The U.S. government has indicted Aaron Swartz for downloading too many scholarly journals from JSTOR. The penalty could be 35 years in jail. A few points: large numbers of these articles are in public domain, the authors of the ones not in public domain are thrilled for the distribution, they are only in the “possession” of the publisher because of legislation that wouldn’t even exist in a free society, JSTOR’s financial model that involves extracting vast fees from tax-funded universities lives mostly off the taxpayer, and, finally, the articles one downloads are not “stolen” but merely copied and that harms absolutely no one. JSTOR can’t even plausibly claim that such downloads hurt subscriptions.
Such is what is called a crime in the land of the free!