Moggalana wrote:But only because something is illegal (in some countries) doesn't mean it is illegitimate,
If you are within the jurisdiction of the law, then yes, it does.
are often used as synonyms but there is some difference. Legal
means that something is right according to the law (lawful
can mean the same but it can also mean - especially when used in contrast to legal
- that something is right according to moral
or ethical norms
. An example: Death penalty is legal
) in some countries but it is not legitimate
). From now on, I will use ethical
instead of legitimate
to prevent further misconceptions.
I forgot to mention in my previous post that the Swiss government decided not to implement a stricter version of the copyright law. File-sharing will stay legal as long as it is not done for commercial purposes (piracy
). The main reason was the fact that the percental amount of money people spend on 'entertainment' hadn't changed and wouldn't change if the law was different. It is also not practical for a government to incriminate a third or more of its citizens, especially not in Switzerland where they have a very direct form of democracy.
This leads to another important point: the relativity of norms. Georg Jellinek coined the term Die normative Kraft des Faktischen
(the normative power of the de facto
). It basically means that (1) a norm doesn't apply anymore when nobody is following it and (2) a norm can be changed or a new norm can be created when a majority acts accordingly. File-sharing is - de facto - a common practice, especially among younger (<30) people, and it will only increase in the future when a majority of the people will be digital natives
. Thus, I predict that file-sharing will be legal
in most countries and not considered unethical
in 10-20 years.