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In the case of music, piracy affects the artist very little since they earn cents on the dollar for each song/album recorded. It negatively impacts the label the artist is under which still doesn't affect the artist much. It is much better to support the music industry though buying merchandise.
Intellectual property does not exist.
Piracy is banned and punished, Pirates that have been caught raiding cargo ships have all been punished.
Being from a third world country, pirating was my one and only source for music, video games, and movies.
In many cases, it has helped the progress of society. If it weren't for mass-piracy of crucial software (e.g. Windows) in second-world countries, we'd have fewer people knowing how to access the internet today.
There is no guarantee that the pirated product would have been purchased if it had not been available for pirating, so the net loss for the distributor is the same, wether the product was pirated or not.
In some cases this is because the developer stopped supporting the original product. For instance, in some places emulators are considered piracy. In other cases piracy-prevention measures break the media.
In some cases the content is not for sale by the producer, but is publicly available on the internet. Should downloading this content be punished, where there is no way to pay for it?
Once you've sold something, you've sold it so it's out there. Nobody forced you to sell or publish it.
Then there will always be an excuse to monitor all digital activity all the time.
If you could copy a car you would. Or you'd be mad not to as the rest of humanity passes you by.
Copyrights are bad for artists and everyone. Copyrights are often used for censorship. Its mostly corporations who have leveraged copyrights to the detriment of artists. The fashion industry is much, much larger than the music industry and there are almost no protections for fashion designers.
What if it is significantly easier to pirate content and the content is in a friendlier format then when legitimately purchased?
It is banned, at least in some countries, and if caught, punishable.
Some of us are Peace Main Pirates, only the Morganeer Pirates should punished.
Piracy is an effective way of avoiding DRM
You are stealing the development time for the game. When you buy something you can pirate, you are paying for it to be made, not the copy you receive. Similarly to an amusement park: If you sneak onto a roller coaster without paying for it, the park hasn't lost anything but you still stole a ride.
What if you wanted to play something from long ago, no longer sold anywhere, and if it is it costs way too much?
It is theft of a product created by an individual or group.
Some people download items because they don't have the money, but for a lot of people piracy facilitates the act of not buying items that you normally would have, effectively robbing the content creator.