At this moment, I am downloading the movie Crazy, Stupid Love via my iTunes account, in defiance of the Swiss parliament that recently refused to outlaw illegal downloading.
Yes, you read that right. Illegally downloading music, games, movies or otherwise is, well, legal in Switzerland.
The decision was made this week after the parliament determined that those who download illegally are the same people who purchase downloads, that is, they are customers. Switzerland reckons this means the creative owners of the goods suffer no financial harm from electronic piracy.
I am very excited about this. Not because I engage in this practice myself (I prefer to pay for the stuff – call me old-fashioned), but because I am a big-time IKEA shopper and if this legalizing-theft trend continues, pretty soon I will be able to walk out of any IKEA store with unpaid goods.
I’ve been eying the IKEA free-standing kitchen units for some time. I’m going to save thousands of dollars this way.
But first, I’ll wait for the Swiss parliament to catch up to my plan and legalize in-store retail theft.
*I don’t own the copyright to the above photo of Steve Carell. It came from the Hollywood Reporter website. I doubt they own it either. It is a promo-photo, so we have to expect the producers want it to be reproduced to spread “buzz” on their product. If, however, their lawyers send me a note with grim warnings, I shall remove it, even though I am in Switzerland.
Post-script: In all fairness to the complexity of this issue, I have no real opinion on whether Switzerland is being smart or stupid. For example, I watched a lot of Adele videos on YouTube before buying a pile of her music through iTunes. The YouTube broadcast is legal, but what if it wasn’t? Didn’t checking out her vocal qualities turn me into a bona-fide customer?
Post-script 2: For those who want to know more about Switzerland’s downloading decision, here’s a link to an article that discusses this topic at length.