A study commissioned by the Swiss government has found that the country's current piracy laws, which allow downloading of stuff for "personal use", should stay. Because they actually encourage people to buy more stuff.

The study, based on both its own research and extrapolating data from a similar Dutch study from 2009, is based on two key findings (and covers games as well as music and movies). The first was that most pirated content did not decrease sales of the content in question, because people's budgets were remaining constant for entertainment regardless of whether they pirated or not, or how much they pirated. This made pirating "complementary" to their regular spend on entertainment.

The second, and this is an age-old argument, is that pirating content actually led in many instances to people spending more money on stuff. Those downloading music were led to buy more music, and those downloading games were also found to actually be the biggest purchasers of games, etc.

Now, these reports speak for the people of The Netherlands and Switzerland, not Planet Earth. So their findings aren't going to be representative of everyone. Still, they do show a refreshing degree of practicality and understanding of the digital landscape (they go so far as to question the legality of other state's "three strikes" rules), one that puts the more KILL EM ALL attitudes of other Western states to shame.

Urheberrechtsverletzungen im Internet: Der bestehende rechtliche Rahmen gen√ľgt [Swiss Government, via TorrentFreak]