Dutch say that disobeying copyright is good for the economy

While the ACTA treaty is cooking up a nasty scheme to make sharing with friends illegal, some good news from Holland:

The study concludes that the effects [of disobeying copyright] are strongly positive because consumers get to enjoy desirable content and also get to keep their cash to buy other things. Because the consumers save much more money than the producers lose, the net economic effects are positive. The report also reinforces the truth that unpaid downloads do not translate into lost sales in anything close to a one-to-one ratio.

The report makes a number of recommendations that file sharers will be able to live with, such as supporting the development of new economic models for rights holders, not criminalizing file sharing for personal use, and so on. (Read more)

This is via RMS, who explains how the ACTA play works:

This is the standard procedure by which governments use trade treaties to attack their citizens. First they draw up a treaty by which they all promise to do so. Then they say, “We have to agree to every provision of we won’t get the business benefit of the treaty.” Then people surrender their freedom. The whole scheme is evil from the first step to the last. It is a sign of a government that is a toady for business, and the enemy of its own citizens.

It remains hard to say how this will play out, but I think that if ACTA (or whatever) succeeds at oppressing people, this will only fuel authors, artists and designers who make money with permissive or copyleft cultural business models.

But I wonder, as the new depression gets bigger, if businesses will stifle competitors in the same way that the UK government criminalises any kind of public protest.

Interesting times.

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The Dutch say that disobeying copyright is good for the economy by David Crossland, except the quotations and unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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