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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Italy Angry With Switzerland For Protecting File-Sharers

Recently the Swiss government made a decision to endorse a law according to which non-profit file-sharing is considered legitimate. The Swiss government believes that the so -called “illicit” downloads don’t actually hurt the entertainment industry like various anti-piracy groups claims they do. However, this decision has led to a hostile reaction from the Italian government.

Italy is known in file-sharing circles for the legislation pleasing entertainment industry, which it has adopted in a popular form of “three-strikes” regime. Under this law, Internet users accused of copyright violation could have their broadband connection terminated.

Italy has issued a kind of response via Enzo Mazza, the president of the Italian music industry group FIMI (known in the country as Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana), the next day after Switzerland had made an announcement. This response was a bit childish, claiming that Switzerland was the country that had hid the loot of history’s biggest criminals, and whose banks had shielded tax evaders. Now this country is also accused of protecting Internet thieves.

However, Switzerland had reasons to decide so. The country’s government made their decision after consulting a federal study and different researches, all of which conclude, along with some other things, that piracy doesn’t actually cause the country any significant economic damage. Instead, the experts pointed out that file-sharing only affected big foreign companies.

Meanwhile, the same federal study revealed that despite the fact that about 30% of Swiss citizens aged over 15 do have a habit of downloading copyrighted content like films and music, this doesn’t really influence their buying habits in regards to entertainment. In other words, industry experts are sure that the Internet users do not spend less because they download stuff for free. Nevertheless, Italy wasn’t the only country that applied such strict anti-piracy penalties – they have been also introduced by a number of other countries like France, all of them currently receiving much disapproval by the study in question which really doubts the legitimacy of the “three-strikes” regime.

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