October 28th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

Swiss use steamroller to make statement on counterfeiting

Fake goods were crushed to make a statement against counterfeiting Thursday.

Thousands of watches, CDs and DVDs were crushed by a steamroller Thursday as part of a Swiss campaign against counterfeit goods.

The smashing of the counterfeit goods at an airport in Bern, Switzerland, highlighted Stop Piracy Day 2010 and launched the Swiss Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Platform’s “Piracy is Cruel” campaign.

The public-private Swiss group is trying to educate consumers on how purchasing goods they know to be counterfeit puts themselves and others in danger.

“Consumers who use or buy counterfeit goods also care too little about the consequences of their actions,” the group said in a press release.

Counterfeit goods cost jobs, threaten industries and, in the case of fake medicines, lives, the group said.

A study by the International Chamber of Commerce released in March estimated that in 2008 more than 185,000 jobs were lost in Europe to counterfeiting, file sharing and piracy in creative industries such as music, TV and filmmaking. That number could balloon to 1.2 million by 2015 without new enforcement, the study said.

In the U.S. on Wednesday, the file-sharing site LimeWire was shut down by order of a federal judge who agreed with plaintiffs in a suit that alleged the site promoted copyright infringement.

Earlier this month, Interpol and other international agencies reported seizing more than a million illicit and counterfeit pills worth $2.6 million while shutting down 290 websites involved in marketing counterfeit medicines. Seventy-six people were arrested or are under investigation as a result of that weeklong campaign in 45 countries.

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Filed under: Consumer safety • Crime • Jobs • Switzerland
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Josh

    What I object to, is their assumption that 100% of the people who bought a counterfeit, would have bought a real item. I believe that most people who buy a counterfeit did so because they could not ever afford the real one.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • NothingSpecial

      Nothing in the article says that they assumed what you say they assumed. Learn to read carefully next time.

      October 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JREwingSr


    the jobs are lost to buying that crap in the first place.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. NotaPoster

    yeah right, as if i was going to waste 5,000 dollars on a watch

    October 29, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Illusionary Profits

    The people who buy knockoffs or download movies don't reduce the sales of the companies complaining. Most of the people can't afford it anyways.

    The knockoffs boost the real brand and stimulate otherwise non existent sales from the consumers who aren't in the companies top tier income bracket, their target market. This gives the company free advertising and brand recognition they wouldn't normally have.

    The copied movie your friend lets you borrow may cause market 'interest' and 'action' for you to buy your own copy. It's possible you may buy a copy from his friend and the company loses out, but the process passes down to your viewers. I had no interest in the Harry Potter series until I saw it with a friend who pretty much exclusively pirates...
    and now I've seen the last two movies own the existing movies. The HP brand wouldn't have captured my adult market attention without my friend.

    If the movie sucks or it's 20 years old I'm not going to spend more than 4.99. If it's Dark Knight, Star Trek or something similiar, than I'll pay the $20. But if people aren't willing to pay movie ticket prices to watch your movie... don't complain that people are stealing it to watch it... they should be lucky that people are watching it and might cause more interest BY their watching it... hello mcfly.

    Is it really appropriate for the succeeding films to complain when they are making regularly $100m+ on films?

    Someday I'll get a genuine Rolex, likely in the 2-4k range, but maybe I'll buy a $300 knockoff in the interim. Everyone wins.

    Marketing and simple supply/demand are pretty much common sense, but it takes a moment to interpret it. Once it's explained... you see through the BS, like this article.


    October 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • NothingSpecial

      Your rationalization of stealing sickens me. Just because YOU don't think something is worth X dollars (or worse yet, just because YOU don't want to spend X dollars for it right now) does not justify someone making knockoff of it and you buying it. And by the way, I could (barely) afford a Rolex right now, but there is no way I would buy one now or later.

      October 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dannyb

    All this accomplishes is to put gainfully employed counterfeiters out of work and back out mugging people and breaking into houses to make money. It's not like the customers who buy the cheap knockoffs are suddenly going to run out and buy the real stuff now, they can't afford it, so this doesn't help the manufacturers one bit.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The wise one

    Whats wrong with rich people paying $$$$ for original watches and poor people buying copies for $$?

    October 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • The wise one

      JK. Mods pl. remove.

      October 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
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