doctorow points out “It’s a rare victory for evidence-based policy in a world dominated by shrill assertions of lost jobs and revenue, backed by funny-number “statistics” from industry-commissioned researchers.”

It’s exactly the opposite approach from what New Zealand’s Government has adopted. Our Government didn’t study the problem, didn’t think about encouraging legal alternatives (The Commerce Minister didn’t even know what Netflix was!) and, after US lobbying, passed under urgency the punitive three-strikes ‘Skynet’ law.

Interestingly the report also questions the legality of three-strikes laws after the the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression declared such laws to be a breach of human rights.

The new NZ Government should have a read of the Swiss report, listen to the UN and look at terminating the Skynet law in favour of legal alternatives. As research from Germany shows, increasing availability of digital content shows that one can combat internet piracy without infringing basic rights.

7 Comments Posted

  1. Gareth: The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression declared (or perhaps more correctly, opined) that internet access was a human right, but that opinion currently has no weight.

  2. Jackal notes that music used commercially has to be paid for, however, almost all music purchased (both by volme (or, perhaps more correctly, quantity) and value) is purchased by end users under personal use licence conditions. Thus having a country decide that its citizens dont have to pay for the music they consume is not right.

    The Jackal’s assertions generally are on shakey ground, and completely ignores songwriters, who are a bigger beneficiary than the musicians in terms of value from record sales. As an example, Gerry Rafferty, a one hit wonder, gets about 80,000UKP annually for his one hit, and has been doing so for decades. The Swiss system, if adopted globally, would deprive him of a significant chunk of that income.

    So although Photos comment could be considered as provocative, it is based solidly in fact.

    The Swiss are legalising ripping off songwriters.

  3. photon

    i.e you can nick music as much as you want – screw the people who make it – they don’t deserve a cent.

    As usual you show a complete lack of knowledge about the subject you comment on photon. The law actually states that comercial use still needs to be paid for. The usual deal musicians get is 5% of the return on sales with that profit going towards any recording or touring costs. Unless the album goes platinum, the artist usually makes very little on the deal. It’s more likely that they end up in debt for their efforts.

    It’s mainly the multinational music companies that oppose free downloads. Bands make most of their money from live performances these days and the majority are indifferent to people downloading their music for personal use. The benefits are that the band gains a following through social media networks and thus encourages people to attend their shows.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your ignorance photon.

  4. Am I the only one who sees an(other) apparent contradiction in Gareths position?

    The Greens argue for a environmentally low-impact, intellectual property based economy, while also arguing for undermining protection of intellectual property.

  5. Phew – I can steal a car, and its okay, as long as it’s just for personal use.

    Idiot leftists – no respect for private property rights. Would rather support theft for the sake of getting a few votes, from those who are low enough to steal.

  6. While Gareth Hughes is checking out Swiss reports, I suggest a good look at how Binding Referenda and Citizen Iniatives work for the Swiss people.
    The rest of Europe virtually insolvent versus the Swiss with money in the bank.cheers.D

  7. “downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted”

    i.e you can nick music as much as you want – screw the people who make it – they don’t deserve a cent.

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